Germany lifts more restrictions, Merkel urges caution

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Europa-Park visitors walk down an avenue at the park entrance while park employees guard and confetti rains from the confetti cannons in Rust, Germany, on Friday, May 21, 2021. Europa-Park is one of the first major theme parks in Germany to reopen its doors to visitors. Rust Park once again welcomed visitors after months of the forced rupture of Corona, as part of a state-approved model project. Credit: Philipp von Ditfurth / dpa through AP

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to behave responsibly, as large parts of the country relaxed more pandemic restrictions on Friday at the start of the Pentecost weekend, telling them to be careful to avoid further shutdowns.

German regions have gradually begun to ease restrictions as new ones cases are steadily declining, accompanied by an accelerated vaccination campaign.

On Friday, gardens, cafes and beer restaurants began serving customers outdoors for the first time in months, as long as they presented a negative COVID-19 test or a vaccination certificate.

As of Friday, most of the 400 German cities and counties had a weekly number of cases below the 100 per 100,000 population threshold that led to strict blockade measures. But senior officials stressed the need to stay alert.

“We can be glad that (infection rates) have decreased so far in the last few days and in the last two weeks we can think about taking steps,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

“I hope that after the long time with closures and opportunities that they didn’t have, people would treat those opportunities very responsibly,” he added. “The virus has not disappeared.”

The country’s disease control agency on Thursday reported 8,769 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 226 deaths. The country has reported 87,128 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Germany lifts more restrictions, Merkel urges caution

Europa-Park visitors walk down an avenue at the park entrance while park employees guard and confetti rains from the confetti cannons in Rust, Germany, on Friday, May 21, 2021. Europa-Park is one of the first major theme parks in Germany to reopen its doors to visitors. Rust Park once again welcomed visitors after months of the forced rupture of Corona, as part of a state-approved model project. Credit: Philipp von Ditfurth / dpa through AP

State authorities have pushed hard to reopen the hospitality and tourism business over the three-day weekend, despite their suspicions .

“It feels good to finally regain some freedom,” said Christian Klimpke, 48, an account manager who was accompanied by friends from Berlin bar Cafe am Neuen See.

“I lived here now exactly six months. I came here the day the bars closed,” said Luke Siglmans, 29, a native of Amsterdam. ” So it’s amazing to drink a real German beer on the terrace. So I’m very happy. “

Merkel said it is crucial to continue wearing masks and observing social distancing. “We have to be careful,” he said.

But “I think with the necessary responsibility and care that we hope many people, most people, have, we won’t have to talk about having to close again.”

  • Germany lifts more restrictions, Merkel urges caution

    Linus and Regina are served lunch at the Grosser Kiepenkerl in Muenster, Germany, as restaurants may open due to the city’s low rate of crown infections on Friday, May 21, 2021. Credit: Bernd Thissen / dpa via AP

  • Germany lifts more restrictions, Merkel urges caution

    A man sets up a beach bar in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Thursday, May 20, 2021. After a month of forced rest to burn the coronavirus pandemic, Duesseldorf restaurateurs will be able to welcome back from Friday, May 21, 2021. Credit: Marcel Kusch / dpa via AP

  • Germany lifts more restrictions, Merkel urges caution

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media during the press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, May 21, 2021 after the virtual summit on global health. Credit: AP Photo / Michael Sohn, pool

Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday that the government was watching closely the spread in Britain of a variant of the virus first detected in India and would decide during the day whether to impose more travel restrictions on the UK. United Kingdom. any change.

About 40% of the population in Germany has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine so far. About one in eight (more than 10 million people) have been completely vaccinated.


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