Berlin Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed that the government cannot give a date for a relaxation of the restrictions imposed because of the corona pandemic.
The measures due to the Corona pandemic continue to be taken until April 19, Merkel said in Berlin on Monday. "Nothing will change that." She said that health protection is always the top priority. "In any case, it will be a step-by-step procedure", she said. She said that it has not yet been decided how this will be done.
With regard to Austria, where small shops as well as DIY stores and garden centres will be allowed to reopen under strict conditions from 14 April, the Chancellor said: "We have to work out our own figures. Austria had always been `one step ahead‘ of Germany in the pandemic.“ She added that it was therefore "not advisable to talk about a date in Germany now“.
Despite the need for economic action, health protection would "always be in the foreground", Merkel stressed. The question of how to proceed would "in any case always be under the heading that we are still living in the pandemic". "The virus will not have disappeared," she said.
At the same time, Merkel emphasised that once the pandemic is over, restrictions will be completely lifted again: "As soon as the health situation allows, we will of course return to free life as we know it.“
(Original text: AFP / Translation: Mareike Graepel)