Merkel warns German citizens of long time of restrictions due to COVID-19

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Photo taken on March 18, 2020 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivering a video speech on COVID-19, in Berlin, capital of Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged solidarity among citizens in a speech on Wednesday evening, calling the COVID-19 the nation's biggest challenge since World War II. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
Photo taken on March 18, 2020 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivering a video speech on COVID-19, in Berlin, capital of Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged solidarity among citizens in a speech on Wednesday evening, calling the COVID-19 the nation's biggest challenge since World War II. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)

The restrictions during the coronavirus crisis in Germany would continue for a long time, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Thursday.

“We are not living in the final phase of the pandemic, but are still at its beginning,” said Merkel during her speech in the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament.

The numbers of new cases of COVID-19 and recoveries in Germany were only a “fragile interim success,” stressed Merkel. “We are moving on thin ice.”

The situation was “deceptive,” Merkel said. The current COVID-19 numbers in Germany would say nothing about how things would look in one or two weeks.

She also stated that she supported “with full conviction” the decisions of Germany’s state governments to introduce face masks in public places while simultaneously reopening shops in Germany.

However, Merkel was concerned about the implementation of last week’s decisions by the federal governments which she described as “very brisk” or even “too brisk” in parts. She did not specify which federal states or which implementations she was referring to.

Last week, the contact restrictions in Germany were extended until May 3. As of Wednesday, all German states have successively decided to make masks compulsory in public transport. In some states, shopping without a mask is still allowed while most have made a face mask or equivalent mouth-and-nose cover mandatory. Enditem

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