Home Europe COVID-19: Germany Relaxes Lockdown, Reopens Shops and Allows Soccer Matches

COVID-19: Germany Relaxes Lockdown, Reopens Shops and Allows Soccer Matches

Government eases the lockdown in phases while cautioning social distancing protocols

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on May 7, the relaxation of lockdown in Germany, put in place from March 17 to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic. She said that the goal of slowing down the spread had been achieved and so all the shops could reopen and Germany’s economy would make a gradual recovery. The state also allowed the Bundesliga soccer team to resume the matches from May 15 as well as schools to reopen for the summer term. The 16 federal states of Germany will be operating on an “emergency brake” scenario if there is a spike in the number of infections in the future. 

Museums and nursing homes have also been allowed to reopen for visitors. “I think we can safely state that the very first phase of the pandemic is behind us,” Chancellor Merkel said. “But we need to be very much aware we are still in the early phases and we’ll be in it for the long haul.” She also said that the rate of infection has gone down significantly. Germany’s public health body, Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 165 deaths in the past 24 hours on May 6, lowest since March. 

Shops of up to 800 square metres in size have already been allowed to reopen. All the restrictions have been lifted although masks and social distancing norms need to be followed. During the state discussions on May 7, state leaders agreed upon the responsibility of the consequences of lifting the lockdown.