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Merkel: Germany's COVID emergency brake to expire at end of June

Merkel: Germany's COVID emergency brake to expire at end of June

Merkel: Germany's COVID emergency brake to expire at end of June

With cases of COVID-19 declining across the country, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that nationwide restrictions can expire as planned at the end of June - unless the infection situation should dramatically change. 

Nationwide emergency brake can lapse on June 30

Back in April, the German federal government took the unprecedented step of giving itself special powers to impose uniform coronavirus restrictions nationwide. The country’s Infection Protection Act was amended to include an “emergency brake” that obliged the federal states to enforce restrictions in coronavirus hotspots. 

But with infection rates now falling across the board, Merkel told reporters on Monday that the federally-imposed measures are no longer deemed necessary and can “expire” as planned on June 30. “If something develops with mutations, which we hope won’t happen, then we can reactivate it anytime,” she said. 

Germany’s 7-day incidence rate below 40 per 100.000

Merkel said that the brake had given some much-needed “clarity” and helped to bring the country’s seven-day incidence rate down to below 40 new infections per 100.000 people. She added that this would not have been possible without the efforts of the German population, for which she gave thanks. 

However, she also warned that the pandemic was not over yet and that the country may still need to reckon with renewed restrictions if the infection rate begins to rise rapidly again. “Corona is still here, even if the infection rates are fortunately declining now,” she said. “We must continue to be more sensible than we would have been if the pandemic had never happened.” 

Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz also spoke out in favour of phasing out the measures at the end of June. “The weather is getting better and the number of infections is falling,” he said. The time has now come to “gradually leave the pandemic behind us and draw conclusions from it.”

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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