Germany draws up plans for life after lockdown
German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have categorically stated that it’s too early to be thinking about lifting coronavirus restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped the government from making plans. A draft document gives an idea of what life might look like after COVID-19.
Merkel refuses to name lockdown end date
At a press conference on Monday, Angela Merkel said that she would not be giving a firm end date to the social distancing measures that have been in place since March 22 and are due to last until April 19. She said that only a “bad government” would talk about relaxing restrictions in the current situation.
However, a draft action plan, drawn up by the Interior Ministry and seen by news agency Reuters, shows that the government has already mapped out a phased return to normal life after lockdown.
Post-lockdown plan envisages compulsory mask wearing
The measures outlined in the draft action plan - including compulsory mask-wearing in public and tight restrictions on gatherings - would make it possible to track more than 80 percent of people with whom an infected person had contact within 24 hours of diagnosis.
Running on the assumption that the pandemic will last until 2021, the plan stipulates that anyone confirmed to be infected - and those they had contact with - would be quarantined, either at home or in hotels.
According to the document, this would allow border closures to be relaxed and retail stores and restaurants to reopen from April 19, as well as schools in some select regions. Strict social distancing measures would remain in place and large events and private parties would remain prohibited.