Germany is looking ahead to relaxing Covid-19 measures and coming out of the shutdown which has been in place since November.
On Monday Merkel reportedly told her Christian Democrat (CDU) party members that the lockdown measures could be eased in several stages, combined with increased coronavirus testing.
Here are the three areas which will be focused on:
- personal contacts (this refers to how many people you can meet)
- schools and vocational schools
- sports, restaurants/cafes and culture
The aim is to put together packages from these areas to make reopening possible.
Merkel has previously said once a package of measures is relaxed, the country will wait two weeks to see how the infection situation develops before another step is taken.
The Chancellor urged for a cautious reopening, coupled with more testing.
Yet she acknowledged that the public was eager to know Germany's roadmap back to some kind of normality.
A working group with Merkel's chief of staff Helge Braun and heads of the state chancelleries are to put together a plan on how to reopen public life.
They aim to present the plan at the next talks between Merkel and the state leaders on March 3rd.
What's the infection situation in Germany?
The curve of new infections has shown an upward trend in recent days – despite the tighter lockdown measures in force since mid-December.
On Monday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 4,369 new infections within a day, compared to 4,426 a week ago.
The number of new infections reported within seven days per 100,000 inhabitants (7-day incidence) continued to rise to 61.0 nationwide. The previous day, it was 60.2.
There are major concerns of Covid-19 variants pushing up numbers.
“The mutation is unfortunately destroying our good development right now,” Helge Braun reportedly said during the Monday meeting.