حفلة 2024

Germany Chancellor Merkel announces plans for gradual reopening

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel set out on Wednesday plans for the gradual reopening of the country after weeks-long restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking at a news conference, Merkel said Limits on social contact will remain in place until June 5, but Germans can now meet with members of one other household as well as their own.

Her remarks came after a video meeting with the prime ministers of Germany’s 16 states.

People must still remain 1.5 metres apart and cover their mouths and noses in public, Merkel said.

Shops can reopen but with additional hygiene measures, she added.

“The first phase of the pandemic is behind us but we are still at the beginning and it will be with us for a long time,” Merkel said.

Germany’s top football league, the Bundesliga, is also set to resume play in the second half of May, she said, without specifying if this would be with spectators or behind closed doors.

Bundesliga will be the first major European league to resume playing. Last week France decided to cancel its season and declared Paris Saint-Germain the winner of Ligue 1.

Merkel said authorities would key an eye on local regions to ensure any outbreak was stopped.

“We can afford a bit of courage,” she said, but cautioned that “we have to watch that this thing does not slip out of our hands.”

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