The German authorities have agreed to begin easing restrictions from March 8 in regions with a low incidence of coronavirus, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“From March 8, retail stores can be opened in regions with an incidence below 50 (new cases per week per 100 thousand population), with an incidence higher – through online order. Also, with an incidence of more than 50, museums, galleries, zoos and botanical gardens, if this is done by appointment and the visit is documented, “she said at a press conference on Wednesday after meeting with regional heads on coronavirus.
At the same time, according to her, there will be restrictions on the number of clients – this, like after the first wave, will be calculated in accordance with the area of the premises. If there is a stable or decreasing incidence in the region for two weeks, then new mitigations are possible. “At the earliest on March 22, this will cover outdoor gastronomy with pre-registration for cases over 50, and if less, all catering establishments. This will also apply to theaters, concert and opera houses, as well as cinemas, provided express tests are provided.” – said Merkel.
Decisions on easing will be taken by the regional authorities, while the national regime of restrictive measures will continue to operate until March 28.
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Restrictions on social contacts will also be eased from March 8. If now meetings of members of two households are allowed, and one of them is represented by only one person, then from next week meetings of two households with the participation of five people are allowed, in regions with a low incidence – with the participation of 10 people.
Despite the beginning of easing restrictions, the FRG authorities urge employers to provide remote work for employees until at least April 30, citizens are still urged to refrain from unnecessary travel. All of these mitigations can be reversed by applying the “emergency braking” mechanism – a similar mechanism was used after the first wave of the pandemic. If in the relevant region the incidence rate for three consecutive days is above 100, then in two working days the norms that were in effect before the start of mitigation measures will be restored.
Merkel’s next talks with regional heads on coronavirus will be held on March 22.