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German government might abandon next lockdown reopening step

German government might abandon next lockdown reopening step

German government might abandon next lockdown reopening step

Baby steps out of lockdown: at the last coronavirus summit on March 3, Angela Merkel and the heads of the federal states wanted to spread optimism with their plan to gradually ease restrictions. But with coronavirus case numbers rising exponentially, it’s seeming less and less likely that further reopening steps will follow anytime soon. 

Germany’s next reopening step on the ropes?

The German magazine Business Insider has reported that the federal and state governments are considering suspending their planned fourth reopening step at the coronavirus summit next Monday.

According to the government’s original plan, a number of restrictions were due to be eased on March 22 in states or regions with an incidence rate below 50. As well as outdoor dining areas in restaurants and cafes, theatres, concert halls, opera houses and cinemas were also due to reopen, while non-contact sports indoors and contact sports outdoors were also to be made possible once again. 

In areas where the incidence rate falls between 50 and 100 per 100.000 inhabitants, the relaxation step was still going to be allowed if customers or guests presented a negative rapid test or made an appointment beforehand. 

Lockdown could be extended for another four weeks

But the worsening COVID-19 infection rate and uncertainty surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine are apparently encouraging the chancellery and state representatives to hit the brakes. Citing reports within government circles, Business Insider says that the lockdown, which has already been extended to March 28, is likely to be extended once again, possibly for another four weeks. 

Whether the federal and state governments actually agree to suspend the planned reopening steps also depends on how things progress with vaccinations over the next few days. According to a number of reports, an emergency plan for AstraZeneca is being prepared. The government is allegedly considering making the vaccine available for anyone who wants it, in order to increase uptake and vaccinate more people more quickly. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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