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Germany to extend coronavirus lockdown until May 3 with some easing: sources

Angela Merkel

Germany will consider relaxing restrictions next week on shops introduced last month to slow the spread of the coronavirus but extend limits on movement until May 3, several participants in talks between regional and central government said on Wednesday. 

Chancellor Angela Merkel is to hold talks with state premiers of Germany’s 16 states from 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) to agree whether and how to loosen some of the restrictions given some improvement in the situation. 

Among the issues under discussion are when schools, shops and factories may re-open, the option of making people wear protective face masks in public and the merits of a mobile phone app to help trace new cases. 

Merkel’s cabinet has already decided to extend border controls to Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark by 20 days to early May, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. 

With several EU countries now trying different ways to ease their restrictions, the European Commission is urging member states to coordinate their efforts, warning that failure to do so could result in new spikes in cases.