Children respect social distancing rules as they line up to enter the Petri primary school in Dortmund, western Germany
Children respect social distancing rules as they line up to enter the Petri primary school in Dortmund, western Germany
PIC: AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that COVID-19 restrictions in the country would be eased while minimum social distance and hygiene rules would continue to apply.

"I think we can say that we have passed the first phase of the pandemic," Merkel said on Wednesday after a telephone conference with minister-presidents of federal states.

The Chancellor said that the current figures released by Germany's disease control agency RKI were "very pleasing" and German citizens had "lived responsibly and thus saved the lives of other people", reports Xinhua news agency.

Merkel confirmed an "emergency mechanism" which would be triggered if more than 50 new infections over seven days per 100,000 inhabitants were locally detected in a certain region.

If such rates were measured, the affected federal states would be required to reintroduce stricter measures, although states would be allowed to decide how exactly the measures would look like.

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