In the last few weeks, Germany has seen very encouraging news: Covid-19 cases have been falling significantly across the country, although regions are at different stages.
In places with stable Covid rates below 100 cases per 100,000 people, terraces in cafes, bars and restaurants have been opening their doors. Some districts and cities are also beginning to open outdoor swimming pools, while other areas are opening hotels.
There are still Covid restrictions in place – but it’s a huge step back to some kind of normality after Germany entered its now infamous ‘lockdown light’ at the start of November. The aim was to reopen businesses in December. But what followed was months of widespread lockdown measures and spiralling Covid cases.
What’s happening across Germany?
Friday was all go for Berlin. Here, a woman (below) is showing her vaccination pass to get into a terrace in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt on Friday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Annette Riedl
Konstantin und Katherina Romersch make a toast in the Gasthaus Großer Kiepenkerl in Münser on Friday. Hospitality facilities can open indoors in Münster from now on. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd Thissen
Matthias Görtz and his wife Monika Görtz (below) on the garden terrace of the Schweizer Milchhäusch at the Bad Nauheim spa gardens for breakfast on Friday. Thanks to low infection figures, shops, restaurants and cafés in the Wetterau region in Hesse are once again allowed to serve customers. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst
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In Berlin (and some other places) the swimming pools opened on Friday.
Hooray! 🌞 🏊♂️ pic.twitter.com/CIDDJSkYlL
— Joe Lee-Dowd (@Jleedowd) May 21, 2021
Swimming enthusiast Bettina (below) at the Schyrenbad outdoor pool in Munich after it opened on Friday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst
Student Corinna jumps from the starting block into the pool at Schyrenbad, Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Matthias Balk
A couple enjoys a drink in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Friday afternoon. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Annette Riedl
Tables out again in Berlin ☕️get a negative test to sit at them. 💐 pic.twitter.com/zMap0iXGkf
— Rachel Loxton (@RachLoxton) May 21, 2021
A group from the Ruhrgebiet at a camping site in Münster on Friday. Camping sites are allowed to open in areas with lower Covid rates in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Guido Kirchner
— Deborah Cole (@doberah) May 21, 2021
Matthias Kunze in Magdeburg (below) brings a latte to a table at the KlosterKaffee on May 20th after reopening. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert