Coronavirus: Latest updates

First patients transferred from the Netherlands to Germany +++ Here you find the most important news about the spread of the lung disease in Germany.

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dpa

October 24th, 2020: First patients transferred from the Netherlands to Germany

Rotterdam (dpa) - For the first time in the second wave of the corona pandemic, patients were transferred from the Netherlands to German hospitals. The transfers are intended to reduce the pressure on intensive care units in the Netherlands. Almost every second bed in intensive care units is already occupied by a patient suffering from Covid-19. The Netherlands is one of the European countries most affected by the second wave of the pandemic. North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony had offered to take over patients from the Netherlands.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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October 23rd, 2020: Montgomery warns of a critical mark

Berlin (dpa) - Following the recent increase in new corona infections in Germany, the German chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, has warned of a critical mark. With 20,000 new infections a day, the situation is getting out of control. "Then it would no longer be possible for health authorities to track and interrupt the infection chains," he told the "Rheinische Post" (Friday). "Then we are threatened with a second lockdown because the virus cannot be stopped in any other way". Most recently, more than 11,000 new corona infections were detected in Germany within one day for the first time.

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October 23rd, 2020:

October 22nd, 2020

October 22nd, 2020: Health Minister Spahn infected with corona virus

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is the first member of the German government to be infected with Corona. He has so far only mild symptoms and is in domestic quarantine. However, the cabinet as a whole should not be quarantined. Because of the strict hygiene measures taken during cabinet meetings, it is unlikely that other members of the government have been infected by Spahn, the Federal Government stated.  Family Minister Franziska Giffey has already tested negative with a rapid test.

The number of detected new corona infections within one day exceeded the 10,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday with 11,287 cases.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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October 22nd, 2020

October 21th, 2020: Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations

Brussels (dpa) - German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed, the German government has promised NATO support for its "Allied Hand" emergency plan. According to this plan, medical personnel, pioneers and experts from the force would be made available for foreign missions to counter nuclear, biological or chemical hazards as required. The contingency plan is to be activated, for example, if a collapse of the health care system is imminent in allied or NATO partner countries due to very high infection rates and the affected state asks for support.

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October 20th, 2020: Experts warn against the concept of herd immunity

Heidelberg (dpa) - The well-known Berlin virologist Christian Drosten and other colleagues oppose a corona strategy with herd immunity as a goal. "We note with concern that once again voices are growing louder in favour of a strategy of pandemic control based on the natural infestation of large parts of the population with the aim of herd immunity," says a statement by the Gesellschaft für Virologie (GfV). Uncontrolled infestation would lead to an escalating death toll. For even with strict isolation of the elderly, there are still other risk groups. "An increased risk of a severe Covid-19 course is found, for example, in obesity, diabetes, cancer, renal failure, chronic lung disease, liver disease, stroke, after transplantation and during pregnancy. The pursuit of herd immunity is unethical as well as medically, socially and thus economically high-risk.

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October 19th, 2020: Two thirds of Germans satisfied with coronavirus management

Berlin (dpa) - Over two thirds of Germans say they are mostly satisfied with the federal government's management of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the opinion research institute Kantar on behalf of the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Some 68 per cent of those surveyed rated pandemic-handling as "rather good," according to the results published on Sunday. For 27 per cent rated the response "rather bad," while 4 per cent answered "don't know," according to the Sunday newspaper. Asked about the obligation to wear masks in all public places in risk areas, when it is not possible to keep a consistent distance, 89 per cent said the measure is right, 10 per cent said it is wrong and 1 per cent answered "don't know." The restriction of private celebrations to 10 participants from a maximum of two different households, which applies in risk areas, is considered correct by 74 per cent and wrong by 22 per cent while 4 per cent answered "do not know." Of those surveyed, 70 per cent said they were in favour of a curfew in the catering trade and a general ban on the sale of alcohol from 11 pm onwards in risk areas. According to the newspaper, 27 per cent reject these measures and 3 per cent answered with "do not know."

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October 19th, 2020

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October 18th, 2020: Vaccine already in production

The Mainz-based pharmaceutical company Biontech has announced a breakthrough. The vaccine called "BNT162b2" works very well. Even mass production has already begun. This is reported by theeuropean.de. They have now applied for the final approval process and are on the verge of "putting an end to this pandemic".

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October 17th, 2020: Aid for corona patients from EU

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the sharp rise in the number of infections, some German Länder have signalled their willingness to admit corona patients from EU neighbours for intensive care again. As a spokesman of the Federal Foreign Office said, to his knowledge there are already preparatory talks between North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands and between Bavaria and the Czech Republic. Progress has also been made at European level in the coordination of such cross-border transfers of corona-induced intensive care patients. The EU is making 220 million euros available for cross-border transport of patients, equipment and personnel, said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Robert Koch Institute reported the third consecutive German record: 7,830 new coronavirus infections were registered within 24 hours.

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October 16th, 2020:

October 16th, 2020: “It's not five minutes to twelve, it's twelve.”

Berlin (dpa) - The head of the Department of Systems Immunology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig has issued an urgent warning against a loss of control in corona infections. "It is not five to twelve, but twelve to turn the ship around," said Michael Meyer-Hermann. Germany is on the threshold of exponential growth, he said. Meyer-Hermann is working with mathematical models to predict the course of the COVID-19 epidemic. He advises the German government and recommends that the obligation to wear masks should be maintained, and fines are also very important. At the same time, he warned against discussions about major events and a shortening of the quarantine period in the current situation. 

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October 15th, 2020:

October 15th, 2020: Stricter rules for corona hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - Out of concern about an uncontrollable spread of the corona pandemic with unforeseeable consequences for citizens and the economy, the Federal Government and the Länder are stepping up countermeasures in hotspots. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister Presidents agreed on Wednesday on uniform rules for cities and regions with high infection rates. In concrete terms, the Chancellor and the Minister Presidents agreed on this:

Mask obligation: In cities and regions with rapidly increasing corona figures, the mask obligation is to be extended. It is to apply from 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, also in places where people come together more closely or for longer periods.

Private celebrations: In regions with rapidly increasing corona numbers, private celebrations will generally be limited to a maximum of ten participants and two households. The limit applies if there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days.

Contact restrictions: If the new infections exceed 50, only a maximum of ten people will be allowed to meet in public spaces in future. If the new measures do not bring the increase to a halt, this will be reduced to up to five people or the members of two households.

Curfew: Also in the event of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, a curfew will be imposed at 23.00 for the catering trade. Bars and clubs will be closed.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free in your Language. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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October 14th, 2020:

October 14th, 2020: More than 5000 new corona infections for the first time since April

Berlin (dpa) - According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the health authorities in Germany have reported more than 5000 new corona infections within one day for the first time since mid-April. According to the RKI, the total number was 5132; on Wednesday the figure was 2828 new infections. The previous peak of 6294 had been reached on 28 March, but at that time much less testing was done and many infections went unnoticed. The number of corona patients in the intensive care unit rose to around 620 Covid patients compared to 450 the previous week.

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October 13th, 2020: Warning of herd immunity through infection

Geneva (dpa) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned against relying on herd immunity through mass infection to combat the corona pandemic. "Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy against an outbreak, let alone a pandemic," said WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Such an approach would be ethically and scientifically problematic. Herd immunity - the threshold at which a virus can no longer spread in a population - must be achieved through vaccination, not infection, as with measles and polio. However, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is optimistic that flock immunity can be achieved through vaccination.  "We are very, very confident that we will voluntarily reach the goal of a sufficiently high vaccination rate.

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October 12th, 2020: "Corona is an accelerator of change"

Düsseldorf (dpa) - The corona pandemic is changing the German retail sector like no other crisis in recent decades. Internet trade is booming, but many pedestrian zones and shopping centres are much emptier than a year ago. While food retailers and DIY stores are posting record sales, customers in fashion shops are staying away. The change in numbers: In the 3rd quarter, e-commerce sales in Germany were up a whopping 13.3 percent on the previous year's level at 19.3 billion euros. For the Managing Director of the retail consultancy BBE, Joachim Stumpf, it is therefore clear that "Corona is a great accelerator of structural change in the retail sector".

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October 11th, 2020: More and more german cities are becoming corona hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - Corona case numbers are rising rapidly in major German cities, and more and more metropolitan areas are now exceeding the limits. At the weekend, Cologne and Stuttgart reported exceeding the important warning level of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days. Berlin, Frankfurt, Bremen and Essen are also above this threshold. The police are carrying out massive controls to ensure that the distance rules and the obligation to wear masks are observed. Several prime ministers of federal states make drastic appeals, especially to young people, to stick to the rules so that the disease does not spread any further.

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October 10th, 2020: RKI and Bundeswehr to send experts to corona hotspots

Berlin (dpa) - The German Armed Forces and the Robert Koch Institute are to send experts to corona hotspots in future. According to an agreement reached on Friday by Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with the mayors of large cities, this will apply if more than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants are registered in seven days. At the latest when the figure rises to 50 infections, the cities are to introduce more extensive restrictions. The cities should reduce the workload of their public order offices so that they can control the restrictions. The federal and state governments are to discuss at short notice how federal and state police forces can also help to monitor compliance with the rules.

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October 9th, 2020: "The pandemic will be decided in the big cities."

Berlin (dpa) - Rapidly rising corona infection figures in Germany are alarming the Federal Government. In the capital Berlin and in other cities, the so-called 7-day incidence has already exceeded the critical 50 level. For this reason, Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to meet with the mayors and mayors of the eleven largest German cities this Friday in a video conference. The cities include Berlin, Hamburg, Bremen, Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, Essen, Leipzig and Stuttgart. Hamburg's mayor Peter Tschentscher had already said on Wednesday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin": "The pandemic will be decided in the metropolises".

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October 8th, 2020: Minister "worried" about Corona situation

Berlin (dpa) - At a joint press conference in Berlin, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn and the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, expressed "great concern" at the rising corona figures in Germany. "We do not know how the situation in Germany will develop in the coming weeks. It is possible that we will see more than 10,000 new cases per day. It is possible that the virus will spread uncontrolled". Germany has so far come through the crisis well because of the protection measures in place. Only by following the rules of hygiene and distance could a large proportion of the infections be prevented.

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Research Minister: Vaccination from mid 2021

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek maintains her assessment that corona vaccines could be available for many people by mid 2021. "At the moment, research is moving at a gigantic speed," said the CDU politician in Berlin on Thursday. Currently, the Ministry of Research is assuming that broad sections of the population could be vaccinated by the middle of next year.

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October 7th, 2020: German vaccine before approval

Mainz (dpa) - The corona vaccine candidate developed by the Mainz-based company Biontech enters the approval process. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will test the active substance BNT162b2 in a so-called rolling review process, announced Biontech and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which is supporting the development. This procedure involves the ongoing submission and evaluation of clinical trial data. The EMA's decision to start the process is based on the encouraging preliminary data from preclinical and early clinical trials in adults. This makes Biontech the first German company and, with AstraZeneca, the second company overall to be approved by the EMA for this process.

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October 6th, 2020: Corona brings new risks for insurance companies

Munich (dpa) - Fewer accidents, but more cyber attacks: According to Allianz, the corona pandemic has long-term effects on insurance companies. In the first six months of the corona crisis, property and liability losses have fallen in some areas of corporate business because there have been fewer accidents. This was reported by Allianz's industrial insurance subsidiary AGCS in a study published in Munich on Tuesday. On the other hand, the risks of hacker attacks increase when many employees access corporate networks in comparatively poorly secured home offices. According to an estimate by the British insurance exchange Lloyd's, Covid-19 could cost the industry 110 billion dollars worldwide this year. The AGCS itself has so far set aside 450 million euros for corona damage. The bulk of this is accounted for by cancellation insurance for films, television productions and major events, as AGCS board member Thomas Sepp explained.

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October 5th, 2020:

October 5th, 2020: Legal right to a home office?

Berlin (dpa) - The German Minister of Labour, Hubertus Heil, wants employees to have a legal right to a home office 24 days a year in future - unless there are comprehensible reasons against it. The announced "Mobile Work Act" stipulates that an employer may only refuse the desire for mobile work if there are organisational or operational reasons for doing so, as reported by the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag". The reactions were mixed: Employee representatives and the Greens do not go far enough, while employers and the SPD coalition partner in the federal government, the Christian Democratic CDU, were sceptical. SPD politician Heil also based his proposal on the experiences of the Corona era. "The virus has taught us that much more mobile working is possible than we thought."

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October 4th, 2020: Sixth German vaccine in test phase

Langen (dpa) - In Germany a corona vaccine based on a vaccine against smallpox may be tested on humans. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI), which is responsible for vaccines, has approved the study. It is a so-called vector vaccine which will introduce genetic material from the Covid 19 virus into the body, the PEI said. It was developed by the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) and IDT Biologika GmbH in Dessau. The Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the Philipps University of Marburg and the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf are also involved. According to PEI, four so-called RNA vaccines and now two vector vaccines in different phases are in clinical trials in Germany.

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October 3rd, 2020: Germany celebrates unity under corona conditions

Germany celebrates the 30th anniversary of German Unity under corona conditions. To kick off the central celebrations in Potsdam on Saturday, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble took part in an ecumenical service in the church of St. Peter and Paul. Due to the pandemic, only 130 guests were allowed to attend, including delegations of citizens from the Länder. The celebrations under the motto "We together" were hosted by Brandenburg's Minister President Dietmar Woidke as acting President of the Bundesrat.

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October 2nd, 2020: Merkel: Corona restrictions reminded me of GDR

Berlin (dpa) - The period of severe corona restrictions in spring reminded Chancellor Angela Merkel of her life in the GDR. "My childhood and youth were very much present to me at that moment," said the CDU politician in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). In March, she said, politics had had to intervene very strongly in people's civil liberties. "That I had to tell people that you were only allowed to be on the streets as a household or as a couple, that no events were allowed to take place, that children were not allowed to visit their parents in the retirement home - these were serious restrictions.

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October 1st, 2020:

October 1st, 2020: Second German vaccine developer in second phase

Tübingen (dpa) - The Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company Curevac has started the second phase of testing its vaccine candidate. The first participant in the Phase 2a study has been vaccinated, a statement said. The trial is running in Peru and Panama with 690 healthy participants. First data are expected in the fourth quarter. After that, the company plans to start the pivotal Phase III study with up to 30,000 participants. Curevac was the second German company, after Biontec of Mainz, to receive approval for a clinical trial.

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September 30th, 2020: Federal and state governments tighten the reins again

Berlin (dpa) - Federal and state governments are taking the reins again in view of the continuing high corona figures just before the autumn holidays. A fine of at least 50 euros is now threatened if restaurant visitors give false information about themselves in guest lists. "False personal details are not a trivial offence," said Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) on Tuesday after consultations with the prime ministers of the Länder. If the number of infections in districts increases, there will be restrictions on the number of people attending private parties. There will be no further relaxation of the corona measures for the time being. Merkel cited the rising infection figures as a cause for concern. A new shutdown must be prevented at all costs. Bavaria's Minister President Markus Söder (CSU) also warned against a general lockdown throughout the state. "More masks, less alcohol and smaller celebrations" was the "basic triad", said Söder.

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September 29th, 2020:

September 29th, 2020: UN Secretary General: More than one million corona deaths "agonising milestone”

New York (dpa) - UN Secretary General António Guterres has described the number of more than one million people who have died after infection with the coronavirus as an "agonising milestone". "It is a stunning figure", Guterres said in New York on Tuesday night, according to the press release. "Nevertheless, we must never lose sight of the individual lives: They were fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, friends and colleagues." Guterres called on people around the world to continue to observe the rules of distance and hygiene and to put on masks. "We can overcome this challenge." This requires responsible leadership, science and global cooperation. Earlier, data from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore showed that more than one million people have died worldwide from infection with the virus since the beginning of the corona pandemic. More than 33.2 million infections have been detected. Experts assume that there is a high number of unreported cases.

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September 28th, 2020: Highly effective antibodies against coronavirus identified

Researchers at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have identified highly effective antibodies against the corona virus SARS-CoV-2. The researchers initially isolated almost 600 different antibodies from the blood of people who had survived a COVID-19 disease triggered by SARS-CoV-2. Laboratory tests enabled them to narrow down this number to a few particularly effective ones, which they then artificially replicated using cell cultures. The so-called neutralising antibodies identified bind to the virus, as structural analyses show, and thus prevent it from entering cells and multiplying. They are now pursuing the development of a passive vaccination.

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September 27th 2020: Corona crisis hits few households financially

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - According to a survey, most private households in Germany will be spared financial losses in the corona crisis. "After the corona pandemic had raged for half a year, we observe that the financial situation of households has neither significantly worsened further nor recovered significantly after the first shock in March 2020," says Andreas Hackethal from the Frankfurt Leibniz Institute for Financial Market Research Safe. "Measured against the reality of people's lives, it is therefore confirmed that Germany has so far come through the crisis relatively well.“

According to the survey conducted at the beginning of September, 17 per cent of the 10,800 households surveyed are struggling with income losses, but the vast majority of 83 per cent do not see their situation deteriorating or even improving. The data for the so-called household crisis barometer were collected for the seventh time.

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September 26th, 2020: 60 million euros aid for students in financial distress

Berlin (dpa) - In recent months, the German state has paid a total of around 60 million euros to students who find themselves in financial difficulties because of Corona. This figure was announced by Achim Meyer auf der Heyde, Secretary General of the Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW), in Berlin on Friday. The Studentenwerke are responsible for processing applications for emergency aid. According to the figures, 135,000 applications have so far been approved, 80,000 applications rejected. In the Corona crisis, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research had made 100 million euros available for emergency aid - money that does not have to be paid back.

Meanwhile, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Saturday morning that the number of new coronavirus infections in Germany has reached its highest level since April. Within one day the public health authorities in Germany reported 2507 new corona infections.

 

September 25th, 2020: Spahn advises against travelling abroad during autumn and winter holidays

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has advised citizens not to travel abroad during the autumn and winter holidays in view of rising corona cases. "You can also take a holiday at home", the CDU politician said on Friday in the ZDF "Morgenmagazin". During the Corona pandemic, it had been shown time and again that people returning to their home countries were increasingly carrying the virus. "I think we should learn from this together for autumn, winter and Christmas holidays", said Spahn. This is hard for tour operators, but cannot be changed in the current situation.

September 24th, 2020:

September 24th, 2020: "Pandemic is only just beginning"

Berlin (dpa) - Berlin virologist Christian Drosten believes that Germany is not yet sufficiently prepared for the coming period in the face of the corona pandemic. "We need to change things to control the situation in the coming months," he said. "The pandemic is only just beginning." It must also be clear that the approval of a vaccine does not immediately solve the problem, Drosten said. First, priority must be given to risk groups. "Apart from the expected competition for distribution, it is not so easy to fill so many vaccine doses into bottles and then vaccinate them," he explained. "That's why it's already an undertaking for the whole year 2021.

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September 23rd, 2020: Ethics Council rejects proof of immunity

Berlin (dpa) - In the debate on how to deal with the coronavirus, the German Ethics Council clearly rejects the introduction of official proof of immunity at present. The reason is "considerable uncertainties" about immunity after an infection and the validity of antibody tests, the independent advisory committee explained. Ethics Council chairwoman Alena Buyx (photo) referred to the very controversial social debate on corona immunity certificates. Some people imagine "a kind of free ride", with which anything is possible again in a pandemic - others see it as a harbinger of an "immune-based two-tier society".

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September 22nd, 2020: Christmas services in stadiums and marketplaces?

Hanover (dpa) - In view of continuing restrictions due to the corona epidemic, the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) is gearing up for Christmas services in football stadiums and marketplaces. Church services will also be held in drive-in cinemas, the EKD announced in Hanover on Tuesday. In addition to the deployment of many volunteers, there will be cooperation with the fire brigade and the technical relief organisation, in order to be able to celebrate safely in central squares.

