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Germany wants to extend distancing rules

The German government plans to extend its physical distancing measures until July 5. The authorities estimate that the coronavirus pandemic would start “very quickly” in the absence of precautions.

The German government plans to extend its physical distancing measures until July 5. The authorities estimate that the coronavirus pandemic would start “very quickly” in the absence of precautions.

(AFP) -Prepared by the Chancellery, this document which is to be discussed with the sixteen regional states provides in particular for maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters between people. Up to ten people – or two families – can also meet “at home in closed rooms” or in “public places”, according to this draft resolution.

This document comes at a time when two eastern Länder (Thuringia and Saxony) want to lift from June 6 almost all restrictions, raising concern from the rest of the country. The government’s draft resolution differs from the decisions of the two Länder: even after June 5, “a minimum distance of 1.5 meters should continue to be observed in principle”.

New outbreaks of infection

The “obligation to wear a mask in certain public places” must also be maintained, according to the government of Angela Merkel. As far as possible, “private meetings should be held outdoors, as the risk of infection is much lower,” said the document. The virus is “still present and, without such measures, it spreads very quickly,” he warns.

Engaged for three weeks in a gradual deconfinement, the other German regions also have a negative view of the initiatives of Thuringia and Saxony. At the head of the region most affected by the virus, Bavaria, the conservative Markus Söder thus sees in this total lifting of restrictions a “fatal signal”.

Germany has registered in recent days new outbreaks, among customers of a restaurant in Leer, on the edge of Germany, and in a church in Hesse. The chancellor hopes that there will still be restrictions in June, not just recommendations, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

Germany had 178,570 (+289 in 24 hours) officially declared cases of new coronavirus on Monday, and 8,257 deaths (+10), according to the Robert Koch Institute.

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