Senior politicians in Germany have begun debating a potential easing of restrictions imposed over the coronavirus epidemic ahead of a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, APA reports citing Reuters.
On Monday, Merkel and premiers of Germany’s 16 states expect to get recommendations from the German National Academy of Sciences that the chancellor has said will weigh heavily in considerations for a possible loosening in movement and social distancing rules in place since around mid-March.
The discussion takes place as the number of new infections and deaths declines in Germany, which has weathered the pandemic better than European neighbours Italy, Spain and France.
But Germany’s export-driven economy - Europe’s largest - has been hit hard and is estimated to contract 9.8% in the second quarter, the biggest decline since records began in 1970 and more than double the decline seen during the global financial crisis in 2009.
Merkel will discuss the recommendations of the science academy with her cabinet on Tuesday. On Wednesday, she will hold a video conference with the state governors to discuss a possible path out of the lockdown and how to manage the recession it is expected to cause.