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September 21st, 2020: New strategy for the cold season

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced a new corona test strategy and new quarantine rules in view of the cold season. For example, rapid tests are to become part of the new testing strategy because they are now also of better quality. He also specified plans to set up so-called fever outpatient clinics. "It is important to have an infrastructure that ensures that people do not infect each other in the waiting room. This makes sense for Corona and also for the flu and a possible flu epidemic," said Spahn on Monday in Berlin.

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September 20th, 2020: Spahn: Health system not overburdened

Berlin (dpa) - According to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, the German health system is not currently overburdened despite rising corona infection figures. With almost 2,300 new infections in one day, the highest level since April has been reached, Spahn wrote on Twitter. "At the moment, our health care system is coping well with the situation, but the dynamics throughout Europe are worrying," he added. He once again appealed to citizens to keep their distance, wear mouth and nose protection and observe hygiene rules.

Health authorities in Germany had registered 2,297 new corona infections on Friday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced. The peak in the number of new infections reported daily was more than 6,000 at the end of March/beginning of April. The number then tended to fall and then rose again from July onwards. The number of new infections detected also depends on how many people are tested.

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September 19th, 2020: Corona pandemic stops carnival

Düsseldorf/Cologne (dpa) - The typical Cologne Rose Monday procession (photo from 2019) will not take place in 2021 due to the Corona pandemic. The session and street carnival in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia will largely be cancelled in the 2020/21 season. According to the will of the state government and the large carnival associations to protect people from further infections, there will be no more classic carnival meetings, nor will there be carnival parades in the familiar form.

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September 18th, 2020: Ready to start: Vaccine developer BioNTech takes over production facility

Mainz (dpa) - For the production of a possible corona vaccine, the Mainz-based company Biontech is taking over the production facility in Marburg from the Swiss pharmaceutical group Novartis. Subject to regulatory approval, Biontech plans to manufacture up to 250 million doses of the potential vaccine at the plant in the first half of 2021. The contract was signed on Wednesday evening.

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September 17th, 2020: Confidence in the state has risen sharply

Berlin (dpa) - People's confidence in Germany's political institutions has increased considerably. The proportion of citizens who consider the state to be capable of fulfilling its tasks increased by 22 percentage points to 56 percent compared to last year. This is shown by the new "Public Service" citizens' survey conducted by the civil service association dbb. The dbb chairman Ulrich Silberbach primarily attributed the trends to the predominantly positive assessment of the actions of the state and the civil service in the Corona crisis.

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September 16th, 2020:

September 16th, 2020: Commission expects several vaccines

Berlin (dpa) - The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute expects that there will be several different vaccines against the new coronavirus in Germany. "In view of the large number of potential Sars-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, it is likely that several vaccines will eventually be approved in Germany", Commission Vice-Chairwoman Sabine Wicker told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers (Wednesday). It could be that individual vaccines would be particularly suitable for certain population groups - for example older people. The German government expects a vaccine against coronavirus to be available in Germany for parts of the population in the first few months of next year, but for the general population it will probably not be available until the middle of the year.

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September 15th, 2020: Corona could reduce the number of burglaries to an all-time low

Berlin (dpa) - The number of home burglaries in Germany could fall to an all-time low due to the corona pandemic, according to the insurance industry. "Developments in the first half of the year indicate that we will see the lowest number of burglaries since our statistics began in 1981," announced Jörg Asmussen, Managing Director of the German Insurance Association (GDV).

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September 14th, 2020: Corona accelerates the move away from cash

Munich (dpa) - According to a consumer study, the Corona crisis is accelerating the gradual move away from cash by Europeans. According to the study, only 36 percent of consumers in ten European countries prefer to pay cash on average, according to the financial experts of the management consultancy PwC Strategy& in their study published on Monday. A year ago, at 43 percent, the figure was significantly higher. However, there are still very big differences within Europe: in Germany, 56 percent prefer to pay cash, in Sweden only 15 percent.

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13 September 2020: Patient protectors: Involve Bundestag in vaccination strategy

Berlin (dpa) - From the point of view of patient protectionists, the Bundestag should be involved in determining the distribution of a possible corona vaccine. It was clear that a vaccine would not be immediately available for everyone, the chairman of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, told the German Press Agency. "So there is a need for prioritisation, which must not be left to officials or scientists alone". In order to create transparency and distributive justice, the Bundestag should lay down ethical guidelines. "Only the members of parliament have the democratic legitimacy here." Parliament should ensure that those in need of care, their relatives and nursing and medical staff are given priority.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) had already pointed out that the Vaccination Commission was working on proposals where some things were already foreseeable. "First of all, those who are exposed to a risk due to their jobs - nurses, doctors and medical staff - will be vaccinated. And then risk groups such as the very elderly or people with pre-existing conditions will be vaccinated," he told Focus Online (Friday). He is optimistic that after a few months there could be enough for everyone - if there is a vaccine then. Spahn confirmed: "There will be no compulsory vaccination.

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September 12, 2020: A respectful culture of debate is called for

Hanover (dpa) - Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) has called for a respectful debate culture in the Corona crisis. He also called on critics not to retreat into their WhatsApp or Facebook bubble. Controversial discussions are necessary, but the question is how these debates are conducted, Spahn said on Friday at a health forum in Hanover. It is important to find a common denominator, to argue on the issue and to take care of each other. The tone of the debate should not be set by demonstrations against the Corona measures as in Berlin. "In the pandemic, I would also like us Germans to become aware of what we have achieved together," said Spahn. He said that the fact that Germany was in a comparably good position in the pandemic compared to neighboring countries was also thanks to the health system and the commitment of its citizens. Pride in what we have achieved must also be developed and cohesion must be maintained.

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September 11th, 2020: Germ-free escalators

Munich (dpa) - Stadtwerke München and Münchner Verkehrsgesellschaft test germ-free escalators. Six escalators in the Marienplatz underground station are currently being equipped with special UV disinfection. The whole thing works like this: In the sealed area the handrails are irradiated with UV light. This is intended to destroy the micro-organisms within seconds.

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11.09.2020:

September 10th, 2020: Travel warning ends

Berlin (dpa) - The travel warning for almost all of the good 160 countries outside the EU and the Schengen area will end on 30 September. After that, according to a decision by the Federal Cabinet, there will be assessments tailored to the situation in the individual states. A travel warning is not a ban, but is intended to have a considerable deterrent effect. However, it also has a positive side for consumers: it allows travellers to cancel bookings for package holidays free of charge.

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September 9th, 2020: Hotels and restaurants in crisis mode

Berlin (dpa) - Between March and June of this year alone, the hotel and restaurant industry recorded a year-on-year drop in turnover of 17.6 billion euros, according to the Dehoga hotel and restaurant association in Berlin on Tuesday. "Our establishments were the first to be affected by the consequences of the coronavirus and we will be the ones in all our forms of operation to be the last to be allowed back on the grid," said Dehoga President Guido Zöllick. But he hopes for unbureaucratic solutions. "It will be important that local authorities continue to be generous in approving outdoor areas or wind shelters, conservatories or pavilions, as well as in the use of radiant heaters, in order to extend the outdoor gastronomy season".

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September 8th, 2020: Merkel discusses the future of the car industry

Berlin (dpa) - In the midst of the Corona crisis Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is discussing with the car industry the difficult situation of Germany's key industry and central questions about the future. A video conference in the evening will focus on strategic issues such as digitalisation, networking and autonomous driving. However, the corona crisis is weighing on the car industry and demand has fallen. Many companies, especially suppliers, are struggling with major problems. That is why calls for stronger support have arisen before the discussions. The car industry directly employs more than 800 000 people in Germany.

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September 7th, 2020:

September 8th, 2020:

September 7th, 2020: Payment of the Corona child bonus starts

Berlin (dpa) - As of this Monday, the parents of around 18 million children in Germany will receive 300 euros extra per child. The money does not have to be applied for; it is paid out automatically. Prerequisite: A child must have received child benefit for at least one month in 2020. Almost two out of three recipients want to spend all or part of the one-off child bonus directly again. This is shown by a survey commissioned by the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW).

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September 6th, 2020:

September 6th, 2020: German government helps textile industry in developing countries

Berlin (dpa) - As part of a worldwide emergency corona programme, Development Minister Gerd Müller has announced aid for the textile industry in seven particularly affected countries. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Madagascar are to receive €14.5 million to stabilise the sector. This will help around 2 million people, the CSU politician told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group (Saturday). "Global supply chains have collapsed. Millions of people lost their jobs overnight", Müller said in explanation.

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September 5th, 2020: 5000 new jobs in public health service

Berlin (dpa) - As a consequence of the continuing corona pandemic, the Federal Government and the Länder want to create at least 5000 new and permanent full-time jobs in the Public Health Service (ÖGD) by the end of 2022. In a first step, there should be at least 1500 jobs for doctors, other specialist staff and administrative staff by 31 December 2021. In addition to the new posts, the aim is to improve the digitisation of health offices and authorities. The 375 public health offices in Germany play an essential role in, for example, tracking infection chains and ordering tests and quarantines.

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September 4th, 2020: Reduction of the quarantine period?

Berlin (dpa) - Health politicians from several political groups have spoken out in favour of shortening the quarantine period for suspected cases of corona. "I think it makes a lot of sense to limit the quarantine period to five days", SPD member Karl Lauterbach told "Die Welt". "We know that the vast majority of people are no longer contagious five days after the onset of symptoms, even if the test still shows a positive result". The Berlin virologist Christian Drosten had pleaded for a shortening in order to maintain the acceptance of the measures in society. People with suspected infection should only have to isolate themselves for five days instead of 14. With this proposal he goes "to the pain threshold of epidemiology", he said in his NDR podcast on Tuesday.

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September 3rd, 2020: Experts expect 100,000 private bankruptcies

Hamburg (dpa) - According to the expectations of the information service provider Crifbürgel, private insolvencies will increase significantly in the coming months. Around 6.8 million consumers in Germany are already considered to be over-indebted. Added to this are solo self-employed and freelancers from a wide range of sectors who have lost their entire income from one day to the next and unexpectedly find themselves in financial difficulties. Crifbürgel expects 85,000 private insolvencies this year and 100,000 next year.

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September 2nd, 2020: Hope for millions of Covid infected people

Biochemists and virologists from the Goethe University and University Hospital Frankfurt have for the first time created an overall picture of the communication of a cell infected by SARS-CoV-2 viruses. In cell culture experiments, the scientists succeeded in stopping virus replication with a series of clinically tested cancer drugs. Further tests with humans are needed. But the advantage is that approved drugs have a huge developmental advantage, so that clinical trials could be started very quickly on the basis of the results and fewer further experiments.

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September 1th, 2020: Signs of relaxation in the labour market

Nuremberg (dpa) - The number of unemployed people in Germany rose again in August, albeit at the usual seasonal rate as in the previous month. According to the Federal Employment Agency, 2.95 million people were out of work, 45,000 more than in July and 636,000 more than a year ago. As in July, there had been no additional corona-induced increase in unemployment, said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Federal Employment Agency's Executive Board, on Tuesday in Nuremberg. According to provisional figures from the Federal Employment Agency, 5.36 million people in Germany were on short-time working in June. In the meantime, following the massive increase in March and April, the number of employees for whom companies are applying for short-time work is continuing to fall.

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August 31th, 2020: Corona warning app with 18 million downloads

The number of app downloads in the two largest app stores is expected to reach 2.75 billion in the current year, an increase of 28 percent over the previous year. This is reported by the digital association Bitkom. "The most important App of the year 2020 is the Corona Warn-App with meanwhile almost 18 million downloads", says Bitkom CEO Dr. Bernhard Rohleder.

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August 30th, 2020: Steinmeier: "Attack on the heart of our democracy"

Berlin (dpa) - Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has strongly condemned the protests on the steps of the Reichstag building in Berlin on Saturday evening. "Reich flags and right-wing extremist vulgarities in front of the German Bundestag are an intolerable attack on the heart of our democracy. We will never accept this," Steinmeier declared on Sunday.
"Our democracy is alive," emphasized Steinmeier. Anyone who is angry about the Corona measures or doubts their necessity could do so, even publicly, including in demonstrations. "My understanding ends where demonstrators are harnessed to the carts of enemies of democracy and political agitators. Steinmeier thanked the policemen and policewomen, "who acted extremely calmly in difficult situations.

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August 29th, 2020: Protests against Corona politics police dissolve demonstration

Berlin (dpa) - According to the police, some 18,000 people have gathered in Berlin in protest against the conditions imposed to protect against the Corona virus pandemic. However, the police did not allow a planned demonstration march through the city centre on Saturday afternoon to start because the minimum distances to prevent infection were not observed and the demonstrators were mostly not wearing any mouth and nose cover.

The Berlin authorities actually wanted to ban the rallies, but they were defeated in court. The decision of the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin against the police's banning order became known on early Saturday morning.

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August 28th, 2020: Bundesliga in empty arenas until the end of October

Berlin (dpa) - The Bundesliga will have to play in front of largely empty spectator stands until at least the end of October. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Minister Presidents of the Länder agreed on Thursday that a working group at the level of the heads of state chancelleries should draw up a proposal for dealing with fans at nationwide sporting events over the next two months. Major events where contact tracing and compliance with hygiene regulations is not possible should not take place until at least the end of December 2020.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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August 27th, 2020: Minimum fines for violation of the obligation to wear masks: 50 Euro

Berlin (dpa) - In future, a fine of at least 50 euros will be imposed in Germany for violations of the obligation to wear masks, for example in buses, trains and shops. This was agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of 15 of the 16 federal states. Saxony-Anhalt will, however, be the only federal state not to support the scheme.

In addition, travel returnees from risk areas will be able to end a corona quarantine at the earliest by means of a test on the fifth day after their return. It is also being discussed whether the tests should remain free of charge.

Major events where contact tracing and compliance with hygiene rules is not possible should not take place until at least the end of December 2020. A Länder working group is to propose regulations by the end of October for uniform contact with the public at nationwide sporting events.

Digitisation in schools is to be promoted. The Federal Government wants to support the Länder with an immediate programme of another 500 million euro.

Nationwide upper limits for participants in private parties proposed by the Federal Government have not been agreed between the Federal Government and the Länder.

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RKI expects coronavirus vaccine by early 2021

Berlin (dpa) - The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) expects one or more vaccines against the new coronavirus to be available at the beginning of next year. However, it is likely that there will not be enough vaccine available for the entire population from the beginning. Therefore, the Standing Commission on Vaccination should develop a concept on how to make the best possible use of the stocks.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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Edition Deutschland: download the magazine as an e-paper for free. The topics range from the EU's response to the Corona pandemic to Germany's EU Council Presidency.

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August 26th, 2020: Property prices rise despite Corona crisis

Wiesbaden (dpa) - Apartments and houses in Germany have continued to become more expensive despite the Corona crisis. In the second quarter, prices for residential property rose by an average of 1.4 percent compared to the first quarter of the year, the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday. This represents an increase of 5.6 percent over the same period of the previous year. This means that the increases were in the range of the previous quarters, explained the Wiesbaden statisticians. Apparently, the immense economic consequences of the pandemic have so far hardly affected the real estate boom. Especially in large cities, but also in rural areas, there were strong increases.

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August 25th, 2020: Corona crisis tears holes in public finances

Wiesbaden (dpa) - The Corona crisis has torn a deep hole in German public finances. The Federal Government, the Länder, municipalities and social security funds spent 51.6 billion euro more than they earned in the first half of the year, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday on the basis of provisional data. In March and April, parts of the German economy had virtually come to a standstill as a result of the pandemic.

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August 24th, 2020: German scientists run concert test to see how coronavirus spreads

Leipzig/Halle (dpa) - On Saturday, University Medicine Halle started a concert experiment on major events in the corona pandemic with a complex check-in. Fever was measured in all volunteers before entering the Arena Leipzig. The people were also equipped with so-called contact tracers, which were used to trace their routes. Pop star Tim Bendzko ("Keine Maschine") played three concerts in different scenarios in front of 1500 volunteers. 
With the experiment, the researchers want to find out how large events can be possible despite corona. The aim of the data collection is a mathematical model that can be used to estimate the risk of a corona outbreak in an event hall. According to the study management, results should be available in autumn.

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August 23rd, 2020: Economic expert: Second lockdown would be a disaster

Berlin (dpa) - A second lockdown in the Corona crisis would be catastrophic for the economy in the view of the head of the "Wirtschaftsweisen", Lars Feld. Feld told the German Press Agency (dpa): "If an acceleration should become apparent and the infections continue to spread, then a second lockdown is imminent. That would be a catastrophe from an economic point of view. There is then the danger of a permanent slowdown in growth." Feld is Professor of Economic Policy and Regulatory Economics at the University of Freiburg and has been Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts since March 2020. The experts are colloquially referred to as "Wirtschaftsweise".

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August 22nd, 2020: 2,000 new infections exceeded

Berlin (dpa) - The number of new coronavirus infections reported daily in Germany has exceeded the threshold of 2,000 and reached its highest level since the end of April. The public health authorities in Germany have reported 2,034 new corona infections within one day (data as of 22 August, 0:00 am), according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Saturday morning. The last higher figure was on 25 April with 2055 new infections registered. The peak in the number of new infections reported daily had been more than 6,000 at the end of March/beginning of April, after which the values had dropped significantly. Since the end of July, the number of detections has been rising again.

The current increase in the number of cases does not allow direct conclusions to be drawn about the occurrence of infections, as the number of tests carried out has also risen immensely. However, the RKI announced a few days ago that the increasing number of cases cannot only be explained by the increased number of tests. Nationwide, there is a large number of smaller outbreak incidents, which are connected, for example, with larger celebrations in the circle of family and friends, according to the report of Friday (August 21). In addition, Corona cases are identified to a large extent among people returning to Germany, especially in the younger age groups.

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August 21st, 2020: Study: Home office protects the climate

Berlin (dpa) - Telephone and video conferencing instead of daily car journeys to the office: If more people work more often in their home office, this saves a lot of greenhouse gases, according to a Greenpeace study. CO2 emissions from traffic could be reduced by 5.4 million tons per year if two out of five employees worked from home two days a week, according to a study by the Institute for Future Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) commissioned by the environmental protection organization. By way of comparison, the entire transport sector in Germany produced 166 million tonnes of CO2 last year. The study is only concerned with daily commuting, not with the additional greenhouse gases generated by business trips.

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August 20th, 2020: Tax revenues recover after corona collapse

Berlin (dpa) - After the sharp slump caused by the corona, the state's tax revenues recovered somewhat in July. They were only 0.3 per cent below the values of July 2019, the Ministry of Finance reported. One reason for this was that many tax payments deferred in the spring were now due. However, the Corona crisis continues to weigh on tax revenues. For example, the wage tax has decreased considerably, among other things due to short-time work. For the year as a whole, the federal government expects a tax decrease of almost ten percent. Not included in the bill are pure municipal taxes. Recently there have been cautious signs of economic recovery, it is said. Industrial production is picking up, and foreign trade is also doing better again. The labor market is also recovering despite high short-time work figures.

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August 19th, 2020: New infections - highest value since May

Munich/Berlin (dpa) - The Robert Koch Institute has registered the highest number of new infections in Germany for more than three months. Within one day the health authorities in Germany reported 1510 new corona infections. This is the result of data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) from early wednesday morning. The last higher number was on May 1st with 1639 new infections registered. The peak of the daily reported new infections was at the beginning of April with more than 6000, after that the values had decreased significantly. Since the end of July, the number has been rising again. 

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August 18th, 2020: Short-time work has proved its worth in pandemic

Wiesbaden (dpa) - Thanks to short-time working, the corona crisis has so far had comparatively little impact on the labour market in Germany. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 44.7 million people were still employed in Germany in the second quarter, 1.3 percent less than a year ago. However, the gross domestic product slumped much more sharply in the same period: by 11.7 percent. The total number of hours worked also fell far more sharply than the number of people in employment. According to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), it fell by 10.0 percent, primarily because of the intensive use of short-time work.

