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Germany to ease lockdown as Merkel hails end of first phase of coronavirus pandemic

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Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday announced a range of steps agreed with Germany’s 16 federal state leaders to ease the coronavirus lockdown, saying the first phase of the pandemic had passed, although there was still a long way to go.

“We are at a point where our goal of slowing the spread of the virus has been achieved and we have been able to protect our health system .. so it has been possible to discuss and agree on further easing measures,” Merkel told reporters.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

People from two households will be allowed to meet and more shops will open, provided hygiene measures are in place, but guidelines on keeping a distance of 1.5 meters and wearing mouth and nose masks on public transport remain.

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