Having recorded one of the highest cases in Europe, Germany’s coronavirus lockdown was far less stringent than some of its member states. The country’s success rate on handling the disease received praise by international organisations. Like with most parts of Europe, Germany went into lockdown in March. The measures put in place resulted in unprecedented restrictions for people to stay at home and to close all borders. Since then, Chancellor Merkel has announced a plan to ease lockdown and reopen businesses.
As Germany came to the end of the first phase of easing lockdown, Merkel announced a further loosening of restrictions. The Chancellor also said there is still a long way to go while warning: “We have to be careful that we don’t lose control of this thing.” The government set a plan in place that includes an ’emergency brake’. What this means is, a reintroduction of restrictions for areas recording more than 50 new infections for every 100,000 inhabitants.
Exit Plan Out Of Germany’s Coronavirus Lockdown
Berlin announced that as of the 15th May, restaurants and cafés would reopen for business. Although these businesses can reopen, people are only allowed between 6 am – 10 pm. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are open to the public with, strict rules of 1.5m between chairs. Furthermore, only people living in the same household may visit restaurants or one other person. Also training at sports clubs allowed, however, no contact.
Germans can now look forward to the reopening of open-air swimming pools for the summer. The government announced that these swimming pools would reopen, while gyms to remain closed. Globally, tourism took the hardest hit. The government announced hotels could accept guests from 25th May. The opening of hotels comes with its own set of rules. Guest will not be allowed to enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel. The standard social distancing measures are to remain in place, with only a limited amount of people at saunas and other communal facilities.
Previously Loosened Restrictions
As of 9th May, shops in Germany welcomed customers with social distancing conditions. During the earlier weeks of lockdown, only shops providing essentials stayed opened. The new regulations permit only a limited number of people per store with one customer per 20 square metres. The government also relaxed measures for social distancing, allowing more than two people from different households to meet.
Hairdressers, beauty salons, and other personal services are now open. As instructed by the government, all places to keep strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Both Germany and France had pupils resume for school in stages. The department of education said it hopes to have all pupils return to classrooms by 29th May. Places promoting mass gatherings such as cinemas and concert hall to remain closed.
Merkel stressed that with now more person-to-person contact, the country should welcome the new regulations with caution. The holiday season is around the corner and, one of the most asked questions is when travelling will be permitted. Visit the page on travel restrictions in Germany for the latest travel updates.