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August 17th, 2020: High number of unreported infections

Kupferzell (dpa) - In an antibody study on the corona hotspot in the Kupferzell in southern Germany, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) found a high number of unreported cases of infections not detected by tests. According to the RKI researchers, there were almost four times (3.9) as many infected persons in the community of 6000 inhabitants as previously known. In 7.7 percent of the 2203 adults tested, antibodies against the Sars-CoV-2 virus were detected. However, even such a relatively high value compared to the federal average is not sufficient to prevent the feared "second wave", said RKI Vice President Lars Schaade. In its study "Corona Monitoring Local", the RKI is investigating the infection process at three other hotspots in addition to copper cells. In total, the data will be collected from 8000 people.

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August 16th, 2020: Merkel: Emergency situations in the world may intensify

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of the worsening of humanitarian emergencies in the world. "We must assume that both the pandemic and climate change will change the situation for many people in the world," the Chancellor said in her weekly video message published on Saturday. She added that this made it all the more important for the country to provide humanitarian aid quickly. As an example, she cited the deployment of the German Armed Forces and the staff of the Technical Assistance Agency in Lebanon. With a view to the World Humanitarian Aid Day on Wednesday (19 August), Merkel also emphasised how important it is to ensure the protection of aid workers on the ground.

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August 15th, 2020: Surplus masks to be sent abroad

Berlin (dpa) - The German government wants to sell corona protection masks that are currently not needed in Germany to other countries. It is planned to provide the World Health Organization (WHO) with protective equipment for this purpose, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. The current pandemic situation in Germany would make it possible to put some of the currently surplus masks into a national reserve - and to make a small proportion available to countries that urgently need masks due to their corona situation. This would also be an act of solidarity.

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August 14th, 2020: Bavaria reports almost 1400 positive travellers

Of the total 107,376 corona tests that have so far been carried out at the Bavarian test stations by travel returnees, 1389 were positive. The Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL) has informed the BR. However, the Bavarian Health Minister Melanie Huml had to admit on Wednesday afternoon that numerous people tested had not yet been informed of the results. According to her, tens of thousands of the findings had not yet been communicated, including about 900 corona-positive ones. These should now all be informed in the course of Thursday.

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August 13th, 2020: School Summit in the Chancellery

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), SPD leader Saskia Esken, Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek (CDU) and several state ministers of education and cultural affairs will discuss the situation at schools under corona conditions in the Chancellor's Office this Thursday. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert announced that the discussion in the late afternoon would be an "informal exchange" on the challenges facing schools in times of pandemic. In the past few days, the main topic of discussion was the question of how strict the hygiene rules at the schools should be in order to avoid many infections and renewed closures.

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August 12th, 2020: Worrying: Most new infections since May

Berlin (dpa) - The number of new infections reported daily in Germany has reached its highest level since the beginning of May. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), health authorities have reported 1226 new corona infections within one day. The value was last higher on 9 May with 1251 new infections registered. "This is undoubtedly worrying," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn on Deutschlandfunk radio. "Here we see that due to the return of travelers, but also due to parties of all kinds, family celebrations in many places in the country, we have small and large outbreaks in almost all regions of the country.

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August 11th, 2020: In the hospitality industry, 60 percent see their existence threatened

Berlin (dpa) - About 60 percent of the operators of restaurants and hotels in Germany now see the corona crisis as a threat to their existence. This is the result of a recent survey of 7200 restaurateurs and hoteliers by the German Hotel and Restaurant Association Dehoga. According to the survey, 59.6 percent of the participating businesses stated that they were fighting for economic survival because of the consequences of the epidemic. For the period from January to July, the respondents cited an average sales loss of 60.1 percent compared to the same period last year.

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August 10th, 2020: Paul-Ehrlich-Institut: Corona vaccinations from the end of the year

Berlin (dpa) - The Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI), which is responsible for the approval of vaccines in Germany, remains confident in the search for a corona vaccine. "I currently assume that approvals will be granted at the end of 2020 and beginning of next year, provided that the Phase III trial data are positive," said PEI President Klaus Cichutek to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). So-called Phase III trials are used to test whether a vaccine actually protects against infection.

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August 9th, 2020: Medical association warns of growing carelessness

Berlin (dpa) - The doctors' association Marburger Bund warns of growing carelessness in the corona pandemic in Germany. Doctors are concerned that too many people are now behaving in a risky manner. "We are already seeing a continuous increase in the number of infections - it is flat, but it is there," said chairwoman Susanne Johna. At the same time, the willingness to comply with the protection rules seems to be decreasing among a smaller part of the population. "So we have to talk about a trend that shows us that it can't go on like this." Distance, hygiene and the obligation to wear masks must be observed more consistently again. Perhaps some people should be confronted again with the fact that Covid-19 disease is still dangerous.

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August 8th, 2020: Start for corona test obligation

Berlin (dpa) - In the fight against the coronavirus, testing is now mandatory in Germany for all holidaymakers returning from countries with many infected persons. Those who do not have a negative test result from shortly before departure must be tested upon arrival in Germany.  This is possible free of charge up to three days after entry, as stipulated in a decree issued by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. The tests are to be done directly at airports or later in other test centres and practices. Since last Saturday, all holidaymakers can voluntarily have themselves tested free of charge. 

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August 7th, 2020: Record growth in exports

Wiesbaden (dpa) - The German economy is recovering from the Corona crisis. In June exports rose strongly by 14.9 per cent compared to the previous month. This was the strongest month-on-month increase since the start of the 1990 time series. For the year as a whole, however, the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI) expect exports to fall by 15 percent.

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August 6th, 2020: Concept stands, but fan return remains uncertain

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - The German Football League has done its homework, and the German government also distributed cautious praise. But the return of fans to the stadiums remains a controversial issue with many parties involved and an uncertain outcome. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said that it was "crucially important" how the regulations passed by the 36 clubs on Tuesday were implemented together with the local authorities.

The DFL general meeting had decided by a majority, but not unanimously, to ban alcohol and to cancel standing room until 31 October in case fans return home. In addition, no guest tickets are to be distributed until the end of the year and measures are to be taken to trace chains of infection. This seems most likely to be achieved by means of personalised tickets.

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August 5th, 2020: Corona crisis halves time to school for children

Munich, August 5, 2020 - The time in which children were occupied with school every day has been halved during the Corona period. It fell from 7.4 to 3.6 hours per day. This is the result of an ifo survey of 1099 parents in Germany conducted in June. According to the survey, 38 percent of the students studied for a maximum of two hours a day, 74 percent for a maximum of four hours. At the same time, the time spent watching television, playing computer games and using mobile phones increased from 4.0 to 5.2 hours. "The results show how important it is that we return to normal school lessons while observing the protective measures. Where closures are unavoidable, schools should switch directly to online teaching," says Ludger Wößmann, head of the ifo Centre for Economics of Education.

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August 4th, 2020: Corona-Warn-App will be available in five more languages

Berlin (dpa) - The German Corona Warning App will soon be available in another five languages. "The Arabic, Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian versions are currently under development," said Digital Minister of State Dorothee Baer. So far, the app launched in Germany on 16 June is available in German, English and Turkish. The app is intended to help stop the further spread of the virus.

Due to technical problems so far, the politician said that there will always have to be improvements for such large IT projects. There have been impairments in the background update of the app, she said. "Therefore we recommend opening the app once a day." This will ensure that all warning messages are displayed.

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August 3rd, 2020: The federal government helps artists 

Berlin (dpa) - The federal government is expanding its art collection to help artists in the Corona crisis. The Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters told the newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" that this year's purchasing budget for the collection of contemporary art within the Neustart Kultur programme has been increased by 2.5 million to three million euros. "By increasing the acquisition budget at short notice, we are enabling the Federal Art Collection to provide a rapid and effective impulse to stimulate art production in the current difficult situation," she said.
According to the information provided, the money will be used to purchase around 150 works of art for the collection before the end of this year. An independent purchasing commission is to select suitable works of art at art fairs as well as from artists directly and in galleries. Smaller galleries in particular should benefit from the broad distribution of purchases, and artists should be "encouraged and supported" by purchasing directly from studios.

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August 2nd, 2020: Minister Altmaier for tough response on Corona violations

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier pleads for harsher penalties for violations of the corona rules. "Those who deliberately endanger others must expect that this will have serious consequences for them", the CDU politician said. "We must not endanger the recovery that is just beginning by accepting a renewed increase in infections." Despite rising infection numbers, up to 20,000 people demonstrated in Berlin on Saturday for an end to all corona conditions. Already during the rallies, the hygiene rules were not observed, so the police ended them. Health Minister Jens Spahn also sharply criticized the Berlin protest march. "Yes, demonstrations must be possible even in Corona times. But not like this", the CDU politician wrote on Twitter. Distance, hygiene rules and everyday masks served to protect everyone.

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August 1st, 2020: Start for free corona tests for holiday returnees

Berlin (dpa) - In the fight against the spread of the coronavirus during the summer travel season, voluntary tests are to be started on a broad front among holiday returnees. Starting Saturday, all those entering Germany within 72 hours of arrival can be tested free of charge, even without signs of illness. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn called for the new testing possibilities to be used. "Anyone returning from a trip should get tested - voluntarily and free of charge."

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July 31th, 2020:Trade asks for more discipline

Berlin/Wiesbaden (dpa) - In view of the renewed rise in infections, German retailers have called on consumers to be more disciplined in complying with the corona rules. In a second lockdown, many retail companies could no longer be saved, warned Josef Sanktjohanser, president of the German Retail Association (HDE). The HDE fears that the Corona crisis will probably result in sales losses of 40 billion euros for trading companies outside the food trade. This could cost 50,000 trading locations in Germany their existence, said Sanktjohanser.

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July 30th, 2020: German economy collapses dramatically

Wiesbaden (dpa) - Economic output in Germany plummeted in the second quarter as a result of the corona crisis. The gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 10.1 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to a first estimate by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Thursday.

On the other hand, the number of unemployed rose from June to July only at the usual seasonal rate. In July 2.91 million people were out of work, 57,000 more than in June. And the number of people in short-time work decreased significantly. In May, the number was 6.7 million, the highest number ever recorded in the Federal Republic.

 

July 29th, 2020: Corona infection figures have risen again

Berlin (dpa) - Following a renewed rise in corona infection figures in Germany, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has called on the population to comply with the rules of conduct. In the past seven days, there have been 3,773 newly registered virus infections throughout Germany. 

The development is very worrying, confirmed Lothar Wieler, President of the RKI. The RKI is the leading authority in questions of the pandemic in Germany. It is now important to prevent the virus from spreading again rapidly and uncontrolled. "We can only do this together", said Wieler. People have become careless, he said. There is concern that a reversal of the trend may be in sight. Whether this is the beginning of a possible second wave cannot be known - but it could be, Wieler stressed.

Meanwhile, the Scientific Institute of the AOK health insurance company (Wido), the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi) and the Technical University of Berlin have published the results of a study on the mortality of corona patients in Germany. According to the study, a good fifth of the corona patients admitted to German hospitals in spring did not survive. Mortality was particularly high, at 53 percent, among patients who were ventilated. Of the hospital patients who were not ventilated, 16 percent died.

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July 28th, 2020: Compulsory tests for travellers from risk areas

Berlin (dpa) - Holidaymakers entering Germany from corona risk areas will in future have to be tested for the virus on their return. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn announced that testing would be compulsory, and that this will probably come into force next week. The tests are to be free of charge for everyone. Together with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government will determine in a list which countries are considered risk areas.

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July 27th, 2020: Corona crisis drives digitisation forward

Gütersloh (dpa) - According to IT experts, the Corona crisis is driving digitization forward. The majority of experts (85 percent) see a long-term trend towards video conferencing and the home office (84). This is the result of a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation in Gütersloh in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich. In April, 211 experts on digitization, technology and artificial intelligence from several industries were surveyed online.

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July 26th, 2020: Germany is on the path to economic recovery

Nuremberg (dpa) - According to economists at leading financial institutions, the economy in Germany is on the road to recovery after the corona collapse. "The leading indicators are giving cause for optimism," said Marc Schattenberg of Deutsche Bank in a survey by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur. The second quarter, which saw the peak of the corona crisis, was surprisingly robust.

Katharina Utermöhl of the Allianz Group said with regard to the latest indicators: "The recession is over. The German economy was no longer in intensive care. The situation remains critical, however, and setbacks cannot be ruled out.

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July 25th, 2020: Free Covid-19 Airport Tests

Berlin (dpa) - All travellers should be able to be tested for the coronavirus free of charge upon their return to Germany. This is to take place at airports and seaports, but also in their home towns. The federal and state health ministers passed a resolution to that effect at a switching conference on Friday.

People who return to Germany from countries with a high risk of infection, so-called risk areas, should be tested there. Those who do not have a negative test will have to be placed in home quarantine for two weeks, as has been the case so far.

The number of corona cases in Germany has increased in the last few days. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the health authorities recently reported 781 new corona infections within one day.

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July 24th, 2020: Mask and distance become a habit

Cologne (dpa) - For the overwhelming majority of voters, measures to contain the corona pandemic have now become a habit. Just under 80 percent of those surveyed in the "Deutschlandtrend" on ARD's "Morgenmagazin" television programme said they had kept their distance and got used to wearing a mask. According to this, 19 percent said that this was still difficult for them. Two percent of those questioned said that the measures did not affect them or they did not comply with them.

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23 July 2020: Germans are shopping more again

Nuremberg (dpa) - Since 1 July, a lower value added tax has been in force in Germany. The regular rate fell from 19 to 16 percent, the reduced rate from 7 to 5, with the aim of boosting consumption and giving a new boost to the economy in the corona pandemic. In the opinion of the consumption researchers at the Nuremberg-based company GfK, the reduction in VAT has resulted in considerable purchasing incentives. "The propensity to buy has risen very sharply", said GfK consumer researcher Rolf Bürkl when presenting the consumer climate survey for the month of July. Consumers apparently intend to bring forward planned major purchases, which will help consumption this year," said Bürkl.

In addition to the consumer climate, the income expectations of Germans also seem to be improving again - even if expectations are still significantly lower than last year. According to GfK, this is also due to the expected payment of a child bonus. Overall, the state aid would have an enormous cushioning effect. Bürkl also regarded the recently reached compromise at EU level as a strong sign that the public authorities are ready to help.

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22 July 2020: Labour market recovery by 2022

Nuremberg (dpa) - The German labour market will take up to three years to recover from the corona crisis. "It will certainly take until 2022 or 2023 before we get back to normal," said Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Board of the Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg, in an interview with the German Press Agency. "But we believe that this can be achieved again." Currently, 2.85 million people in Germany are without jobs, almost 640,000 of them as a result of the pandemic.

The current crisis is virus-related and hardly caused by economic or structural factors. It is therefore possible that a recovery will occur if fundamental factors move in the right direction. "At present, we are assuming a downturn that is primarily due to the effects of the pandemic. The labour market was in good shape," said Scheele.

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July 21, 2020: New German-Chinese study on antibodies

Essen/Wuhan (dpa) - According to a study, corona patients have in many cases permanently so many antibodies that a renewed infection with the virus can probably be fended off. This is the result of a still unpublished study on 327 Covid-19 patients in Wuhan, China, who are among the first infected people worldwide. In more than 80 percent of the patients, biologically active antibodies capable of rendering the virus harmless were still detected six months after their illness, said virologist Ulf Dittmer, Director of the Institute of Virology at Essen University Hospital.

The study of the German-Chinese joint laboratory in Wuhan involved Chinese experts as well as three virologists from Essen. The results of the study will be presented to a specialist journal for review in the next few days.

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July 20th, 2020: More funding for Corona research

Berlin (dpa) - The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has increased funding for coronavirus research. The originally planned funds of 15 million euros have been tripled, Minister Anja Karliczek announced in Berlin on Monday. With now 45 million euros, almost 90 "outstanding projects" are to be funded. These include studies on the efficacy of treating Covid-19 patients with blood plasma from people who have already survived an infection, research into the influence of genetic factors such as blood group on the severity of the disease, and studies on ethical, legal and social issues related to the pandemic.

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July 19th, 2020: Less revenue from the truck toll

Berlin (dpa) - The corona crisis leads to less revenue for the state in the truck toll. As the Federal Ministry of Transport announced, toll revenues in the first half of the year fell by 148 million euros to around 3.59 billion euros compared to the same period last year. The background is a decline in truck mileage in view of the corona restrictions. Trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 7.5 tons or more drove around 4.5 percent less on toll roads than in the same period last year. The truck toll applies to motorways and trunk roads. The revenue is used for these federal highways, for example for repairs

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July 17th, 2020: Corona-restrictions only narrowly limited

Berlin (dpa) - The German Association of Cities and Towns has welcomed the decision of the federal and state governments to react more precisely to local outbreaks of the corona pandemic in future. "Necessary protective measures and, above all, restrictions on movement must, however, be limited in time and space," said Burkhard Jung (SPD), President of the Association of German Cities and Towns, to the German Press Agency. "In any case, they mean cuts in the daily lives of citizens and restrict basic rights. It is therefore good if we can act as precisely, flexibly and effectively as possible to interrupt chains of infection.

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July 16th, 2020: Employees in Germany like home office

Konstanz (dpa) - According to a study by the University of Konstanz, a large proportion of employees in Germany would like to have the opportunity to work in their home office even beyond the corona crisis. 56 percent of those surveyed would like to work at least partly from home in future, write the authors, who are led by economist Florian Kunze. "For many respondents, the desired model is a balanced mixture of home office and presence work." The global corporation Siemens has drawn the first conclusions in this direction. The Managing Board decided that 140,000 employees, half of the global workforce, will work in their home offices two to three days a week in the future. However, there is no right to a home office.

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July 15th, 2020: Steinmeier invites to the "digital graduation ceremony 2020”

Berlin (dpa) - As a consolation for the corona-induced parties and balls for school leavers, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier invites to the "digital graduation party 2020". On the Internet site "www.abschlussfeier-2020.de", Steinmeier, his wife Elke Büdenbender and more than 70 celebrities address the approximately 1.9 million school leavers this year who have had to largely forego celebrating due to the pandemic. Starting this Wednesday, they will publish photos from their own school days and short videos with advice for the new phase of life.

"School is now behind you. Be curious about what's coming," Steinmeier advises the graduates. Some things will be more difficult after Corona. "But I want to encourage you: Your knowledge, your skills, your curiosity, your commitment, all that is needed." Under the hashtag "#abschlussfeier2020" young people may post their own articles on social media.

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July 14th, 2020: German vaccine developer already very far

Mainz (dpa) - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an accelerated approval procedure for two potential vaccine candidates against coronavirus for the Mainz-based company Biontech and the American group Pfizer. These are the most advanced variants of a potential RNA vaccine called "BNT 162b1" and "BNTb2". For the USA, Biontech and Pfizer recently presented initial results for a drug candidate, specifically for "BNT 162b1". The companies called these results "encouraging", and several experts had also spoken of positive results.

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July 13th, 2020: Survey: Germans fear corona spread through holiday travel

Berlin (dpa) - The majority of citizens in Germany fear that summer holidays will cause the number of corona infections to rise again. 69 percent believe that this will lead to a significant increase in the number of infections in Germany, according to the current ZDF "Politbarometer", which was published on Friday. 28 percent said they did not believe that.

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July 12th, 2020: Altmaier names criterion for relaxation of mask duty

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier has named a criterion for an end to the obligation to wear masks in the retail sector: the decrease in the number of new daily corona infections in Germany to under 100. "As long as we have an average of several hundred new infections every day, it will have to stay everywhere where the minimum distance of 1.5 metres is not observed," the politician told the daily newspaper "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". "If we are permanently double-digit in the number of infections, physicians and politicians will have to rethink." On Saturday, the Robert Koch Institute reported 378 new corona infections within one day.

