Germany extends coronavirus lockdown until April 19

Germany extends coronavirus lockdown until April 19

In a decision that will surprise no one, the German government has opted to extend the nationwide coronavirus restrictions until at least April 19. Urging German residents not to travel over the Easter holidays, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “A pandemic doesn’t take a vacation.” 

German lockdown extended until end of Easter holidays

“We have assessed the situation today and confirmed that the restrictions … will be valid up to and including April 19.” With these words, Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that she had agreed with the leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states that the nationwide lockdown would be extended until the end of the school holidays.

The social distancing measures, which were originally slated to end on April 5, ordered the closure of all restaurants and non-essential shops and banned public gatherings of more than two people, in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Residents asked to forego Easter trips

In a telephone conference on Wednesday evening, Merkel urged German residents to reduce social contact to an absolute minimum, including during the Easter holidays. She noted that the Easter break was usually a period spent with family or for taking longer trips, but stated firmly, “That has to be different this year.” 

Merkel and the state leaders also agreed that people should not be required to wear face masks in public. After both neighbouring Austria and the German city of Jena opted to make wearing a face mask in public mandatory, there had been some speculation that the guideline would be rolled out across Germany, but this has not been realised. 

Restrictions will be reviewed again on April 14

Earlier in the day, Merkel stated that it was “much too early to think about loosening restrictions” and that it would be far worse to lift them early, since “we are still very far away from what we need to achieve.” 

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany is still rising sharply. As of Thursday morning, there were 77.981 confirmed infections in the federal republic, including 931 deaths, according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University. 

The current restrictions will be reviewed again on April 14, the Tuesday after Easter. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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