State premier Bodo Ramelow from Die Linke (Left Party) said on Saturday that he wanted to make lockdown measures, including face masks and contact restrictions, a thing of the past in Thuringia.
Ramelow said that in light of low coronavirus case numbers a regional solution was needed for the state rather than the continuation of federal regulations, reports DPA.
“From June 6th, I would like to lift the general lockdown and replace it with a package of measures that focus on local authorisations,” he said.
As of Sunday, the central state was one of three in Germany which did not report any new coronavirus cases. In total, Thuringia has had 2,865 confirmed coronavirus cases, and 2,450 recoveries. There have also been 152 deaths.
The decision to lift restriction was met with both criticism and praise from around Germany. “What Ramelow is doing isn't brave but foolish,” wrote Die Welt, pointing out outbreaks in other states over the weekend following a church service and restaurant visit where social distancing rules weren't followed.
“I consider a complete quick relaxation to be premature,” said Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania's Interior Minister Lorenz Caffier (CDU).
Yet Christian Lindner, leader of the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) agreed with Ramelow's decision on Twitter, writing that it makes sense on a regional level due to the current figures.
Current coronavirus restrictions in Germany are in place until June 5th, but were expected to be extended in some fashion.
On Monday, the eastern state of Saxony also announced that it would let go of its restrictions after June 5th – making only a few exceptions which have not yet been announced.