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July 11th, 2020: Expansion of corona tests shows effect

Berlin (dpa) - The new regulations on the expansion of corona tests are having an effect, according to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn. "We test a lot, we prefer to test too much when in doubt, but we always test systematically," said Spahn. Within four weeks, the number of tests nationwide has increased by more than half. Last week, almost 500,000 patients were tested - around 175,000 more than a month ago. "Thus, chains of infection could be quickly interrupted after local outbreaks of the virus."

The background to this is a test regulation that came into force on June 9th. It allows test costs to be covered by health insurance even without signs of illness, if the health authorities so request. With this, series tests and precautionary tests can be carried out in day-care centres, schools or nursing homes in the case of corona cases. In principle, all patients who are admitted to clinics should be tested. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the test regulation was also applied to the recent corona outbreaks in slaughterhouses.

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July 10th, 2020: Steinmeier: Strengthen production of protective equipment in Europe

Lübeck (dpa) - Germany's head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier has spoken out in favour of producing more medical protective equipment in Europe again. The corona pandemic has shown how susceptible international supply chains can be to disruption, Steinmeier said on Thursday during a visit to medical technology manufacturer Dräger in Lübeck. Germany can consider itself lucky to have a medical technology manufacturer of world renown in its own country, which also responded quickly to the pandemic, said the Federal President. Dräger had considerably expanded its production capacities at its headquarters in Lübeck after the company had received a major order from the German government for 10,000 ventilators in March.

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July 9th, 2020: German exports show signs of recovery from pandemic crash

Frankfurt (dpa) - German exports recovered marginally in May from a dramatic slump the previous month during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, figures released on Thursday showed. The value of German exports rose by 9 per cent in May compared with an April low point, when exports plummeted a record 31.1 per cent year-on-year as the pandemic took its toll. However, the value of exported goods in May was still 29.7 per cent down on the same month last year, at 80.3 billion euros (91 billion dollars), the Federal Statistical Office said.

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July 8th, 2020: Bremen Kunsthalle shows quarantine art

Bremen (dpa) - In the Corona crisis, people all over the world re-enacted famous works of art and published them on social media such as Instagram. The Kunsthalle in the northern German city of Bremen is showing 77 such photos from this Wednesday onwards in the exhibition "Und jetzt Du! Works of Art Reenacted in Quarantine". The pictures were submitted after a call by the museum and reenact paintings, sculptures, contemporary installations and works on paper from different centuries. Works by Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Claude Monet, Paula Modersohn-Becker and Pipilotti Rist, for example, were re-enacted.

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July 7th, 2020: Broad majority against abolition of the mask obligation

Berlin (dpa) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has clearly rejected the abolition of the corona-induced mask obligation in shops. She has broad support from the parties and the states. "Wherever the minimum distance cannot be guaranteed in public life, masks are an important and, from today's perspective, still indispensable means", said government spokesman Steffen Seibert. This is necessary to keep the number of infections low and to protect fellow humans and oneself. "So: Whether on the bus, in the subway or in retail stores, it should remain the duty to wear masks."

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July 6th, 2020: Bundeswehr dogs are trained to detect corona infection

Ulmen/Hanover (dpa) - Service dogs of the German Armed Forces are to learn how to sniff out a coronavirus infection. The German Armed Forces and the Hanover Veterinary College Foundation (TiHo) are testing this possibility in a project involving ten four-legged friends of the German Armed Forces' only service dog school near Ulmen in the Volcanic Eifel region. Sheepdogs, spaniels and retrievers are involved, as the Armed Forces Office announced. Sniffer dogs can not only detect explosives or drugs by the molecular composition of an odour, but can also smell various cancers and the threatening hypoglycaemia of diabetics. The idea for the Corona project was also developed on this basis. "With a current hit rate of approximately 80 percent, the researchers in Ulmen are well on the way to successfully continuing the project," explained the service dog school located in the middle of the forest. Reliable results should be available in a few weeks.

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5th July, 2020: The bicycle a winner of the Corona crisis

Berlin (dpa) - The bicycle boom in the Corona crisis continues unabated. "May was the strongest month the industry has ever experienced", says David Eisenberger of the German Association of the Bicycle Industry (ZIV). Some models of entry-level bikes and e-bikes are even out of stock, says the association spokesman. There is also a noticeable lack of children's bikes. "We are working flat out to re-produce them." The reason for the boom: Especially in the cities, many people avoid public transport and switch to the bicycle. The trend towards holidays at home does the rest.

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4th July, 2020: Merkel: We owe thanks to the elderly

Berlin (dpa) Chancellor Angela Merkel has thanked the elderly in Germany for their staying power during the coronavirus pandemic. "I know that everyday life, which is often difficult and lonely anyway, has become even more difficult and lonely," she said in her weekly video message published on Saturday. "Despite all this hardship, I didn't find anger in many older people, but rather an understanding for our policy of necessary contact restrictions. I thank you very much for that." Among other things, Merkel referred to many newly founded initiatives in which younger people are helping older people, for example, by running errands or otherwise making everyday life easier.

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3rd july, 2020: Maas: Pandemics must become part of international security policy

New York (dpa) - Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wants pandemics and other health risks to be placed more at the centre of global security policy. A more comprehensive understanding of the terms peace and security is needed, Maas said at a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday. When the UN Charter was drafted 75 years ago, he said, it was mainly military categories that were considered. "Today we know that a virus can be more deadly than a firearm, that a cyber attack can do more damage than a soldier, and that climate change threatens more people than most conventional weapons." He said the Corona crisis is global, so it requires global action.

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2nd July, 2020: Spahn demands ability to deliver Remdesivir

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn demands that the manufacturer of the corona drug Remdesivir continues to be able to deliver despite a major purchase by the USA. He expects the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences to "supply Germany and Europe when it comes to such a drug", the CDU politician said on Thursday on ZDF's "Morgenmagazin". Spahn sees the need for the coming weeks secured anyway. He said that there are corresponding reserves in the federal central pharmacy. Remdesivir is considered one of the most promising drugs for severe corona symptoms.

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1st July, 2020: EU lifts entry ban for 14 countries

Brussels (dpa) - The EU states have decided that from 1 July 2020 people from 14 countries will be allowed to re-enter the country. These are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay on the list. China is also mentioned - but the country has yet to promise that EU citizens will also be allowed to enter. The list is to be revised every two weeks.

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June 30th, 2020: Data on Covid vaccine expected soon

Mainz (dpa) - The Mainz-based biopharmaceutical company Biontech is receiving fresh money through an investment by Singapore's sovereign wealth fund Temasek, among others. In total, a private placement of shares with Temasek and other investors will bring in 250 million US dollars (222 million euros), Biontech announced in Mainz on Monday. Like many other companies, Biontech is also looking for a vaccine against the lung disease Covid-19. At the end of April, the Mainz-based company became the first company in Germany to receive approval from the Paul Ehrlich Institute to test a substance on healthy volunteers. First results are expected at the end of June or beginning of July.

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June 29th, 2020: First airport corona test centre opens in Frankfurt

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Even though travel restrictions have already been lifted, a negative corona test must often be proved shortly before the planned departure, especially on international routes to third countries. The first corona test centre at an airport in Germany is now opening at Frankfurt Airport. The biotechnology company Centogene is starting the project in cooperation with the airport operator Fraport and Lufthansa. The test center will be presented on Monday. It will explain how the "walk-through tests" work, which are intended to contribute to the "new normality" of air travel in times of the corona pandemic.

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June 28th, 2020: Another billion for the vaccine

Brussels/New York (dpa) - The international marathon for donations of vaccines and treatments against the lung disease Covid-19 has resulted in new pledges of €6.15 billion. The EU Commission and Germany alone pledged a total of almost 5.3 billion euros at a virtual donor conference on Saturday. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had organized the donor conference together with the New York-based non-governmental organization Global Citizen. The event concluded with a big online concert in the evening with stars such as Coldplay and Miley Cyrus.

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June 27th, 2020: Maas: Border closures in Europe not again without close coordination

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas does not rule out the possibility that individual borders in Europe will have to be closed again in the event of a drastic increase in corona infections. However, he stressed that this must not happen again without close coordination. "It cannot be ruled out that borders will have to be closed again if the incidence of infection is significantly higher in one particular region of the EU than in another," the SPD politician said in an interview with the German Press Agency. However, this would then have to be coordinated on a pan-European level.

At the beginning of the corona pandemic, many EU member states - including Germany - had closed borders on their own. In the meantime, almost all borders in the European Union and in the border control-free Schengen area are open again. The only exceptions are Norway and Finland, which do not intend to reopen their borders until mid-July.

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June 26th, 2020: Survey: Holidays at home or in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - Most Germans are not planning a summer trip or are staying in Germany, as the new Germany trend published in advance on Thursday evening in the ARD morning magazine shows. Of those who have already made up their minds about going on a summer holiday, more than half (51 percent) say they will stay at home. A good third (35 percent) plan to take a holiday trip within Germany. According to this, 17 percent intend to travel to other European countries. Only 2 percent can imagine spending their holidays outside Europe.

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June 25th, 2020: Corona warning app starts to work

Berlin (dpa) - The Corona-Warn-App of the federal government is now used by about 15 percent of the people in Germany. On Wednesday, the official download number was 12.6 million, the Robert Koch Institute announced on Twitter. According to experts, a noticeable effect in containing the pandemic can be expected from a usage rate of 15 percent. The threshold of 15 percent was exceeded with 83.2 million inhabitants in Germany with 12.48 million downloads.

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June 24th, 2020: Regional lockdown in two districts in North Rhine-Westphalia

Düsseldorf (dpa) - After the massive corona outbreak in a meat processing plant in Tönnies, public life is again restricted in two districts of North Rhine-Westphalia. At midnight, strict regulations again came into force in the district of Gütersloh and the neighbouring district of Warendorf. A total of around 640,000 inhabitants are affected. The Tönnies plant Rheda-Wiedenbrück in the district of Gütersloh is considered the starting point of the outbreak, and many Tönnies employees also live in the Warendorf area. The regulations for the new restrictions initially apply for one week until June 30.

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June 23rd 2020: "Night of Light" advertises for organizers in Corona crisis

Berlin (dpa) - On Monday evening the events industry pointed out its situation in the Corona crisis with illuminated memorials. To this end, important buildings in numerous cities were bathed in red light. "The events industry is on the red list of industries acutely threatened with extinction," was the explanation given. Numerous buildings throughout Germany were illuminated, in Berlin the Brandenburg Gate.

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June 22nd 2020: Cars and holidays will be winners of the Corona crisis

Hamburg (dpa) - After the end of the corona lockdown, the Hamburg futurologist Horst Opaschowski (79) expects a wave of travel on German roads and motorways. "An explosion of car tourism is on the horizon," Opaschowski told the German Press Agency. Holidays in one's own car will become the new normality, because air travel and cruises are less possible and less desirable. In addition, distance regulations and the obligation to wear masks threatened to become an "atmosphere killer" in air, cruise and, to some extent, rail tourism.

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June 21st, 2020: Bundesbank President: "Things are looking up again"

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - In the Corona crisis, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann sees the German economy on a good path. "In recent months we have experienced the sharpest economic slump in the history of the Federal Republic," Weidmann told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung". "The good news is that the low point is probably behind us by now and things are looking up again." Weidmann said, however, that the significant slump in the German economy would be followed only by a "comparatively gradual recovery".

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June 20th, 2020: Merkel: "This app deserves your trust"

Berlin - In her new podcast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls on citizens to use the "Corona Warning App". The app could become a "companion and protector" and help interrupt infection chains. Since Tuesday, the free Corona Warning App is available for download in the app stores of Google and Apple. She is delighted that millions of people have already downloaded the app in this first week, said Merkel.

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June 19th, 2020: Blood group affects severity of Covid-19 course

Boston/Kiel (dpa) - While Covid-19 disease leads to respiratory failure and even death in some people, others experience few symptoms. The reasons for the very different courses of the disease are still largely unclear, but an important factor could be blood group, as an international team of researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the report, people with blood group A, which is the most common blood group in Germany, have a nearly 50 percent higher risk of a severe course of infection than those with other blood groups. According to the study, people with blood group 0 have an approximately 50 percent lower risk of developing serious Covid-19 disease. The team led by molecular biologist Andre Franke from the University Hospital in Kiel had previously published its results as a so-called preprint - i.e. without being reviewed by independent scientists. Now the study has been published in a renowned scientific journal.

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June 18th, 2020: Second approval granted for corona vaccine study

Langen (dpa) - The Tübingen-based company CureVac can now begin clinical trials of its vaccine candidate. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI) in Langen, Germany, said on Wednesday that the approval for this was granted. The first volunteers will be vaccinated in June as part of the phase 1 study. After the Mainz-based company Biontech, CureVac is the second company in Germany that is allowed to test a vaccine. According to PEI, 130 vaccine projects are underway worldwide, ten candidates are already in clinical trials, two in advanced phases 2 and 3.

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June 18th, 2020: Another large corona outbreak in meat factory

Rheda-Wiedenbrück/Berlin (dpa) - With at least 657 infected persons there is again a serious corona outbreak in a German meat factory. Production at the slaughterhouse in Westphalia has been temporarily suspended, the district of Gütersloh is closing schools and daycare centers and quarantining a good 7,000 people.

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June 17th, 2020: Study: Children not drivers of the spread

Stuttgart (dpa) - According to a study carried out in Baden-Württemberg, children are less likely to be infected with the corona virus than their parents. They should therefore not be regarded as drivers of the wave of infections, said Klaus-Michael Debatin, Medical Director of the Children's Hospital at the University Hospital in Ulm, commenting on the results of the study, which was presented in Stuttgart on Tuesday. The role of children in the spread of the virus plays a crucial role in the reopening of day-care centres and primary schools.

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June 16th, 2020: Corona-Warn-App is available for download

Berlin (dpa) - The official Corona Warning App of the federal government is available for download. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store (http://dpaq.de/KwuPk) for Android smartphones and from Apple's App Store (http://dpaq.de/27C0T) for iPhones. The app is designed to give early warning to people who have been in contact with infected persons and is intended to help identify and break the infection chains. However, it does not protect users from becoming infected with the virus themselves.

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June 15th, 2020: Over 300 million vaccine doses ordered

Berlin (dpa) - Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands have signed a contract with a manufacturer for at least 300 million vaccine doses against the coronavirus. All EU states that want to participate are to benefit. The contract partner AstraZeneca even mentioned a figure of "up to 400 million doses". The pharmaceutical company had previously concluded similar agreements with Great Britain, the USA and India, among others, for a total of 1.7 billion vaccine doses. The vaccine in question is the covid-19 vaccine AZD1222, developed at the British University of Oxford. It is to be tested in the coming months on a total of more than 10,000 adults in a study that began in May.

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June 14th, 2020: Corona border controls end

Berlin (dpa) - The controls on Germany's internal EU borders introduced during the Corona pandemic will end at midnight on Monday night (15 June). The controls imposed in mid-March have already been reduced since last Wednesday. As a result, people from Germany's neighbouring countries are once again allowed to enter the country without any particular reason. However, the controls for foreigners arriving by plane from Spain will not end until 21 June.

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June 13th, 2020: Aid fund for international cultural institutions

Berlin (dpa) - A German aid fund is to support international cultural institutions in Corona times. To this end, institutions for international cultural cooperation have joined forces on the initiative of the Goethe-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office. The fund is directed "at organisations abroad whose commitment is of great importance for artistic freedom and for a pluralistic society," according to a communication.

In the short term, the aim is to support projects that primarily serve to secure the institutions' existence. The Federal Foreign Office has initially provided three million euro in basic funding, the Goethe-Institut is to coordinate the allocation of the funds. The Berliner Künstlerprogramm of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Unesco Commission, the S. Fischer Foundation, the Mercator Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Siemens Foundation are also involved. Further institutions are to follow. Funding of up to 25,000 euros is available for institutions outside the European Union where no other funding opportunities exist.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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June 12th, 2020: Corona boosts the garden boom

Berlin/Offenbach/Cologne (dpa) - In the Corona period, the more or less large piece of green has taken on a whole new meaning for many people. "Everyone suddenly wants to garden. Gardening is the new way of cooking," says Berlin garden blogger Carolin Engwert (photo). "Before Corona, my blog had around 30,000 readers per month, now it has 120,000 readers," she says. Allotment gardens have been particularly popular nationwide since the beginning of the Corona crisis, according to the Federal Association of Allotment Gardeners. There is at least a doubling of the demand compared to the previous year. In Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, the demand has even quadrupled in some cases.

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June 11th, 2020: Travel warning for more than 160 countries extended until end of August

Berlin (dpa) - Germany has extended its travel warning for tourists due to the Corona pandemic for more than 160 countries outside the European Union until 31 August. Last week the German cabinet decided to lift the travel warning for 31 European countries. These include Germany's 26 partner countries in the European Union, the United Kingdom, which has just left the EU, and the four countries in the border-free Schengen area that are not members of the EU: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. For 29 countries, the abolition will take place on 15 June, for Spain and Norway only later, because entry barriers still apply there. For the other more than 160 countries, the travel warning will now initially remain in force until 31 August. These include the main travel destinations of the Germans, above all Turkey as the third most popular holiday destination.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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June 10th, 2020: Crafts increase sales despite corona crisis

Wiesbaden (dpa) - Despite the corona crisis, craftsmen in Germany did good business overall in the first quarter. The revenues from the seven trade groups rose by a total of 3.8 percent compared to the same period last year, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday. Only the trades for private use, which include hairdressers, for example, ended the quarter with a 3.2 percent drop in sales. The trade groups of the handicrafts subject to licensing include construction, extension, handicrafts for commercial use, motor vehicle trade, food trade, health trade and handicrafts for private use.

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June 9th, 2020: Unprecedented export slump of more than 30 percent

Wiesbaden (dpa) - German exports fell dramatically in April as a result of the Corona crisis. The value of goods exports fell by 31.1 percent to 75.7 billion euros compared to the same month last year, according to the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Tuesday. This was the largest month-on-month decline in comparison to the same month last year since foreign trade statistics began in 1950.

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June 8th, 2020: Spahn: Corona-Warn-App will be presented next week

Berlin (dpa) - Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced that the Corona warning app will be presented next week. "We needed this time for the development because we have high demands: The app must be able to be used on all end devices and should, for example, also measure when you listen to music on your mobile phone," the CDU politician told the newspaper "Rheinische Post". Spahn emphasized that the app must also meet strict requirements regarding data protection and energy efficiency. "If we convince a few million citizens of the app in the coming weeks, then I will be satisfied," Spahn continued. "Containing the virus is a team game. Everyone who downloads the app will help." With the so-called tracing app, the German government wants to better recognise the infection chains of the coronavirus and ensure that the spread of the coronavirus does not increase again strongly if the app is made available for public use. If a user tests positive for Covid-19 and this status is recorded in the app, the other users are to be informed that they have been near an infected person in the past.

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June 7th, 2020: Merkel: Corona-measures partly long-term

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the measures to fight the consequences of the corona-pandemia as a mixture of a classic economic stimulus package and a package for the future that is designed to last for many years. The classic economic stimulus package will take effect in the years 2020 and 2021, while the longer-term future package of 50 billion euros is necessary because climate change and digitalisation are fundamentally changing the way we do business, the politician said in her podcast at the weekend.

The leaders of the governing parties CDU/CSU and SPD had agreed on a package of measures amounting to 130 billion euros. Merkel cited the federal government's hydrogen strategy, increased support for renewable energies and building renovations, and a change in mobility as examples of measures geared to the future. In addition, efforts in the area of digitalization would be intensified.

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June 6th, 2020: Bundesrat approves aid for parents 

Berlin (dpa) - Working parents who are unable to work because of childcare in the Corona crisis will get money from the state for a longer period of time. The Bundesrat approved a corresponding law from the parliament. The wage replacement will be extended from 6 to up to 20 weeks. Each parent will be entitled to 10 weeks compensation, single parents to 20 weeks. The state will pay 67 percent of net income, but no more than 2016 euros per month.

