Businesses in Germany have been closed since March 16th besides grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations, and other essential services. So far in Germany, there have been 133,456 reported COVID-19 cases, 62,197 recovered patients, and 3,570 deaths. Now, a move by the German government will let some small businesses reopen on April 20th and will let schools begin to gradually reopen on May 4th. That being said, social distancing guidelines in Germany will be in effect until May 3rd, while large gatherings will still be banned through August 31st at least, and religious gatherings will remain prohibited until a new decision by the government comes about.
Included in the upcoming re-openings are: businesses that don’t exceed 800 square meters, car dealerships, bike shops, and bookstores (regardless of their size); hair salons can reopen on May 4th but workers will be required to wear personal protective equipment. Another stipulation is that all shops that reopen must adhere to regulations on hygiene and also prevent lines from forming. Restaurants will remain closed to dine-in service but alternatively can offer delivery and takeout. Unfortunately, clubs, theaters, and concert venues will remain closed. Companies continue to be encouraged to let employees work from home whenever possible.
The social distancing guidelines in Germany have required people to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) from each other and have limited public gatherings to only two people (with the exception of family members). German citizens have also been encouraged to wear masks in public and avoid travel, including locally, throughout the country and continent, and globally.
Germany’s social distancing implementations have been a “fragile, partial success,” Angela Merkel said in a press conference Wednesday. “We don’t have a lot of leeway, we have to remain focused and continue,” she stated, “Our consultations therefore decided that we cannot get ahead of ourselves. We have to understand that we must live with the virus so long as there’s no medicine or vaccine.”