Germany will take new steps towards normalization in May, including reopening shops and schools after weeks of closure to control the spread of the corona virus. This emerges from a draft contract that AFP presented on Wednesday.
"Even after the first steps to open it began on April 20, the number of new infections remained low," the document says, with "no new wave of infections" identified so far – which justifies the series of bolder reopening steps.
So far, only certain children, such as those who are about to take exams, have been allowed to return to class.
Now, however, kindergartens and elementary schools will be opened again next week.
"Step by step, schools should enable all pupils to be educated while at the same time implementing suitable hygiene measures and observing distance rules," the document says.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and prime ministers from the 16 federal states are expected to sign the text on Wednesday.
In the meantime, it will be up to the individual regions to decide how to proceed with the reopening of the universities.
As for business, politicians said everyone could reopen, but requirements "for hygiene, access control, and avoiding queues" would be imposed.
So far, only stores with a floor space of 800 square meters were authorized to resume sales.
States also have a free hand in reopening restaurants from May 9, and in decisions that affect theaters, concert halls, night clubs, and gyms.
The only important limitation for corona viruses, which is expected to persist for several months, is the ban on large gatherings such as sports games, cultural events or festivals.
According to the text, such events remain prohibited until "at least August 31".
In addition, blocking measures will be reintroduced when the number of coronavirus infections increases again.
If more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants are identified within seven days, the city or district affected must impose "an appropriate blocking plan".
In the case of a "localized and clearly contained infection pattern" – for example in a single facility such as an old people's home – the measures could only be restricted to the respective affected location and not to an entire region.
The government also generally urges the Germans to keep a safe distance from each other and to wear masks in shops and in public transport.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)