With the same law, the Bundesrat also agreed to relieve restaurants and employees in short-time work. The value-added tax on food in restaurants will fall from 19 to 7 percent for one year starting in July. In addition, employer contributions to short-time work benefits will remain largely tax-free.

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June 5th, 2020: Seehofer wants to abolish border controls in mid-June

Berlin (dpa) - German border controls to other European states are to be abolished by the middle of this month, according to the will of Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer. He will present a corresponding proposal to the federal cabinet next Wednesday, the CSU politician said on Friday in Berlin after video consultations with his EU colleagues. He also said that a majority of the other EU countries wanted to lift the controls introduced in the Corona crisis by the middle of the month. A smaller number of states will do so at the end of June.

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June 4th, 2020: Survey: Majority in favour of normal school and kindergarten operation after the holidays

Mainz (dpa) - According to a survey, the majority of German citizens are in favour of the complete opening of schools and day care centres after the summer holidays. 58 percent of those questioned in the survey conducted by the opinion research institute Infratest dimap spoke out in favour of a complete opening of schools and daycare centres in Germany after the summer holidays, according to the SWR, which commissioned the survey in Mainz on Wednesday. Around a third of those questioned (34 percent), on the other hand, said that day-care and school operations should continue to be only partial.

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June 3rd, 2020: Fewer and fewer corona patients in intensive care units

Berlin (dpa) - The number of corona patients undergoing intensive medical treatment has decreased significantly in Germany over the past few weeks. According to the DIVI intensive care register, as of Tuesday 689 people suffering from Covid-19 were cared for in intensive care units, about half of them were ventilated. In mid-April, the number of patients had at times been more than 2900. The number of new infections remains at a comparatively low level. The health authorities in Germany reported 213 corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day.

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June 2nd, 2020: Survey: majority in favour of masks and vaccinations

Berlin (dpa) - A clear majority of people in Germany are in favour of compulsory masks. 49 percent say the requirement should be maintained in its current form. 13 per cent of the participants in a representative online survey by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency pleaded for an extension to other areas. According to the survey, every second German would be vaccinated against the coronavirus if a vaccine were available. One in four would perhaps do so. One in five of the 2056 people questioned refused to be vaccinated.

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June 1st, 2020: Code of the Corona warning app made public

Berlin (dpa) - The developers of the Corona warning app by the German government have disclosed the complete program code of the eagerly awaited application. "Over Pentecost we published all remaining, not yet published source codes for the app on the developer platform GitHub", explained spokespersons of Deutsche Telekom and SAP AG. This means that all the codes for the complete app are now available to the expert community.


The two companies are thus keeping their promise to develop the tracing app as transparently as possible. In the open source project, more than 65,000 voluntary software experts have so far looked at the source codes already published and made their own suggestions for improvements. "This commitment is outstanding and a clear testimony to a vibrant software engineering culture in Germany," the declaration says.

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May 31st, 2020: Economic stimulus package worth billions planned

Berlin (dpa) - The German government wants to help the recession-stricken economy in the Corona crisis back on its feet with an economic stimulus package worth billions. The volume could be in the region of 75 to 80 billion euros, the newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" reports, citing government circles as a reason. However, the details are controversial. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is pushing for three measures in particular: the extension of the short-time work allowance from one to two years, a one-time family bonus of 300 euros per child, and a rescue package for the municipalities with reimbursement of old debts and compensation for the collapsed trade tax revenues. So far, the pandemic has cost the state 287.5 billion euros, according to a calculation by the Institute of the German Economy (IW).

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May 30th, 2020: Many want to do without summer holidays

Berlin (dpa) - According to the ZDF political barometer, more than a third of people in Germany do not want to go on holiday this year. Against the background of the Corona crisis, 37 percent of those surveyed said they did not want to go on holiday. Slightly less than a third (31 percent) would like to go on holiday but want to spend it in Germany. Only just over one in ten (13 percent) is planning a summer holiday in another European country. 18 percent are still undecided.

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May 29th, 2020: Survey: Large majority thinks corona measures are right

Cologne (dpa) - According to a representative survey, almost three quarters of Germans (74 percent) retrospectively assess the measures adopted in March to contain the coronavirus as correct. For 15 per cent of those questioned, they went too far, according to a survey by the opinion research institute Infratest dimap commissioned by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR). For nine percent of those surveyed, the measures did not go far enough. According to the data, 58 percent of Germans consider the relaxation of the corona restrictions to be correct. One in four (25 percent), however, stated that the relaxation of the restrictions went too far. For 15 percent they did not go far enough.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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May 28th, 2020: Strong economic upswing in 2021

Munich (dpa) - The Ifo Institute expects German economic output to slump by 6.6 percent in 2020. This is what the Munich economists predict in their economic forecast updated on Thursday. In 2021 the economy could then grow by 10.2 percent from a low level. The Ifo researchers therefore expect this year's slump to be much more severe than during the financial crisis in 2009, when economic output shrank by 5.7 percent.

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May 27th, 2020: Federal and state governments extend contact restrictions until mid-year

Berlin (dpa) - Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all people in Germany must continue to exercise great restraint in meeting outdoors at least until the middle of the year. The contact restrictions will be extended until June 29th, as agreed upon by the federal and state governments on Tuesday evening. As early as 6 June, however, the states may allow further relaxation - for example, that in future a maximum of ten people or members of two households may meet in public.

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May 26th, 2020: Economics Minister Altmaier defends Lufthansa rescue package

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier has defended the rescue package for Lufthansa against criticism that the state should have secured a greater say for the airline in return for aid of over nine billion euros. The CDU politician said that the package could secure far more than 100,000 jobs. In addition, an important company would be preserved, which is globally active and plays an "outstanding role" for the competitiveness of the German economy.  The EU Commission and the Lufthansa supervisory board still have to approve the agreement between the company and the federal government. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced a "hard fight" in the CDU presidium, because Brussels would only approve the billion-euro rescue under strict conditions.

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May 25th, 2020: Significantly fewer participants in demos against Corona rules

Berlin (dpa) - In numerous German cities, people again demonstrated at the weekend against the restrictions imposed in the Corona pandemic. However, in most cases there were significantly fewer participants than expected. In Berlin, the meetings were scattered over various locations, mostly in small groups - the big rush failed to materialise. In Hamburg, around 750 people attended an event entitled "A vigil for the Basic Law". In Cologne (photo) about 250 demonstrators gathered in a human chain. The demonstration against the Corona policy, which had been widely announced in Munich, literally fell through. Shortly before the official start of the rally on Munich's Theresienwiese, a thunderstorm swept over the grounds, so that the organizers decided to cancel their protest action.

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May 24th, 2020: Holiday trips soon possible again

Berlin (dpa) - The Corona hotspot Spain wants to open its borders to foreign tourists in July. "From July, the reception of foreign tourists will be resumed under safe conditions," said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Saturday. Shortly before the announcement from Spain, Tui chairman Fritz Joussen had said that he wanted to start air traffic to Mallorca as early as June. The Balearic government had previously taken the initiative for a pilot project with Tui. "As soon as the green light is given, we will be ready for take-off," he said, referring to the latest announcement from Madrid. Tui also wants to bring travellers to other countries again soon. Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Bulgaria are very well prepared, the Tui boss told the Düsseldorf-based "Rheinische Post" newspaper. Talks are currently being held with Turkey. Recently, there had been first progress in the consultations within the European Union to reduce travel restrictions before the summer holidays. After video conferences with the Germans' neighbours and holiday countries, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) said he was confident that the worldwide travel warning could be lifted after June 14, at least for the EU.

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May 23rd, 2020: Thuringia wants to end corona restrictions

Erfurt (dpa) - The state of Thuringia wants to end the general corona restrictions at the beginning of June. This would make state-wide regulations on minimum distances, the wearing of mouth and nose protectors, and contact restrictions a thing of the past. They will be replaced by local measures only if a certain infection rate is exceeded in a region. A limit of 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week is under discussion.

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May 22nd, 2020: German government and Lufthansa facing a solution?  

Berlin (dpa) - Negotiations between the German government and Lufthansa on a billion-euro rescue package are continuing. It is expected that the relevant committee of the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) will meet on Friday to make Lufthansa an official offer of support measures for the ailing airline. Lufthansa's committees will then have to consider and decide on the matter. The EU Commission must also give its approval.

The German government and companies had made it clear that they expected a decision to be reached shortly. A federal rescue plan provides for taxpayers' money totalling nine billion euros to help Lufthansa through the severe crisis. The federal government wants to take a direct 20 percent stake in the airline. This would be under the so-called blocking minority, which could block important decisions. Some questions about the rescue plan are still open, however.

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May 21st, 2020: Government wants to protect vaccine manufacturers from takeovers

Berlin (dpa) - The German government wants to better protect German companies that produce drugs and vaccines from takeovers by investors from outside the EU. To this end, the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance will be tightened. This will allow the government to take earlier and more precise action in planned takeovers of companies in the health sector. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU) said in Berlin: "The current crisis shows how important medical know-how and own production capacities in Germany and Europe can be in crisis situations."

Maas calls for distance to extremists at anti-corona demonstrations

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has warned citizens not to allow themselves to be used by extremists at demonstrations against the Corona conditions. "If radical extremists and anti-Semites come to demonstrations to riot and divide, then everyone should keep well over 1.5 metres distance", Maas told the newspaper "Welt". "Anyone who shouts conspiracy theories into the world without a mask, without a minimum distance and without any consideration for others is confusing courage with blind rage and freedom with sheer selfishness."

Merkel warns against "high price" of economic foreclosure

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned against economic isolation in the Corona crisis. "The answer to the pandemic can certainly not be to renationalize all international supply chains now," the CDU politician said in Berlin on Wednesday. "Then everyone would pay a very high price." She made her statement after a video conference with the chairpersons of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.

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May 20th, 2020: Berlin Tegel Airport may close in June

Berlin (dpa) - In the corona crisis, the most important airport in the German capital is likely to go off the grid: Berlin's Tegel Airport can be temporarily shut down on June 15. This was decided by the federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg at a shareholders' meeting on Wednesday, according to a spokeswoman for the Berlin Senate Department of Finance. The corresponding application has already been filed with the aviation authorities. If passenger numbers do not recover significantly in the coming weeks, the airport will go into a two-month break. Most recently, only about 2000 passengers per day flew at the Berlin airports Tegel and Schoenefeld. Schoenefeld Airport on the south-eastern city border in Brandenburg will remain in operation.

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May 19th, 2020: Car registrations in the EU fall to a quarter

Brussels (dpa) - The Corona pandemic has caused a drastic slump in car sales. In the European Union (EU) alone, only 270,682 new passenger cars were registered in April, 76.3 per cent fewer than in the same month last year, according to the responsible industry association Acea, which was announced in Brussels on Tuesday. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) the declines were particularly dramatic in Italy, Spain and the UK, which is no longer part of the EU. With declines of between 97 and 98 per cent, sales in these countries came "almost to a complete standstill" in April.

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May 18th, 2020: Foreign Minister Maas: Holiday that feels like a holiday

Berlin (dpa) - Before consulting with colleagues from popular holiday destinations, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas damps expectations. "This year's holiday will not be like the one we know from the past," Maas said on Monday on ZDF's "Morgenmagazin". The Corona pandemic had not yet been overcome, he said, and security precautions had to be taken in case the number of infections rose again. However, he very much hopes that summer holidays in other European countries will be possible and that they will then "feel like holidays". At noon, Maas wants to discuss with his colleagues from popular holiday destinations of the Germans how the travel restrictions due to the corona pandemic can be gradually eased. Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Malta, Slovenia, Cyprus and Bulgaria are invited to the video conference. Among other things, the ministers want to discuss entry regulations, quarantine regulations and cooperation between health authorities, said Maas. The aim was to turn the worldwide travel warning currently in force in Germany into just a travel warning. This would allow citizens to judge for themselves whether and where they want to travel.

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May 17th, 2020: Bundesliga launched

Berlin (dpa) - After weeks of debates, the German Football League has made its return. For a new start, "ghost games" took place in ten stadiums in front of empty ranks in the 1st and 2nd division on Saturday. Almost everywhere, the players adhered to the German Football League's guidelines for restarting matches, and strict observers recorded only minor violations of the hygiene rules. Coaches, stewards and media representatives with masks, a lot of distance on the substitutes' benches and often only muffled cheering with fist contact - this is the new reality.

The fans could only follow the action on television. The crowds of fans around the arenas feared by the police and some politicians did not materialise, even at the "Revierderby": Dortmund won the match at home against Schalke, which normally draws more than 80,000 people into the stadium, 4-0.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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May 16, 2020: Slow return to the city centres

Berlin/Cologne (dpa) - Even though almost all retailers and many restaurateurs in Germany have now reopened, life is only slowly returning to the city centres. "Customers are rather reluctant to shop these days," said Stefan Genth, General Manager of the German Retail Federation (HDE), to the German Press Agency.

This assessment is supported by figures from Hystreet, a company specialising in measuring customer frequency in city centres. According to these figures, the number of visitors in important shopping streets in Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig and Stuttgart this week was still well below the normal level before Corona. Hamburg's Spitalerstrasse was still the busiest, with 53 percent of "normal" pedestrian frequency between Monday and Thursday. By comparison, the Neuhauser Strasse in Munich, which is otherwise very popular, especially with tourists, was only 42 percent.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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May 15th, 2020: Entry quarantine is relaxed

Berlin (dpa) - In the next few days, the federal states want to lift their general quarantine rules for travellers from neighbouring countries introduced because of the corona pandemic. The Federal Ministry of the Interior is currently working on a new model regulation for the states, the ministry said on Friday. The states had agreed to it on Thursday after consultation with the Chancellor's Office.  At present, many German states require that anyone entering Germany from a neighboring European country must go into quarantine for 14 days.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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May 14th, 2020: Tax estimators present forecast

Berlin (dpa) - Federal, state and local authorities have to get by with considerably less tax money because of the corona pandemic. How bad it will be, tax estimators predict on Thursday. Government revenues are expected to fall significantly for the first time since the financial crisis in 2009 - possibly even more drastically than then. According to reports, the federal, state and local governments could collect about 100 billion euros less this year than predicted in the previous estimate in November.

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May 13th, 2020: EU Commission: Open borders carefully

Brussels (dpa) - A cautious opening of the internal borders in Europe should make summer holidays possible despite the corona crisis, according to recommendations of the EU Commission. A flexible plan is proposed with the aim of gradually lifting controls, according to a paper the authority plans to present.

Due to the development of the infection situation so far, Germanys Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer has decided to adjust the border regime at the end of this week as follows

At the borders with France, Austria and Switzerland he will order an extension of the temporary internal border controls from 16 May 2020 until 15 June 2020. The same applies to the airside borders with Italy and Spain.

However, there will be some relaxation in the practical organisation of land border controls. In future, controls will no longer be systematic, but flexible and risk-based.

The principle of a valid reason for entry will be retained, but there will be additional facilities for travel for family or personal reasons.

At the border with Luxembourg, internal border controls will end at the end of 15 May 2020.

At the border with Denmark, the Federal Minister of the Interior is also prepared to terminate border controls. The date will be fixed jointly with Denmark.

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May 12th, 2020: Corona reserve hospital in Berlin completed

Berlin (dpa) - A corona reserve hospital was built on the Berlin exhibition grounds within a few weeks. Initially around 500 infected and Covid-19 patients could be isolated and treated, should the Berlin hospitals reach their limits during the pandemic. "Because the pictures from Italy, Spain and New York have shown us that well-positioned hospital systems can be overloaded," said Health Senator Dilek Kalayci at the official opening of the new treatment center on Monday. In total, up to 1000 spare beds could be created there.

May 11th, 2020: Study on Covid drug progressing

Cologne (dpa) - A study on the drug Remdesivir to combat corona disease is making progress, according to the head of the Cologne study. The study is "in a very advanced stage", Gerd Fätkenheuer, head of infectiology at the University Hospital of Cologne, told the newspaper "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger". He heads the German part of the study of an international consortium researching Remdesivir.

The drug is considered to be a potential agent for the treatment of severe coronavirus infections. The USA has granted an exemption for the limited use of the active ingredient in hospitals. A clinical study had previously shown that it can shorten the time to recovery by several days in Covid patients. In Germany, the drug is accessible within a drug hardship programme confirmed by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and is being tested in clinical trials.

Remdesivir was originally developed for the treatment of Ebola. To date, there is no vaccination against the novel coronavirus and no reliable approved drug therapy.

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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May 10th, 2020: Chancellor Merkel wants to help culture

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has assured the cultural industry of further support in view of the weeks of forced hiatus due to the Corona crisis. The goal is that the broad and diverse cultural landscape can continue to exist even after the pandemic has been overcome, she said in her weekly video message distributed on Saturday. Concepts should now be developed how hygiene and safety regulations could also open up theatres, concert halls, operas and other cultural venues. There are calls from the Bundestag and the industry for quick further help. "I know what we are missing and how many citizens are waiting to finally be able to experience your cultural offerings live again," Merkel said to the cultural scene. "Until then, we will try to support you as best we can through our aid programmes - but also by saying how important you are to us.

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May 9th, 2020: "Emergency brake" has already been applied in some districts

Berlin (dpa) - In the relaxation phase of the corona requirements, the authorities in three federal states have already had to pull the "emergency brake" because infection rates were too high. In three districts in Thuringia, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, the critical value of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days was exceeded. Many people were infected in a slaughterhouse in the Münsterland region. Several planned easing measures in the affected district were postponed. However, the vast majority of German districts are far from the agreed limit.

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May 8th, 2020: China's ambassador: Open to search for Corona origin

Berlin (dpa) - According to its ambassador in Berlin, Wu Ken, China is open to an international investigation into the origin of the corona virus Sars-CoV-2: "We support research exchange among scientists," Wu told the magazine "Der Spiegel". Chinese and US scientists have already worked together on projects to trace the virus. Wu rejected accusations that China had initially covered up the outbreak of the epidemic, but admitted to communication deficits.

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May 7th, 2020: Bundesliga before the restart

Berlin (dpa) - The federal and state governments have granted permission for a resumption of matches without spectators in the Bundesliga from the second half of May onwards. This was agreed to by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state premiers during their meeting on Wednesday. This means that the German Soccer League, as the umbrella organization of the 36 professional clubs of the 1st and 2nd leagues, will receive the long hoped-for permission for ghost games. According to a report in the newspaper "Bild", the DFL has set the date at 16 May.

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May 6th, 2020: Forecast: EU faces historic recession

Brussels (dpa) - According to the EU spring forecast, the eurozone economy could shrink by 7.7 percent this year due to the corona crisis and not fully recover next year either. When presenting its forecast in Brussels on Wednesday, the EU Commission spoke of a recession of historic proportions. "Europe is experiencing an economic shock the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression," said Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economic Affairs.

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May 5th, 2020: Germany gives 525 million euros for vaccine development

Berlin (dpa) - Germany intends to provide 525 million euros for international cooperation in the development of vaccines and drugs against the coronavirus. This was said by Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday at an online donor conference hosted by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Merkel said that the pandemic was a global challenge that could only be defeated with worldwide cooperation. She criticized that during this time not everyone was ready for multilateral cooperation. "It is an hour of hope," Merkel said. And: "Germany will play an active role."

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May 4th, 2020: Global Alliance for Corona Vaccine starts with donor conference

Brussels (dpa) - In the fight against the coronavirus, a global alliance wants to raise at least 7.5 billion euros in start-up funding for vaccines, drugs and tests this Monday. The aim is to bring the antidotes to the market as quickly as possible and then make them available worldwide at low cost. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also scheduled to speak at an online conference organized by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Merkel has already promised a "significant financial contribution" from Germany. According to the EU Commission, more than 70 possible vaccines are currently being researched worldwide. At least three are now being clinically tested.

