German Curbs Set to Ease as Covid Cases Drop Below Key Level

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Germany’s pandemic restrictions could ease further in the coming days after the national contagion rate fell below a key level for the first time in nearly two months.

On Friday, infections dropped to 96.5 per 100,000 people over the past seven days, the first time the figure was below 100 since March 20, according to the RKI public-health institute. The incidence rate had peaked at nearly 170 in late April.

German Curbs Set to Ease as Covid Cases Drop Below Key Level

Some German states, such as Schleswig-Holstein, have already begun easing restrictions, and others are likely to follow in the coming days, if infections remain at this level. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s controversial lockdown law, which mandated tougher restrictions, allows curbs to be loosened if the incidence rate falls below 100 for five consecutive working days.

In Baden-Wuerttemberg, restaurants in areas that have already reached this target can reopen and hotels can accept guests starting this weekend. If trends in Berlin continue, the capital is planning to allow museums to open their doors on Wednesday and outdoor dining and public pools resume next Friday.

With infections falling and immunizations accelerating, German authorities have become increasingly optimistic that Europe’s largest economy can relax limits on movement, including reopening outdoor dining and easing restrictions on non-essential stores. The country has already widened privileges for people who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

On Wednesday, Germany set a new daily record for immunizations, administering 1.35 million shots, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Twitter. Almost 2% of the German population was vaccinated over the past two days, taking the total of those who have received at least one dose to 35.9%.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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