Germany’s 16 state premiers reached an agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) during a video conference on late Wednesday afternoon, according to DPA.
Under pressure from Merkel, the state leaders backed down from their originally suggested opening date of February 22nd for Friseure (hair salons).
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“Because of the importance of hairdressers for personal hygiene and the closure that has now existed for some time, it seems necessary for it to be possible to use them again,” the government wrote in a draft report.
“Significant sections of the population, especially the elderly, are dependent on them.”
They called, however, for tight hygienic measures to be in place, such as face masks for both hairdressers and their customers, and a limited number of customers at any given time.
Hairdressers were forced to close in mid-December when Germany extended its shutdown – in effect since the beginning of November – and put stricter measures in place.
Contested opening dates
Earlier on Wednesday Merkel and state governments called to extend the current shutdown – in effect until Sunday February 14th – to March 14th.
However, they reached a compromise on Wednesday evening to end it earlier on March 7th.
Merkel also compromised with state leaders in the opening dispute over schools and daycare centres (Kitas): The states are to decide on themselves when they can open their doors to pupils again.
In return, according to Spiegel, states will look into whether teachers and nursery educators can be vaccinated earlier.
Merkel and state premieres are set to decide on other opening steps on Wednesday evening.