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May 3rd, 2020: Merkel calls for cooperation on corona vaccine

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel is also counting on more speed in the development of a vaccine to overcome the corona crisis. In her weekly video address published on Saturday, the German head of government called for more international cooperation against the pandemic. "We know that it is causing severe damage everywhere, including to our economic, social and societal life. That is why we must work hard and with great concentration to contain and then defeat this virus by developing a vaccine," she said. At a donor conference on 4 May, to which the EU Commission had invited, Germany would make a "substantial financial contribution". An estimated eight billion euros are missing for the development of a vaccine.

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May 2nd, 2020: Saxony-Anhalt first federal state to ease contact restrictions

Magdeburg (dpa) - Saxony-Anhalt eases the contact restrictions that have been in force for six weeks. From Monday on, five people are allowed to travel together, even if they do not live in the same household, as the state government decided on Saturday. Previously, only one person or more members of one's own household were allowed to accompany them. The reason for the relaxation are the comparatively low infection rates in Saxony-Anhalt.

The federal government had announced after a conference of federal and state governments on Thursday that the tough contact restrictions should be maintained.

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May 1st, 2020: Demos for "Labour Day": Protest only digital

Berlin (dpa) - More than ten million workers in short-time work, and the worst economic consequences of the Corona crisis are probably yet to come: With a protest organised mainly on the Internet, trade unions warned on 1 May of cuts at the expense of employees. #SolidarityNot alone was the motto under which the German Trade Union Federation (DGB) celebrated "Labour Day" in a completely digital way with music and video switching - even over the roofs of Berlin. 

Only a few DGB representatives protested on Friday morning with a large banner in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The police announced that they would consistently try to break up possible demonstrations and crowds on May 1st. Berlin's Senator of the Interior Andreas Geisel announced that the day would be dedicated to infection control. Political gatherings and gatherings of more than 20 people even with intervals are currently not allowed due to corona restrictions.

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April 30, 2020: Federal government wants to reopen playgrounds. Contact restrictions will be extended

Berlin (dpa) - After weeks of closure due to the Corona pandemic, the German government wants children to be allowed to play in the playgrounds again soon. Larger opening steps - such as for schools, daycare centers and club sports - are not to be decided until May 6. This is the result of a draft resolution presented by the federal government for the consultations of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) with the heads of state governments, which began on Thursday afternoon. According to the head of the Chancellor's Office, Helge Braun, the contact restrictions in effect until May 3 will "certainly" be extended until May 10.

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April 29, 2020: German government extends travel warning until 14 June

Berlin (dpa) - The German government has extended the worldwide travel warning for tourists due to the coronavirus pandemic until at least June 14. A corresponding proposal by the Foreign Office was accepted by the Federal Cabinet on Wednesday.

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April 28, 2020: Ifo-Institut: Economy back to pre-corona level at the end of 2021

Munich (dpa) - According to the Ifo Institute, the German economy is unlikely to return to pre-crisis levels before the end of next year. "We will not return to pre-corona levels until the end of 2021," said Timo Wollmershäuser, head of Ifo economic research, on Tuesday. However, the individual sectors are likely to recover at different rates once the restrictions have been removed. According to an evaluation of a company survey by the Ifo Institute, economic output is likely to have fallen by 1.9 percent in the first quarter and then slumped by 12.2 percent in the second. Overall, economic output is likely to fall by 6.2 percent this year.

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April 27, 2020: Berliner Philharmoniker play Europe Concert with a small orchestra

Berlin (dpa) - The traditional European concert of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on May 1 is to take place despite the corona pandemic. However, the orchestra will play in a small formation. The concert from the Berlin Philharmonic will open with a greeting from Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as the orchestra announced on Monday. The program, conducted by chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, will include Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in an arrangement for chamber orchestra. Due to the rules of spacing and hygiene requirements, the Philharmonic Orchestra has adapted the programme to a chamber music instrumentation. Since 1991, the Philharmonic Orchestra has been playing at a special historical location for its birthday on May 1. This year, the concert was planned before a European tour in Tel Aviv and as part of the German President's state visit to Israel. Due to the pandemic, the visit was postponed and the tour cancelled.

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April 26, 2020: Merkel on EU Presidency: Climate as well as health on the Agenda

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel has countered fears that in the Corona crisis climate change could be pushed off the EU agenda. Because of the pandemic, Germany's EU Council Presidency will "take a different course than we had planned", the German head of government said in her podcast. Climate issues would be "just as much on the agenda as health issues". It was important to see that something was being done for "Europe's economic revitalisation" and social cohesion, said the Chancellor, and "that we are thinking about the future - and that is the climate and environmental issues". On 1 July Germany will take over the EU Council Presidency for the first time in 13 years. The main topics should actually be climate protection and digitalisation, the brexite and the EU's medium-term financial planning.

 

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April 25, 2020:  Africa: Solidarity in the fight against Covid‑19

Berlin (Federal Foreign Office) - Germany is taking rapid and targeted action in numerous African countries in an effort of solidarity. Germany’s approach comprises, on the one hand, support for global and multilateral action, such as the development of vaccines and medicines, and on the other, projects carried out together with African partners at the local level, close to the people they serve. In many locations, existing projects can be adapted to meet the needs of the new situation, allowing assistance to be provided quickly and directly. Just a few examples:

  • GIZ and the Malawi Red Cross Society are working together to set up isolation wards for Covid‑19 patients in Malawian hospitals.
  • In Benin, three German experts from a rapid-response team are currently training Beninese laboratory staff. Medical equipment for the central laboratory in the capital Cotonou has also been made available.
  • In Ghana, the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine is receiving support in modernising its facilities and procuring medical consumables and reagents in order to increase testing capacities.

The Federal Government is also committed to humanitarian aid and has already provided 363 million euro for humanitarian aid measures in Africa for 2020. 

More information

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April 24, 2020: Merkel: Decisions on relaxation of corona requirements not until May 6th

Berlin (dpa) - According to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), the federal and state governments will probably not decide on further relaxation of corona-related restrictions until May 6th. Merkel said after the EU summit in Berlin, that the effects of the opening of stores could only be estimated 14 days later. Other loosening would come into effect even later. So far it had been expected that decisions on further steps could be made as early as the end of April.

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EU plans trillion-euro program against Corona economic crisis

Berlin/Brussels (dpa) - On Thursday evening the heads of government of the states of the European Union approved a 500 billion aid package already agreed upon and the establishment of a reconstruction fund through which another 1000 billion euros in aid could be spent. German EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen will work out a model by mid-May. German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her "No" to a joint debt. She said, however, that Germany would pay more into the EU budget - most recently it was 13.4 billion euros more than Germany got back through EU programs.

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April 23, 2020: Merkel hires citizens for a long period of corona restrictions

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has prepared citizens for the fact that the restrictions in the Corona crisis will continue for a long time to come. "I understand that this life under corona conditions has been happening to everyone for a very, very long time," said Merkel on Thursday in her first government statement on the corona pandemic in the Bundestag. Nobody likes to hear it, but it is the truth: "We are not living in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at its beginning. We will have to live with this virus for a long time to come."

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April 22, 2020: Germany willing to boost EU budget share in Covid pandemic

Brussels (dpa) - Germany is prepared to significantly increase its contribution to the European Union's next long-term budget, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said on Wednesday, ahead of talks with his EU Counterparts. The European Commission is touting the bloc's next seven-year budget framework as a key to rebuilding Europe's economy, which is being ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. Berlin is "ready to make significantly more funding available," Roth said, noting that this was a pledge already made by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The issue is expected to feature at a videoconference of EU leaders on Thursday, which the bloc's European affairs ministers were preparing. Roth stressed the need to show solidarity, noting that European states can expect Germany to make a "special effort."

 

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April 21, 2020: RKI: No return to normality without vaccine

Berlin (dpa) - The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) appealed to the German population on Tuesday to continue to comply with the anti-corona recommendations. "The virus is not gone," RKI Vice President Lars Schaade said in Berlin on Tuesday. Without a vaccine there would be no return to normality, he said. The situation was still serious, Schaade said, even though some progress had been made in Germany in the fight against the virus. Schaade called on people to continue to follow the recommendations: For example, staying at home as much as possible, keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres, sneezing or coughing in the crook of one's arm, and additionally wearing a mask over mouth and nose, for example in shops or on public Transport.

 

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April 20, 2020: Merkel criticizes "opening discussion orgies" - risk of relapse increased

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has criticised the discussions on further relaxation of restrictions in the fight against the corona virus in an exceptionally harsh manner. On Monday, Merkel made it clear in a switching conference of the CDU presidium how dissatisfied she was that the message of cautious loosening had led to "opening discussion orgies" in some countries. This, she said, greatly increased the risk of a relapse.

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April 19, 2020: Federal Minister of Finance wants to help hotel and restaurant industry

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Minister of Finance Olaf Scholz (SPD) has promised financial support to hoteliers and restaurant operators who are particularly affected by the ongoing closure in the Corona pandemic. "Of course we are looking closely at whether and where we need further assistance. We are particularly focusing on those sectors which cannot start again quickly. The hotel and restaurant industry is certainly one of them," Scholz told "Welt am Sonntag". The German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) warned that the more than 223,000 companies in the sector will have lost around 10 billion euros in sales by the end of April. Without additional state support, every third business would face insolvency.

 

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April 18, 2020: First federal state introduces compulsory masks

Dresden (dpa) - The East German state of Saxony is the first in Germany to make masks mandatory for public transport and retail. The regulation will apply from Monday, said State Premier Michael Kretschmer (CDU) in Dresden. To cover nose and mouth, it does not have to be an expensive FFP2 mask, a simple cloth or scarf is sufficient, the head of the government emphasized. Kretschmer said that if one allows additional contacts of people in so many areas, a mask obligation is "the right answer". Starting Monday, some restrictions to contain the Corona pandemic are to be relaxed in Saxony.

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Church services to be possible again despite corona

Berlin (dpa) - Worship services are to be made possible again in Germany step by step, provided that hygiene rules are observed to protect against corona. A concept for this is to be developed in the coming days. This should then be the basis for later decisions, said a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of the Interior after a discussion with representatives of the Catholic and Protestant Churches, the Orthodox Christians, the Central Council of Jews as well as the Coordination Council of Muslims. Saxony now wants to allow public worship services again starting Monday under certain conditions. Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chairman of the council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), said afterwards that the consensus reached was that worship services should be permitted again as soon as possible after April 30th, provided that hygienic regulations and minimum distances are observed.

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April 17, 2020: Germany demands more aid for poorest countries

Berlin (dpa) - Before the spring meeting of the World Bank, Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) has called for further aid for the least developed countries in the Corona crisis. At the same time he welcomed Wednesday's decision by leading economic nations to suspend debt service for such countries. "I expect that the World Bank will also participate in the debt moratorium," said Müller before the World Bank meeting this Friday, which he will attend as German Governor at the World Bank by video.

"Global supply chains are already breaking down. Millions of people without work or income are facing nothing, which can lead to hunger, unrest and violence," Müller explained. Müller mentioned several demands: "With the debt deferral we gain precious time, but I fear that many countries need much more help. That's why I am advocating that in a second step we prepare debt relief for the poorest 47 countries, the so-called Least Developed Countries." These countries would have to commit themselves to invest the interest saved in health and social security.

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April 16, 2020: The risks of the Relaxation

Berlin (dpa) - Germany has achieved a "fragile interim success" in the fight against the pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday in the wake of the announcement of initial easing of corona measures. She made it clear that even supposedly small changes in the so-called reproduction number can have considerable consequences. The figure indicates the average number of people infected by a diseased person.
With a reproduction value of 2 - one person infected with coronavirus infects two other people on average - 500 cases would result in more than one million cases after only ten rounds of infection. Even a change from 1.1 to 1.2 can mean that intensive care reaches its capacity limits months earlier. According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), currently about one in six infected persons (16 percent) comes to hospital because of severe symptoms.
In order for an epidemic to end naturally - i.e. without a vaccine - the reproductive value would have to remain below 1 for a long time, i.e. one infected person would have to infect less than another on average. Not only in Germany is this considered to be virtually unattainable at present - especially if the situation is progressively relaxed.

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April 15, 2020: School, big events, business - how it goes on

Berlin (dpa) - Schooling in Germany is to resume on 4 May, starting with the final classes, the classes that will take exams next year and the top primary school classes. The federal and state governments agreed on this on Wednesday.
An agreement was also reached during the talks with regard to major events. Due to the corona pandemic, they are to be prohibited in principle until August 31. Soccer matches are also affected. Concrete regulations, such as the size of the events, are to be made by the states.
It is also planned to open shops with a sales area of up to 800 square meters. The states can approve this under conditions regarding hygiene, access control and avoidance of queues.
The severe contact restrictions in the fight against the coronavirus, which have been in place for weeks, should in principle be extended until 3 May.

 

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April 15, 2020: Retrieval campaign to be completed

Berlin (dpa) - A good four weeks after the start of the German government's recall campaign, more than 230,000 People stranded abroad because of the Corona crisis have returned home. As the German Press Agency learned from the Federal Foreign Office, only a "medium four-digit number" of travellers now need to be flown out, most of them from South Africa, Argentina and Peru. The largest repatriation operation in the history of the Federal Republic is thus likely to be completed in a few days. After that, however, the embassies will continue to deal with individual cases.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas launched the repatriation campaign in mid-March in order to bring back travellers from countries from which there are no longer regular flights, together with tour operators and airlines. The Foreign Office has also chartered aircraft for this purpose and transported 62,000 passengers on 245 special flights. These included 5,000 EU citizens and 2,000 citizens from countries outside the European Union.

 

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April 14, 2020: Broad call for eco-economic stimulus package

Berlin (dpa) - After the Corona crisis the economy must recover - but please sustainably: This is what politicians, company heads, trade unions, associations and experts from all over Europe are calling for. On Tuesday they published an appeal, which has also been signed by the German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze. "After the crisis, the time of reconstruction will come," it says. The massive investments and plans for recovery at all levels should make climate protection and the preservation of ecosystems a central part of economic policy. The initiative was launched by Pascal Canfin, Chairman of the European Parliament's Environment Committee. Schulze said that the opportunity to develop a new model of prosperity was already available.

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April 13, 2020: Science Academy Leopoldina: Schools to reopen as soon as possible

Halle (dpa) - The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina recommends that, under certain conditions, primary and lower secondary schools should be gradually re-opened as soon as possible. The scientists' statement published on Monday states, among other things, that it is a prerequisite for this, however, that infections are stabilised at a low level and that the well-known hygiene rules are observed. In addition, the experts are in favour of making masks mandatory in buses and trains, for example. According to the opinion, other parts of public life could also be gradually returned to normal under certain conditions, for example the retail trade, the hotel and restaurant industry and public authorities. However, private and business travel as well as social, cultural and sporting events could also take place again.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had described the Leopoldina study as "very important" for the further course of action. Merkel intends to hold a switching conference with the prime ministers this Wednesday (15 April) to assess the situation in the corona crisis after the Easter Holidays.

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April 13, 2020: CDU leader urges uniform procedure for corona loosening

CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is insisting on a procedure as uniform as possible for a gradual exit from the harsh corona restrictions after the Easter holidays. "It is important that we have regulations that are as uniform as possible. Everything else raises additional questions", Kramp-Karrenbauer told the German Press Agency in Berlin. There was also a firm agreement within the Minister President's Conference "to be able to present a good overall package together with the Federal Government, with which one could possibly - depending on the development of the figures over Easter - take first steps".

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April 12, 2020: Maas: German EU Council Presidency becomes Corona Presidency

Berlin (dpa) - According to Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, the fight against the corona virus will be the defining issue of the German EU Council Presidency. "We will make it a 'corona presidency' in order to overcome corona and its consequences," writes the SPD politician in a guest article for "Die Welt". "Lessons must be learned from the crisis, for example by improving EU civil protection and the joint procurement and production of vital medical supplies." He added that the EU will have to take a more proactive approach to the crisis. Maas continues: "As soon as we are out of the woods, one of the first tasks will be to gradually and in a coordinated way reduce restrictions on free travel and the internal market." Germany will take over the EU presidency in the second half of this year.

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April 11, 2020: Steinmeier asks for patience

Berlin (dpa) - At Easter, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the citizens to be patient, disciplined and show solidarity in the Corona crisis. In a television address on Saturday, the head of state expressed optimism: "We can and we will grow even in this situation." Steinmeier said it was "good that the state is now acting forcefully - in a crisis for which there was no script." At the same time, he appealed to the people in Germany: "I ask you all to continue to have confidence in me, because the rulers at federal and state level are aware of their huge responsibility." It was the first time a German president addressed a current event in this form. Normally he only gives such speeches at Christmas every year.

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April 11, 2020: Maas advocates strengthening the WHO

Berlin (dpa) - Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has spoken out in favour of strengthening the World Health Organisation as a consequence of the Corona crisis. “The WHO plays an indispensable role in this pandemic. We must strengthen it now, support it and then position it for the future even better than before,” said Maas. “Criticism is always permissible, but it must be constructive.”

In the meantime, the UN Security Council has also addressed the crisis. Maas welcomed this: “We can only overcome this crisis together and in solidarity. To do so we need strong United Nations and a strong Security Council,” he said. The Federal Foreign Minister called on the Security Council adopt UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for a global ceasefire.

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April 11, 2020: Germans satisfied with management of Corona crisis

Berlin (dpa) - According to a survey, the majority of Germans are satisfied with the German government’s management of the Corona crisis. In a survey conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the German Press Agency (dpa), 66 percent rated the actions of the cabinet headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel during the crisis rather positively. Two weeks ago the figure was 54 percent. During this period, the percentage of dissatisfied people has dropped from 38 to 27 percent.

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will give a television address on the current situation in the Corona pandemic this weekend. This is the first time that a Federal President has addressed a current event in this form.

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April 10, 2020: New quarantine obligation – Federal police inform at the airport

Frankfurt (dpa) - The Federal Police at Frankfurt Airport have been on duty since early Friday morning to inform returning travellers about the new quarantine obligation. "As administrative assistance for the health department, we have been handing out an information sheet to all passengers entering the airport since midnight," said the spokesperson for the airport federal police, Reza Ahmari. "It says that they must go directly to domestic quarantine and report to their local health department." 


On Good Friday, several thousand travellers were affected at Germany's largest airport, 80 per cent of them in connection with the repatriation programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the future, anyone entering Germany from abroad will have to spend two weeks in domestic quarantine as protection against the coronavirus. The agreement between the federal and state governments has been in force since this Friday and will initially remain in force until 19 April. There are exceptions, for example for persons who have been abroad for less than 24 hours or for certain seasonal workers.

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April 10, 2020: EU finance ministers agree on rescue package against corona crisis

Brussels (dpa) - In the Corona crisis, the EU finance ministers have agreed on aid worth billions for endangered states, companies and jobs. This was announced by participants on Twitter late Thursday evening. The compromise was only reached after two rounds of negotiations and fierce dispute over the terms of the package, which amounts to some 500 billion euros. The controversial topic of corona bonds was initially excluded.

"Today is a great day of European solidarity and also strength," said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz after the end of the protracted negotiations in Berlin. "It's about the health of our citizens, it's about job security and it's about the fact that many companies will survive this crisis."

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April 10, 2020: Good Friday service in the drive-in cinema

Düsseldorf (dpa) - Strictly separated but still together: In a drive-in cinema several hundred Christians in Düsseldorf attended a Good Friday service despite the Corona crisis. According to the cinema operator, visitors had come in about 400 cars to the parking lot at the state capital's trade fair. They were able to follow the ecumenical celebration via car radio.

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April 10, 2020: Economy for roadmap from the Corona standstill

Berlin (dpa) - Business associations are pressing for an early end to the standstill in large parts of business life. The Federal association medium-size economy (BVMW) demands an exit strategy after Easter from the Federal Government. The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) suggests a joint roadmap of politics and economy towards normality.
"One thing is certain, many companies are fighting for their survival," said DIHK President Eric Schweitzer on Friday with a view to the decisions to be taken by the federal and state governments after Easter on the duration and possible end of shop closures and other restrictions. "A signal as to what the start of a gradual normalisation could look like is now becoming increasingly important for the planning and existence of companies".

