First alleviations of corona measures announced in Germany

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Thu 16th Apr, 2020

After almost four weeks, the first measures to combat the coronavirus in Germany are being loosened - but private and public life remains severely restricted.

On April 15th 2020, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the first relaxation of the measures, even though contact restrictions will remain in place until the beginning of May. In mini-steps, public life is to get back on track. The message: we have to get used to a life with the virus.

The most important decisions:

  • Major events are generally forbidden until August 31. Affected are football matches with spectators, larger concerts, shooting matches and funfair events. Whether football matches without an audience are possible has not been decided yet.

  • Shops with a sales area of up to 800 square metres can reopen from next Monday (20th April) under certain conditions. Irrespective of the size of their store, book, car and bicycle dealers will then also be able to welcome customers again.

  • Hairdressers are to reopen their stores from 4 May onwards, subject to certain conditions, such as hygiene and the avoidance of queues.

  • Schools are to resume teaching again on 4 May, starting with the final classes, the classes that will take final exams next year and the top primary school classes. However, upcoming exams for the final classes of this school year can also take place earlier. Individual federal states that are more strongly affected by the pandemic, such as Bavaria, may and will make different arrangements for school re-openings: see below!

  • There is no obligation to wear a mask in public but the "urgent recommendation" is to wear so-called everyday masks in local traffic and when shopping.

  • The contact limitations will remain in force for the time being until 3 May. Citizens should also continue to avoid private travel.

  • Restaurants and other gastronomic businesses will remain closed for the time being. Exceptions are made for the delivery and collection of food for consumption at home. Bars, clubs, discotheques, pubs as well as theatres, operas and concert halls also stay closed.

  • The ban on assembly in places of worship remains in force. In churches, mosques and synagogues, no religious celebrations and events are to take place for the time being.

  • It is also crucial that citizens in public places keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres and only go there with members of their own household or at most one other person.


Important notification:

Following the consultations between Chancellor Merkel and the heads of the federal states, Bavarian Premier Söder announced a delayed relaxation of measures in Bavaria. The cabinet will agree on the exact schedule on April 16.

Bavaria, for example, does not want to start school operations step by step until 11 May. Priority is to be given to graduating classes that can start preparing for the exams on April 27. From May 11th onwards, there will be follow-up classes, i.e. for students who will leave school the following year. Childcare facilities and elementary schools will remain closed in Bavaria for the time being. Söder announced that the ministers of education would draw up a concept by 29 April.

According to Söder, certain shops up to 800 square meters will also open "somewhat delayed" in Bavaria.
He also said that he could not imagine that a major event like the Oktoberfest could take place this year.

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