German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday that Germany will need to re-open cautiously and step-by-step in order to avoid a sudden return to lockdown if COVID infections pick up again.
“We cannot afford ups and downs,” Merkel told participants of an online conference of the center-right CDU/CSU parliamentary group, according to several sources who spoke to reporters following the meeting.
Next Wednesday, Merkel will meet with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states to discuss the way out of a lockdown that began in November and was extended until at least March 7.
What are Merkel’s plans?
Merkel told the lawmakers Tuesday that Germany is currently in the “third wave” of coronavirus, as fast-spreading virus variantscontinue to circulate.
The chancellor told lawmakers that loosening of restrictions should be carried out in three stages.
The first is lifting restrictions on personal contacts between households, followed by schools and sports. The third stage would be re-opening gastronomy and culture.
These re-openings should be combined with increased testing capacity. Vaccinating teachers and day care workers should also be given priority. Primary schools and daycares have been opened in 10 states since Monday.
wmr/rs (AFP, dpa, Reuters)
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