• 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.

Foto: A customer accepts a pack of beer and serving of pork knuckle at a drive-in beerfest in Erding, Germany on May 17, 2020. Source: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider, Johns Hopkins University

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.

Foto: May 19, 2020: The bars in the chart above show the number of deaths per 100 confirmed cases (observed case-fatality ratio) for the 10 countries most affected by COVID-19 worldwide. Countries at the top of this figure have the most deaths proportionally to their COVID-19 cases. Source: Johns Hopkin University Coronavirus Resource Center

Source: Business Insider, 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.

Foto: The area near Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is devoid of foot traffic on March 25, 2020. Source: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

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.

Foto: Medical volunteers walk to a medical practice after collecting blood and mucus samples in Berlin, Germany, on March 27, 2020. Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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.

Foto: Chancellor Angela Merkel accompanied by her bodyguards on May 13, 2020. Source: Associated Press

Source: Reuters

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.

Foto: Pupils wearing face masks sit in a gymnasium converted into a classroom in Thuringia on April 27, 2020. Source: Bodo Schackow/Picture Alliance/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider, The Local

Shops, restaurants, museums, and places of worship have also been able to reopen as long as they observe social distancing.

Foto: An employee wearing a face shield chats with a customer at his cafe in Berlin on May 15, 2020. Source: Kyodo News/Getty Images

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.

Foto: A server at Novy's Brasserie in Hagen serves guests seated at tables in small greenhouses on May 14, 2020. Source: Bernd Thissen/Getty Images

Source: The Local, Business Insider

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.

Foto: Dolls sit in a restaurant at Hotel Haase in Laatzen on May 12, 2020. Source: Julian Stratenschulte/Getty Images

Source: The Local, Business Insider

The Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, one of the oldest museums in the world dedicated to printing, made complimentary face masks for visitor use.

Foto: An employee at the Gutenberg Museum, which opened to the public on May 19, 2020, hangs complimentary face masks on a wall. Source: Andreas Arnold/Getty Images

Source: The Local, Business Insider, Museums of the World

This church in Perlin moved service outside in order to keep devotees physically apart.

Foto: Members of a Perlin parish in Perlin attend an outdoor service on May 3, 2020 Source: Jens Büttner/Getty Images

Source: The Local, Business Insider

During a broadcast on May 12, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the ingredients for a successful reopening are "social distancing, face masks, and respect."

Foto: German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Source: Associated Press

Source: Business Insider, DW Politics

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.

Foto: Augsburg's assistant coach Tobias Zellner gives an interview on May 16, 2020 in Augsburg. Source: Tobias Hase/Pool/Getty Images

Source: Insider, Business Insider

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.

Foto: Demonstrators gather in Stuttgart to protest against lockdown measures and other government policies relating to the coronavirus on May 16, 2020. Source: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Source: NPR

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.

Foto: Angelika "Geli" Päßler, owner of a Spanish Tapas Bar in Dresden, taps a beer while wearing a protective visor on May 15 2020. Source: Robert Michael/Getty Images)

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.

Foto: Fans show their support from cars at drive-in concert at Am Westwerk during the Coronavirus crisis on May 15, 2020 in Bonn, Germany. Source: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Source: The Local

Residents have been able to drive into 'car discos' and party to house music until 1 a.m. in Altenburg.

Foto: People party during a car disco event in Altenburg on May 16, 2020. Source: Jens Meyer/AP Photo

In Landshut, hosts of an annual folk fair made festivities drive-in friendly instead of calling off the event.

Foto: Guests wait in their cars to pick up food and drink during a drive-in folk festival in Landshut on May 5, 2020. Source: Armin Weigel/Getty Images