Germany could soon see all shops reopen and all students return to school in stages. The mooted changes would curtail Germany’s largely nationwide approach to restrictions, restoring an even freer hand to the states.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has agreed on further plans to ease Germany’s COVID-19 lockdown ahead of talks on the matter with state leaders, according to draft documents seen by several news agencies. The talks are scheduled for late on Wednesday morning.
What’s in the draft agreement?
* All shops regardless of size will be allowed to reopen if they adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing measures.
* All students will return to school in stages until the summer break, but with protocols to protect pupils.
* Responsibility for easing lockdown measures will now pass to state leaders who can make their own plans.
* The ban on large public events like festivals and sports will remain in place until the end of August.
* Bundesliga matches will be allowed to resume without fans in mid to late May.
* Outdoor sports for children and non-professional leagues would also be allowed to take place.
* Seniors in care homes should be allowed to receive visitors provided there is no active COVID-19 case in the facility.
What do the changes mean?
The agreement signals a further dilution of Germany’s largely uniform and nationwide restrictions — handing more responsibility on the matter back to individual states. States are individually responsible for such legislation anyway under Germany’s federal system, but in recent weeks, regional leaders had agreed to follow national guidelines on core aspects of the lockdown.