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April 9th, 2020: Farmers' association welcomes the entry of harvest workers

Munich (dpa) - The German Farmers' Association welcomes the entry of foreign harvest workers in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. "We are relieved: thanks to this regulation our farms will remain able to work", President Joachim Rukwied told "Bayerischer Rundfunk" on Thursday. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) had agreed to fly 80,000 foreign seasonal workers to Germany under strict conditions. The helpers are urgently needed for the asparagus harvest, among other things. The first flights are scheduled to land in Dusseldorf and Berlin on Thursday. Although Rukwied hopes that harvest workers from Germany can also be deployed. However, the foreign seasonal workers would have more experience: "Without them it would not have been possible".

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April 8th, 2020: RKI head: "Positive trend" identifiable through corona measures

Berlin (dpa) - The President of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, has expressed confidence in the effect of the restrictions in force in Germany in the fight against the corona virus. "In any case, it is a positive trend and we are of course bringing it together with the measures," Wieler said in an interview with the radio station "Deutschlandfunk" on Wednesday. "So that means: The measures introduced by the political decision makers, these measures are helping." However, he stressed that the all-clear could not yet be given.
According to Wieler, the current reproduction rate is 1.3, which means that an infected person infects an average of 1.3 healthy people. This number should be kept below 1.0. The virus will then be slowly contained. However, Wieler explained that not only the reproduction number is relevant for a relaxation of the measures, but also the proportion of immune people in the population as well as the capacities of the health system.

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April 7th, 2020: Ethics Council for debate on relaxation of corona restrictions 

Berlin (dpa) - The German Ethics Council considers a debate on the strategy for easing the initial restrictions in the corona crisis to be necessary. The chairman of the advisory body, theologian Peter Dabrock, expressed fears in Berlin on Tuesday that otherwise the necessary trust of the population could be damaged. 
Further insights into the spread of the pandemic are also important for easing restrictions on public life. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is now hoping to gain these insights from the analysis of data from fitness wristbands and computer watches. To this end, the RKI has published the app "Corona Data Donation", which can access data from the devices. 

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April 6th, 2020:

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April 6, 2020:  Germany has admitted 198 corona patients from the EU

Berlin (dpa) - Germany has admitted 198 seriously ill patients from other EU countries for treatment since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. Currently there are still commitments for 58 treatment places that have not been taken up, a spokesperson for the Foreign Office said in Berlin on Monday. He said that 130 patients from France, 44 patients from Italy and 24 more from the Netherlands had been brought to Germany.

"From the Italian side, it is currently the case that a slight decrease in the number of corona intensive care patients can be observed. Therefore, no further transfer from Italy to Germany is planned for the time being," said the spokesperson. He added that the German states were prepared to provide further assistance. The German Air Force has also participated several times with the special aircraft Airbus A310 MedEvac.

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April 6, 2020: Survey: Many citizens in Corona crisis concerned about money issues

Berlin (dpa) - In view of the Corona crisis, many citizens are concerned about possible financial disadvantages, according to a survey. Usurious prices for perhaps once scarce goods such as hygiene articles procure 38 per cent very or rather strongly, as the inquiry on behalf the consumer center Federal association (vzbv) resulted in. One third (33 percent) strongly fear that private old-age provision will lose value. The greatest uncertainty is about not being able to receive adequate treatment due to a lack of hospital or doctor capacities. This is a major concern for 43 percent of those surveyed.

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April 6, 2020:

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April 5, 2020: Spring weather – Federal government calls for compliance with the contact ban

Berlin (dpa) – In view of the spring weather, the German government warns citizens to strictly observe the contact ban in the fight against the coronavirus even over Easter. “We must continue to do everything we can to prevent the virus from spreading too quickly in Germany. Unfortunately, this also applies to Easter – as bitter as this is for many families and circles of friends”, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas told the German Press Agency. He added that a look across the borders showed even more dramatically than in Germany how deadly the corona virus was. 

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Everything you need to know about the corona crisis in Germany and the measures being taken against the spread of the virus:
www.deutschland.de/en/corona-virus-germany-overview

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April 5, 2020: Head of the Federal Chancellery: Time with highest infection rates still ahead

Berlin (dpa) - Helge Braun, Head of the Federal Chancellery, has emphasised that the peak of the Corona crisis in Germany is still to come. It was now the task of the Federal Government to “prepare ourselves on behalf of our population for the most difficult part of this crisis”, Braun told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. “The time with the highest infection rates is still ahead of us.” Before the current restrictions began, there had been a doubling every three days. In order not to overburden the health care system, doubling times of considerably more than ten days are necessary, Braun said. “Even more likely are 12 or 14 days.”

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April 5, 2020: Von der Leyen demands Marshall Plan for Europe

Berlin (dpa) - Europe must put more money into its hands for the period after the Corona crisis, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “We need a Marshall Plan for Europe”, she writes in a guest article for the “Welt am Sonntag”. In her piece, von der Leyen argues for massive investments in the EU budget. The budget is accepted in all member states as an instrument of solidarity-based compensation and must be adapted to the crisis, von der Leyen writes.

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April 4, 2020: Bavaria admits corona patients and sets up auxiliary hospitals

Munich (dpa) - Bavaria wants to admit ten seriously ill Covid-19 patients from the French capital Paris for treatment in the corona crisis. This was announced by Prime Minister Markus Söder on Twitter on Saturday. He had promised the French ambassador support. "Friends help in times of need," Söder wrote. "Europe must stand together." Since last Sunday, Bavaria has already admitted ten corona patients from Italy for medical care and is in the process of setting up 26 auxiliary hospitals. German hospitals have now admitted more than 100 patients infected with the corona virus from EU partner countries. 

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Müller calls for "world crisis management" in Corona crisis

Berlin (dpa) - Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) urges a more global approach to coronavirus control. In the magazine "Spiegel" he spoke out in favour of the creation of a "world crisis management". This new institution could be headed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Now is the "hour of the United Nations", Müller said. Guterres would have to coordinate international aid organizations in close cooperation with institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The pandemic was a "global wake-up call for cooperation", he said.

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April 3, 2020:

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April 3, 2020: Parcel volumes now at "pre-Christmas Level"

Bonn (dpa) - The parcel service provider DHL reports increasing parcel numbers after a few weeks of corona crisis. At the beginning of the restrictions, no significant effect was initially noticeable. One can now see "a daily increasing number of parcels, the volume of which is now very noticeably higher than last year at this time", said a spokesman for the German Press Agency. Over Easter, the quantity is expected to increase further. "The very sudden rise to the pre-Christmas level per day in our network shows us that small retailers in particular are increasingly turning to DHL to deliver their goods to consumers even when the shops are closed," said Tobias Meyer, member of the Post & Parcel Board.

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April 3, 2020: Maas says: National action Basis for international aid

Berlin (dpa) - For Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, national and European action in the corona crisis are not contradictory. "We must remain capable of acting nationally in order to help each other internationally," the SPD politician said on Friday on ARD's "Morgenmagazin". "Of course we must ensure that the problems we have in Germany with regard to the corona virus are solved."
At the same time, Maas emphasized the importance of European solidarity - also at the economic level: "The German economy is an export economy. We are dependent on the situation in other countries being good." The corona crisis will cost jobs in Germany. "But if we don't solve it internationally, there will be a second wave that will cost jobs: Because if the countries around us in Europe have more and more problems and go to the dogs," said Maas. "We must prevent this and we can only do it together in Europe."
In this context, he pointed out, for example, the possibility to financially cushion corona consequences in the individual countries via the ESM euro rescue parachute.

 

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Chancellor's Office strives for rapid spot checks with anti-body tests

Berlin (dpa) - In the fight against the coronavirus, the German government wants to have representative samples taken from the population as soon as a reliable antibody test is available. This was announced on Thursday evening on television by Helge Braun (CDU), Minister of the Chancellery. The goal is to get an overview of the percentage of people in the population who have antibodies against the virus. A test for antibodies in the blood was already available, he said, "but it is not yet as accurate as we need it".
The test currently available could "make the fatal mistake of suggesting that you are already immune and in the end it is not true at all". As soon as this is corrected, "a large number of people who believe they have never had anything to do with Corona" should be tested voluntarily. This will show how many people "silently" went through the disease and how large the infected dark figure is.

 

April 2, 2020:

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April 2, 2020: Steinmeier calls for helpfulness - "showing the best in us"

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's head of state Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on the citizens in the Corona crisis to be helpful in everyday life. "Let us show each other the best in ourselves - let us show humanity, let us show solidarity," he said in a new video message on Thursday. "If we can do this together, our society will not disintegrate in this crisis, but on the contrary: Then it will grow closer together." "We may be condemned to isolation - but not to inaction", the Federal President continued. Anyone and everyone could help. This could be shopping for elderly neighbours, calling the family, telling a bedtime story for the grandchildren over the phone or writing letters to relatives in nursing homes that you are not allowed to visit now.

April 2, 2020: Coronavirus: German military readies 15,000 soldiers for deployment

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's military says it is making 15,000 soldiers available for deployment for the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of infections confirmed in the country edges towards 74,000. The Bundeswehr soldiers will be deployed within 12-72 hours of being called upon, a spokeswoman said on Thursday. However, the military is also suffering from a lack of protective medical supplies, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said, telling the ARD public broadcaster that the army's inventories have enough for a "certain short period." According to data collated by dpa from Germany's 16 federal states, over 73,900 people are known to have caught the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. At least 879 people have died in Germany after catching the virus.

April 2, 2020:

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April 2, 2020: Merkel: No statement possible at present about the end of the restrictions


Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel does not foresee an end to the restrictions in the Corona crisis. "I cannot make any statements on this question of how much longer it will take, at this point in time," the CDU politician said on Wednesday after telephone consultations with the state premiers. She said that the states had decided on the restrictions on public life together and also wanted to end them together when the time came.
The treatment of severe Covid-19 cases in the intensive care unit is on average well over two weeks and thus takes longer than expected. Therefore, Merkel said, the number of patients must be doubled only every "12, 13, 14 days". "We want to avoid excessive demands", she said, referring to the health system. "That's why we can only proceed from step to step, from date to date." The situation should be reassessed on the Tuesday after Easter.
"I believe that the people in the country - I hope so, and I also base my expectations on this - understand this and do not want us to get into a difficult situation. Especially for those groups that we have to protect in particular - namely the elderly, the disabled, those who were previously ill," Merkel said. "And I am grateful for this understanding. That is what distinguishes our society. Article 1 of our Basic Law says 'Human dignity shall be inviolable', and this is being lived at the moment, and I am very grateful for it, and we must continue to act in this way.


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April 2, 2020: Almost nobody flies at German airports any more


Berlin/Frankfurt (dpa) - Due to the corona crisis there are hardly any take-offs and landings at the larger German airports. In the last week of March (23.-29.3.) the number of passengers handled has dropped to just under 206,000, as the airport association ADV reported on Thursday. This is still 5 percent of the previous year's figure. The decline in cargo was much smaller, with the volume of cargo handled in the week in question only 20.4 percent below the previous year's figure.
Nevertheless, all airports were kept in operation as a public service, explained ADV General Manager Ralph Beisel. Urgently needed patient transport as well as cargo and return flights could still be handled without any problems. Beisel warned the German government to provide financial support: "Airport operations without income cannot be sustained for long. Liquidity assistance and cost transfers are urgently required.

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April 1, 2020: Von der Leyen announces European plan for short-time work compensation

Brussels (dpa) - In the corona crisis, the EU states could soon receive money from Brussels for short-time work assistance. EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday an initiative called "Sure", which is to be presented on Thursday.  According to information from the German Press Agency, the initiative is not about subsidies to national unemployment insurance funds, which are usually financed by social contributions from employees and employers. Instead, Eric Mamer, Spoekesman of the EU-Commission, spoke of "help to finance national short-time work programs". According to dpa information, instruments of the European Financial Stabilization Facility EFSF, which was set up during the euro debt crisis, could be used to finance the European programme. The EFSF was founded in 2010 as a precursor to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and was able to issue its own bonds, for which the euro states are proportionately liable.

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April 1, 2020: Corona crisis makes weather forecasts more uncertain

Geneva (dpa) - Because air traffic has largely been suspended due to the corona crisis, weather forecasts and climate observations are becoming more difficult. There is a lack of data for weather models, which normally comes from sensors on aircraft. "If even less weather data is provided by aircraft, and this over a longer period of time, the reliability of weather forecasts is likely to decrease," said Lars Peter Riishojgaard, Section Leader at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in Geneva on Wednesday.

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March 31, 2020: Air cleaner because of corona barriers in German cities

Brussels (dpa) - Air pollution in German cities has already decreased significantly as a result of the corona exit restrictions. This is shown by a comparison of satellite images from the past few days with those from a year ago, which the European Public Health Alliance EPHA published on Monday. This is an alliance of non-governmental organisations for health and environmental protection.

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March 31, 2020: Masks instead of costumes - theatres help

Berlin (dpa) - Several theatre workshops help in the corona crisis and produce simple protective masks during the stage closure. The first orders have been placed, for example, by the Berliner Bühnenservice, which normally works for opera houses and the Staatsballett. About 300 masks have been sewn for an old people's and nursing home, managing director Rolf D. Suhl told the German Press Agency. About 300 more are to be made for a second home. Doctors' surgeries, pharmacies, and a clinic company had also asked.

The masks are sewn from boil-proof cotton fabric. There are similar initiatives in other German cities, such as Mainz and Leipzig. In order to prevent the spread of the corona virus, theatrical performances have been cancelled for quite some time. At the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin, 15 employees are now sewing masks for mouth and nose, and there are also plans to do the same at the Deutsches Theater in the capital. At the Theater an der Parkaue, six employees are working on them. "The colleagues are happy to be able to make a contribution", said spokesman Julius Dürrwald. Fabric masks protect above all other people from possibly infectious droplets.

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March 30, 2020: Recession in Germany is inevitable

Berlin (dpa) - A deep recession in Germany is unavoidable due to the massive consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, a group of economic experts that advises the government said on Monday. The country's economy will contract significantly this year, the German Council of Economic Experts predicted in a special report. How bad it will be remains unclear because of the great uncertainty that still prevails. What will be "crucial" for the economy is the spread of the virus being contained and the restrictions on social and economic activities being lifted rapidly, the so-called "wise men" wrote. The group presented three possible scenarios. "In all three scenarios, the spread of the coronavirus abruptly ends the emerging economic recovery, so that a recession in the first half of 2020 will be unavoidable in Germany," the council said in a statement. It thinks the most likely scenario is that the economic situation will normalize over the summer - which runs from June to September in Europe - so that Germany's gross domestic product (GDP) will end up falling by 2.8 per cent this year. The council's two more pessimistic scenarios foresee a deeper slump in 2020, possibly followed by a very slow recovery. This could happen if the health restrictions remain in place beyond the summer and the economic recovery only sets in next year.

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March 30, 2020: Federal government takes stranded EU citizens on return flights

With an unprecedented retrieval operation, the German government is bringing stranded travellers home. Here, too, the Federal Government is thinking European: stranded European citizens were also taken on almost all return flights. On each flight chartered by the Federal Government, an average of 17 EU citizens travel with them. This means that a total of 1750 non-German EU citizens have already returned home.

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March 29, 2020: No rapid normalisation in sight - concerns about the health system

Berlin (dpa) - In the corona crisis there are also concerns in Germany as to whether the capacities are sufficient to care for seriously ill patients. "In any case, we have to reckon with insufficient capacities, quite clearly," the president of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wieler, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. He added that it could not be ruled out that there would be more patients than ventilation stations. "Whether this will happen is speculation," Wieler said.

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March 29, 2020: Government wants faster supply of protective masks and gowns

In order to stem the shortage of protective masks and gowns, the German government is trying to speed up the purchase. To this end, it has launched a procedure in which supply contracts are concluded without further negotiations on the purchase price. The newspaper Welt am Sonntag had first reported on this. The so-called open-house procedure provides that suppliers can offer at least 25,000 surgical masks, protective gowns or FFP2 mouthguards and that the federal government buys them at a price set by itself - this is easier and faster than the otherwise applicable public procurement law with calls for tenders.

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March 29, 2020: Economy: Corona aid does not reach medium-sized businesses

The craft and travel industries complain about a funding gap. "In this extreme situation, not only small businesses, but also those with more than ten employees need immediate aid," said Hans Peter Wollseifer, President of the Crafts and Travel Industry. The German Travel Association expressed similar sentiments: "The Federal Government must urgently approve measures for small and medium-sized companies," demanded President Norbert Fiebig. Economics Minister Peter Altmaier held out the prospect of further government stimulus for the period after the crisis.

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March 29, 2020: Bundeswehr partially withdraws soldiers from Iraq because of Corona

Berlin (dpa) - Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the German Armed Forces are withdrawing some of the soldiers deployed in Iraq back to Germany. The deployment of German soldiers, which are currently not absolutely necessary for basic operations, has begun, the Operations Command told the representatives of the Bundestag's Defence Committee on Sunday. The first soldiers had landed in Germany on Sunday.
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March 28, 2020: Chancellor's office: Germany won't relax coronavirus restrictions before April 20

Berlin (dpa) - The head of the German chancellor's office said that measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus in the country won‘t be lifted before April 20. „We are not talking about any easing until April 20. Until then all measures will remain in place,“ Helge Braun told the Tagesspiegel newspaper in an interview. Older people would have to stick to restrictions on movement and interpersonal contact for much longer than younger people.

Braun said he wants to follow a similar approach to how South Korea is tackling the pandemic, using digital tracking to alert people if they have had contact with infected persons.

Chancellor Angela Merkel also underlined the importance of staying at home and asked people to be patient. „Nobody can say today with a clear conscience that they know how long this difficult time will last. There is still no reason to relax the rules,“ she said in her weekly podcast released on Saturday. Despite initial tests showing she has not been infected, Merkel remains in home isolation out of an abundance of caution after being given a vaccine by a doctor who later tested positive.

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March 28, 2020: Bundeswehr flies Italians suffering from Covid-19 to Germany

Berlin (dpa) - Because of the dramatic plight of northern Italian hospitals in the Corona crisis, the German Air Force is bringing patients to Germany for treatment. The Airbus A310 MedEvac, the flying intensive care unit of the German Armed Forces, flew from Cologne to Bergamo on Saturday to bring patients to North Rhine-Westphalia for intensive care treatment. The plane returned to Cologne at noon with six seriously ill Italians on board, a spokesman for the Air Force told the German Press Agency.

„In times of greatest need, it goes without saying that we stand by our friends,“ said Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on the mission. „This is why we are now bringing seriously ill patients from Italy to Germany for treatment in our flying intensive care unit of the Air Force. This is an important sign of solidarity. Europe must stick together.“

Six seriously ill corona patients from France are also being admitted to the Berlin Charité, a spokeswoman for the Senate announced on Saturday. According to the information, the infected patients will be brought by plane from the university hospital in Strasbourg to Berlin to receive intensive medical treatment in the hospital.

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March 27, 2020: Coronavirus aid ready to flow

Berlin (dpa) - Citizens and businesses in Germany that have been left in dire straits by the coronavirus crisis will soon be able to get help from the state, after the upper house of parliament on Friday approved an unprecedented aid package. It contains measures to save jobs and companies, support hospitals and preserve citizens' livelihood and housing. Tenants, parents, employees on short-time work, small firms and large corporations are all in line for support. It will be funded by 156 billion euros (172 billion dollars) in new debt, in a historic move that flouts the country's long-held fiscal rules. The first funds are expected to reach those in need before April 1.

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March 27, 2020: Five trillion US dollars planned to support the economy

Brussels/Berlin (dpa) - The European Union and the G20 of the leading economic powers are preparing comprehensive measures to contain the corona pandemic and deal with its economic consequences. At a video summit, EU leaders decided, after a hard struggle, to work out a new model for a rescue package with financial aid for indebted states within two weeks. Earlier, the G20 leaders had decided on a joint approach to the crisis. In total, the member states and the EU together have already earmarked five trillion US dollars to support the economy.

