Germany To Consider Further Relaxing Coronavirus Restrictions
Everyone in Germany is asking the same question today. What could be the next phase of relaxation in the restriction taken to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus?
Today Chancellor Angela Merkel will connect with all the heads of states to further discuss the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. In the last telephonic conference with the state governments, the Chancellor stressed that the next conference will assess the strategy submitted by the ministers of cultural affairs, youth, and sport, and clear decisions will be taken regarding how and in what sequence schools, nurseries and possibly certain sporting activities can resume.
The pressure of relaxing the measures is mounting and is increasing every day, especially by the Business and Tourism community. Some German states have already but partially opened the tourism industry. The decision will come after the meeting and just like it is now, different regulations shall be announced for every state. In a telephonic conference of Federal and State governments on April 30, 2020, Chancellor Angela Merkel talked about the drastic economic repercussion of the pandemic. She stated “We have not lost sight of these things, but I am absolutely convinced that it is also in the interest of the economy and in the interest of social contacts if we are careful to ensure that we are able to move forward, take steps that we will not subsequently have to retrace. And that is why caution is the cardinal rule – along with hygiene measures.”
The first case of the COVID-19 in Germany was recorded in the state of Bavaria on January 28, 2020. Initial lockdown in Germany came into effect on March 22, 2020, and was observed till April 19, 2020. Everything was closed except the basic grocery stores and pharmacies. Small shops were allowed to re-open from April 20, 2020, but other restrictions of the lockdown continued till May 4. From May 4, 2020, the students who had their final exams this year were the first ones to resume school.
The expected topics of discussions shall revolve around the opening of all schools and kindergartens, restaurants, and cafes, evaluating the policies to ensure hygiene and arrangements inside the eateries like maintaining a 1.5-meter distance between the tables and the restaurant staff wearing masks.
The discussions might also be around outdoor sporting activities. The sports minister has been advocating commencing these activities on an urgent basis. The German football league ‘The Bundesliga’ is also hopeful for a positive decision and probably begin by playing without spectators. The planned measures to maintain high standards of cleanliness and hygiene especially of the shared sporting equipment shall be presented as well.
Many of the restrictions were revoked in the last meeting on April 30, 2020, of the federal and state governments. Many playgrounds were opened under specific conditions. New regulations were implemented to open churches and worship places.
Cultural facilities including museums, exhibitions, galleries, monuments, zoos, and botanic gardens were also allowed to operate subject to certain conditions. Social distancing and hygiene are the most important of the conditions.
It is mandatory for everyone to wear a mask in public areas especially while using public transport. Hairdressers were given new guidelines to open as both the customer and the hairdresser will have to wear a mask.
All large events and gatherings including concerts are prohibited until at least August 31, 2020. The restriction on the social contacts, that is to be permitted to stay in public places either only with members of one’s own household or with one other person is still in place until at least May 10, 2020. A distance of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained to people who do not live in their own households.
As per John Hopkins University & Medicine, 166,007 Germans have been infected with Coronavirus whereas 6993 have lost lived while battling the deadly pandemic. The Germans shall be anxiously waiting for the new normal with relaxed restrictions so that they can resume work and businesses as before. Everyone must evolve and adjust with the new phenomena of social distancing and work from home.