- Germany has started reopening on a state-by-state basis after enacting coronavirus lockdown measures beginning March 22.
- Germany is among the 10 countries most affected by the coronavirus worldwide, but has the lowest fatality rate, according to data from John Hopkins University.
- The fatality rate is a calculation that divides the number of coronavirus deaths by the number of infections.
- Merkel has urged leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states to lift restrictions gradually; however, thousands of Germans gathered in cities the past two weeks to protest measures still in place.
- Photos of drive-through beer festivals, glass houses placed over restaurant tables, and sparsely populated soccer stadiums show how Germany’s reopening slowly, but surely.
Germany, one of the countries most impacted by the coronavirus based on number of deaths, has started lifting coronavirus restrictions following a lockdown that began in mid-March.
The country is among the 10 countries most affected by the virus, but it has the lowest fatality rate, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Germany went into lockdown beginning March 22, banning public gatherings of more than two people, closing schools and non-essential businesses, and urging residents to stay five feet away from each other.
Source: New York Times
The number of new daily infections peaked one week into the lockdown, then began to fall off.
Source: Our World in Data
Germany's success in managing the spread of the virus has been attributed to early lockdown measures, widespread testing, a well-funded healthcare system, and clear messaging from the government, Business Insider's Bill Bostock previously reported.
Source: Business Insider
Following a drop in the daily rate of new coronavirus cases, Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the governors of Germany's 16 federal states on April 15 to discuss a plan for reopening.
Soon after, Germany made plans to reopen on a state-by-state basis, beginning with in-person classes for graduating high school students in late April.
Shops, restaurants, museums, and places of worship have also been able to reopen as long as they observe social distancing.
Restaurants have come up with particularly creative distancing solutions. This brasserie in Hagen has set up outdoor dining 'greenhouses' so that the restaurants can safely serve customers outside regardless of weather.
In Laatzen, a hotel is placing realistic-looking plastic dolls at tables to signal that they are off-limits and make restaurants feel less empty.
The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, one of the oldest museums in the world dedicated to printing, made complimentary face masks for visitor use.
This church in Perlin moved service outside in order to keep devotees physically apart.
During a broadcast on May 12, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ingredients for a successful reopening are "social distancing, face masks, and respect."
Last weekend, Bundesliga, Germany's soccer league, resumed operations and became the first major league in the world to do so. Mike booms and a ban on handshakes have kept games and interviews social-distancing compliant.
Though the country is lifting restrictions, thousands of Germans gathered in large cities, from Stuttgart to Berlin, over the past two weekends to protest lockdown measures still in place.
Merkel has cautioned against reopening too quickly, saying last month that Germany must pursue a "smart and careful" reopening strategy to prevent a wave of new infections.
Source: New York Times
For now, across all states, large gatherings are banned until August 31. That hasn't stopped Germans from finding workarounds, like drive-in concerts.
Source: The Local
Residents have been able to drive into 'car discos' and party to house music until 1 a.m. in Altenburg.
In Landshut, hosts of an annual folk fair made festivities drive-in friendly instead of calling off the event.