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March 26, 2020:

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March 26, 2020: Bosch develops COVID 19 quick test

The Stuttgart-based technology group Bosch has developed a rapid test for the detection of the Covid 19 virus. The new method produces results within two and a half hours.  Patients usually have to wait one to two days for a result. The newly developed test is to be available in Germany from April onwards, with other European and non-European markets to follow. "The COVID 19 rapid test helps to contain the spread of the pandemic and break through infection chains more quickly," said Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner.

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March 26, 2020: Support for coronavirus response

Berlin (dpa) - Almost two thirds of people expect further restrictions to be introduced in Germany as part of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to a survey commissioned by dpa. Polling institute YouGov found that 64 per cent of people believe that further measures are in the pipeline to restrict social contact, while 20 per cent believed this wouldn't be the case. Sixteen per cent did not give a response. There was broad acceptance for the measures, the poll found.

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March 25, 2020: Toilet paper and noodles: Demand explosion in retail

Wiesbaden/Cologne (dpa) - The corona crisis has caused the demand for disinfectants and toilet paper, but also for pasta and canned tomatoes, to explode in Germany in recent weeks. This is shown by current figures published by the Federal Statistical Office on Wednesday. According to these figures, last week consumers bought more than four times as much soap and more than three times as much toilet paper as the average of the previous six months. The statisticians relied on an analysis of digitally available cash register data.

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March 25, 2020: Parliament launches aid package

Berlin (dpa) - Lawmakers were convening under strict distancing measures in the German parliament on Wednesday to vote on a historic raft of spending measures aimed at bolstering the country's economic and medical defences against the coronavirus. Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government announced on Monday plans to suspend Germany's so-called debt brake in a move expected to be passed in the Bundestag parliament. The constitutional article limits structural net borrowing to 0.35 per cent of gross domestic product. Lifting it would pave the way for a record supplementary budget of 156.3 billion euros (167 billion dollars) in new debt. The sum will cover both 122.8 billion euros in aid and an expected drop of around 33.5 billion euros in tax revenues. The measures are set to go to the Bundesrat upper house on Friday, in an expedited legislative process aimed at providing urgent aid to families, tenants, employees, self-employed people and firms, as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on the world economy.

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March 24, 2020: Germany admits corona patients from abroad

Leipzig (dpa) - A group of corona patients from Italy to be treated in Saxony landed at Leipzig-Halle Airport during the night from Tuesday to Tuesday. Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer announced on Monday that Saxony wants to admit corona patients from Italy to its hospitals. This was in response to a request by the Italian government. The hospitals in the Free State had signalled that they had the capacity for this. In addition, the treatment of Italian patients could teach them how to deal with the virus. North Rhine-Westphalia is also accepting ten corona patients from Northern Italy, which is particularly affected by the virus. This was said by North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet on Tuesday in a special session of the state parliament.

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March 24, 2020: Sports world relieved: IOC and Japan postpone Tokyo games to 2021

Tokyo (dpa) - The Tokyo Olympics makers have bowed to the pressure in the Corona crisis and are letting the sports world breathe a sigh of relief with the postponement of the Summer Games to 2021. In a telephone conference on Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese hosts took the long inescapable decision to postpone the Tokyo Games until next year. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed "one hundred percent" with the IOC proposal," said IOC President Thomas Bach. The Summer Games are to be postponed to "a date after 2020", but not later than summer 2021, it was said. "The now quick and clear decision to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a correct and enormously important step for international sport and the entire world community," said Alfons Hörmann, President of the German Olympic Sports Federation.

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March 24, 2020: First corona test at Chancellor Merkel negative

Berlin (dpa) - The first test of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for the novel coronavirus did not reveal any infection. "The test result of today's test is negative," said government spokesperson Steffen Seibert on Monday in Berlin at the request of the German Press Agency. "Further tests will be carried out in the next few days."

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March 23, 2020: Merkel waits for result of corona test

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) underwent a test for the novel coronavirus on Monday and is now waiting for the results. "The Chancellor is doing well", government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on Monday. Merkel had joined the cabinet meeting by telephone, and was temporarily doing her work from home. "Now we'll wait for the results and see what comes next." The basis for this is the recommendations of the doctors and the Robert Koch Institute.

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March 22, 2020: Merkel in quarantine

Berlin (dpa) - After Chancellor Merkel's press conference in Berlin, it was announced that she now has to put herself in domestic quarantine. After her press appearance in the evening, she was informed that she had been in contact with a doctor on Friday, who in the meantime had been tested positive for the coronavirus, said her spokesperson Steffen Seibert. "Even from domestic quarantine, the Chancellor will continue her official business."

Merkel had previously made another urgent appeal to the population to reduce contact with other people outside the family to an absolutely necessary minimum. "Please pull everyone along," said the Chancellor. "Show good sense and heart."

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March 22, 2020: Further drastic measures

The federal government and the state governments want to slow down the spread of the coronavirus with further and unprecedented drastic restrictions. Public gatherings of more than two people will be banned throughout Germany for an initial period of two weeks - with the exception of relatives living in the same households. Those who do not follow the rules will be threatened with fines. Restaurants will have to close, except for the delivery of food for the home. Hairdresser's shops will be closed. Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of the federal state agreed on these new drastic measures in a telephone conference on Sunday.

Merkel emphasized: "We must do everything possible to prevent an uncontrolled increase in the number of cases and to keep our health system efficient." The restrictions are to remain in place for at least two weeks. A curfew, which has been repeatedly mentioned in recent days, is expressly not imposed by the politicians.

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March 22, 2020: Supermarkets rebuild because of Corona


Munich (dpa) - Distance markings on the floor, protective screens at the cash registers, cashless payment, as well as disinfectants and gloves for employees: With many measures, supermarkets and discounters in Germany want to contain the spread of the corona virus and at the same time protect their cashiers from infection.  Extended opening hours, as made possible by the new regulations in Bavaria, for example, are hardly an issue, however, as a survey of supermarket and discount store chains by the German Press Agency showed - also to protect employees.
In many branches, Plexiglas panels are currently being installed at the cash registers, the respective spokespersons announced. This protection is intended to protect cashiers from infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus. "As one of many preventive measures, additional disinfectants and disposable gloves will be made available at short notice to protect our employees," explained a spokesperson. To protect customers, the chains in the checkout area of many stores have floor markings stuck to keep customers at a distance.

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March 21, 2020: Physician: Younger peoples should also follow rules

Munich (dpa) - In intensive care units in Germany, young patients infected with the coronavirus are also treated. This has already been shown in Italy - and "this is a picture that is also emerging in Germany," said chief physician Clemens Wendtner from the Department of Infectiology at the Munich Schwabing Hospital. "The youngest symptomatic Covid-19 patients were in their early 20s. Overall, we see the entire demographic age spectrum, regardless of whether they are in the normal ward or intensive care unit." Wendtner had treated the first patients infected with the Sars-CoV-2 virus in Germany at the end of January. "Even a young patient is not immune to having a severe course," warned the physician. "This is to shake up that everyone keeps to the hygiene rules and regulations."

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March 21, 2020: More people visit weekly markets

Berlin (dpa) - More people in Germany go to weekly markets. The interest has increased, reported the company Deutsche Marktgilde, which, according to its own statements, organizes markets at 125 locations. The weekly market is an open-air shopping opportunity and therefore there is a smaller risk of infection and spread, a spokesman said. Because of the Corona epidemic, the market management has been instructed to place the stands further apart.

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March 20, 2020: Far-reaching initial restrictions for the whole of Bavaria

Munich (dpa) - In order to contain the coronavirus, Bavaria's Minister President Markus Söder (CSU) has announced far-reaching initial restrictions for the entire Free State. As of Saturday, leaving one's own home will only be allowed if there are good reasons for doing so. These include, among other things, the way to work, necessary shopping, visits to doctors and pharmacies, help for others, visits from life partners, but also sports and exercise in the fresh air - but only alone or with the people you live with.

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March 20, 2020: Government brings back thousands of Germans


Berlin (dpa) - On Wednesday, the German government returned around 1500 Germans from Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Azerbaijan to Germany with the first seven charter flights of its return campaign due to the corona crisis. On Thursday, according to the Foreign Office, additional planes from the Philippines and the Dominican Republic were to take off with German tourists who were stranded there. A total of several tens of thousands of people are to be flown out on special flights.Governement will charter 30 to 40 planes from Lufthansa, Condor and Tui for 50 million euros. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on ARD television that all special flights, including those of tour operators, had carried 7,500 passengers back home on Wednesday alone. At the moment, the action mainly affects holiday destinations in North Africa. "We will probably bring back 20,000 tourists from Egypt alone over the weekend", said the Foreign Minister.

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March 19, 2020: Heads of states threaten with curfew

Berlin (dpa) - There is growing concern in Germany that the spread of the coronavirus cannot be contained fast enough because citizens are not changing their lives consistently. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) and Baden-Württemberg's head of government Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) openly threatened curfews on Thursday if people do not comply with the urgently needed restrictions on social life.

March 19, 2020: Hopp gives hope for corona vaccine in autumn   

Berlin (dpa) - The Tübingen-based pharmaceutical company CureVac believes that its co-owner Dietmar Hopp might be able to supply a vaccine as early as this autumn. "If the results are positive, we might be able to start clinical trials around early summer," said the SAP founder and patron of the Hoffenheim football club in the "Bild" newspaper (Wednesday). Because the pressure is enormous, he said, approval by the authorities should be quicker than in other cases. "We would therefore be able to deliver the vaccine in autumn," Hopp said.

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March 18, 2020: Chancellor Merkel calls coronavirus biggest challenge since World War II

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke directly to the citizens in a television address on Wednesday evening. Chancellor Merkel called on all people in Germany to show solidarity and discipline in the face of the threat of the corona virus in an unprecedented appeal. "This is a historic task, and it can only be mastered together," she said, "I firmly believe that we will succeed in this task if all citizens see it as their responsibility," Merkel said. "So let me say: this is serious. Take it seriously, too." Since the Second World War, the Chancellor said, there had not been a single challenge to Germany that had called so much for a joint solidarity-based action.

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March 18, 2020: RKI: Ten million infected people if measures are not complied with

Berlin (dpa) - The president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has warned of a scenario with ten million coronavirus infections in Germany within a few months. This could happen if the measures ordered by the federal government were not followed, Lothar Wieler said in Berlin on Wednesday. "We have an exponential course of the epidemic." Wieler appealed to people to reduce their social contacts. The virus would only be transmitted from person to person. Meanwhile the RKI has received almost 8200 confirmed cases nationwide, a good 1000 more than the day before.

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March 18, 2020: Merkel wants to inform about corona measures in a television address

Berlin (dpa) - Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to inform the population on Wednesday evening in a television address about the measures of the Federal Government against the corona crisis. A government spokesperson said that this was not about additional measures. Thus, Merkel apparently does not want to announce even more drastic steps like a general curfew. The spokesperson said: "It's about what needs to be done in Germany now to slow down the spread of the virus and how everyone should participate". Apart from the annual New Year speeches, this is the first time in Merkel's term of office that the Chancellor has addressed the population directly in a television address.

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March 17, 2020: Federal government issues a worldwide travel warning

Berlin (dpa) - Because of the Corona crisis, the German government has issued a worldwide travel warning for tourist travel. This was said by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday in Berlin. So far, the Foreign Office had only advised against unnecessary travel abroad.

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March 17, 2020: Volkswagen to pause production in response to coronavirus

Hanover, Germany (dpa) - The Volkswagen Group is to temporarily shut down production at the vast majority of its plants starting Friday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, sources from the German auto giant's works council said. They told dpa that the decision was taken in consideration of employees whose "work is carried out shoulder to shoulder ... on the assembly lines," arguing that this was not in keeping with German government guidelines on social-distancing.

March 16, 2020: Robert Koch-Institut: Please no corona parties

Berlin (dpa) - The club is closed, so the party is at home? The German Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has vehemently advised against such considerations in view of the spread of the coronavirus. Inviting people home or going to other parties would not make sense in terms of containment efforts, RKI Vice President Lars Schaade said in Berlin on Monday. "I say this because in the meantime there are apparently already so-called Corona parties when the clubs have been closed." He appealed: "Please don't do that. Stay at home if possible and limit your social life as much as possible." The Institute has now been notified of over 4800 confirmed cases of sars-CoV-2.

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March 16, 2020: Dispute over German vaccine company

Berlin/Tübingen (dpa) - In the coronavirus crisis there are disputes between Germany and the USA about the Tübingen-based vaccine company CureVac, according to a newspaper report. Tübingen is located in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg. US-President Donald Trump is trying to lure German scientists to America with large financial contributions or to secure the drug exclusively for his country, the newspaper reported, citing government circles in Berlin.

The company said such a deal is out of the question: We want to develop a vaccine for the whole world and not for individual states,” said CEO Christof Hettich. Majority shareholder and SAP founder Dietmar Hopp also rejected a sale. The German government also rejects a sale.

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March 16, 2020: Bavaria declares the corona crisis an official case of emergency

Munich (dpa) - Due to the spread of the corona virus, Bavaria's Minister-President Markus Söder has announced that the Free State of Bavaria will declare an official case of emergency. Söder said on Sunday evening on BR television that this would be done because a uniform strategy under a single leadership was needed.

The proclamation of the emergency case is primarily connected with organizational issues. These were necessary so that the country could take appropriate measures in the fight against the coronavirus, government circles said. The disaster is to last for 14 days.

Food shops, pharmacies, drugstores, banks and gas stations are to remain open. Söder said that in the food supply sector, even more shopping opportunities would be created that went beyond the previous law on closing times.

In addition to the well-known steps such as closing all non-systemically relevant shops, the Bundeswehr and its hospitals will then also be included in the contingency plans. The Ministry of Health, the newspaper reports, will also record all ventilators in the country and develop an emergency plan on how to set up so-called temporary hospitals. According to the plan, these are to be set up in trade fair, sports and concert halls if the number of people suffering from the disease increases drastically.

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15.03.2020: Strict controls at several German borders and entry bans

Berlin/Vienna/Paris (dpa) - The rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic is increasingly paralysing public life in Germany. From Monday on schools and day-care centres will be closed, children will have to be looked after mostly at home. And like other countries, Germany has now decided to impose stricter controls at its borders. Many federal states are also banning major events and the railways want to reduce regional traffic.


Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has announced comprehensive controls and entry bans at the borders to Switzerland, France, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg. "For travellers without a valid reason for traveling, the rule is that they cannot enter the country", Seehofer said on Sunday evening in Berlin. The decision will take effect on Monday, 16 March 2020, from 8 a.m.


"German citizens naturally have the right to re-enter their home country", Seehofer said about the restrictions. The same applies to foreigners with residence permits and domicile in Germany, State Secretary Hans-Georg Engelke explained. Goods traffic and commuter traffic were also excluded. 


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March 15, 2020: Germany and USA: Discussion about Tübingen vaccine company

Berlin (dpa) - Researchers in Germany are working flat out to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Klaus Cichutek, President of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is responsible for vaccines, did not rule out the possibility that the first population groups might be protected by a vaccination as early as 2021.

Now, according to a report in the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, there are disputes about a Tübingen-based company that is working on a vaccine against the coronavirus. US President Donald Trump is trying to lure German scientists to America with large financial contributions or to secure the drug exclusively for his country, the newspaper reported, citing government circles in Berlin.

In response to an inquiry by the German Press Agency, the Federal Ministry of Health referred to statements that a ministry spokesman had already made to the newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "The German government is very interested in the development of vaccines and active substances against the novel corona virus in Germany and Europe," the newspaper quoted the spokesperson. "In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac."

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March 15, 2020: Berlin shuts down public life to tackle coronavirus spread

Berlin (dpa) - The German capital city of Berlin is banning all public and private events with more than 50 people starting immediately in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus. City authorities have closed all cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sport facilities, including gyms and fitness studios, along with bars, pubs, casinos and clubs, until at least April 19. Berlin's restaurants will remain open if customers are able to keep a 1.5-metre distance from one another.

Patients in hospital will no longer be allowed to have visitors, the new rules say, with the exception of children under 16 and the seriously ill. Elderly residents of care homes will no longer be able to receive visitors under the age of 16.

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March 14, 2020: First Bundesliga player tests positive as league shuts down

Frankfurt (dpa) - Paderborn defender Luca Kilian has been tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first infected Bundesliga player.

The announcement came hours after the German Football League (DFL) postponed this weekend's Bundesliga and second division and is set to suspend them until April 2 due to the coronavirus.

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March 14, 2020: Federal Ministry of Health warns against false news

Berlin (dpa) - The Federal Ministry of Health has warned the population of false news and scare mongering in the Corona crisis. "Attention Fake News", the ministry wrote on Twitter on Saturday. "It is claimed and quickly spread that the Federal Ministry of Health/the Federal Government would soon announce massive further restrictions on public life. This is NOT true! Please help stop their spread."

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March 13, 2020: German Bundesliga football club stops playing

Frankfurt/Main (dpa) - Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the German Soccer League has now immediately suspended play and will not play this weekend. This was announced by the German Soccer League (DFL) on Friday afternoon. "In view of the dynamics of today", it was decided "to postpone the 26th matchday, which originally began today, in both leagues". In the morning, it was initially announced that the games would be suspended from next Tuesday until April 2. This interruption will continue for the time being, but as of today.

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March 12, 2020: Germany's DAX drops below 10,000 points

Frankfurt (dpa) - Germany's DAX index of 30 blue-chip companies has dropped below 10,000 points for the first time since mid-2016. The index fell by 5.5 per cent in opening trading on Thursday, dropping to 9,864 points. Shares across the globe have been steadily falling in value in recent weeks as fears of the global coronavirus pandemic grow and restrictions to prevent the spread take their toll on the economy.

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March 12, 2020: Gloves and masks offer travellers little protection

(dpa) - Travellers worried about contracting the novel coronavirus sometimes use ineffective methods to protect themselves. Wearing cotton gloves on a cruise ship or airplane, for instance, won't help to keep you safe, an expert says. "Gloves pick up everything you touch," remarks Tomas Jelinek, scientific director of the Dusseldorf-based Centre for Travel Medicine (CRM). The problem, he explains, is that at some point you'll touch your face with your gloved hands and thereby possibly transmit the virus to yourself. If you're going to wear gloves, then you have to continually change them, as is done in hospitals, he says. This isn't practicable for travellers. Paper face masks, which some travellers are now wearing at airports, won't protect you either, according to Jelinek. They can, however, lower the risk of infecting other people if you have coronavirus yourself.

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March 11, 2020: Lufthansa Group announces 23,000 flight cancellations for April

Frankfurt (dpa) - Germany's Lufthansa Group says it is cancelling 23,000 short, medium and long-haul flights as part of a reduced timetable from March 29 until April 24. A statement from the company announcing the decision cited "the exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus." The cancellations mainly affect Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Lufthansa said. The company says it will contact customers whose bookings have changed to inform them and offer alternative Options.

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March 10, 2020: First "drive-through" test stations for Coronavirus

In future, residents of the Esslingen district will be able to drive up by car to be tested for the coronavirus. There are now "drive-through" stations for this purpose.

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March 10, 2020: Germany's embassy in North Korea closes due to coronavirus measures

Germany is closing its embassy in North Korea temporarily due to measures there aimed at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. Staff were flown out of Pyongyang to Vladivostok in Russia's far east, the German Foreign Office says. A spokesperson notes that North Korea has for weeks now halted all train and air travel to foreign countries due to fears of the viral pandemic and has placed all foreigners in the reclusive country under compulsory quarantine. Due to these "disproportionate" measures, which could last for months, Germany is unable to run its embassy in North Korea, the spokesperson says, adding that the mission would reopen as soon as the situation returned to normal.

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March 9, 2020: Germany minister: events with over 1,000 people should be cancelled

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn on Sunday recommended cancelling events with more than 1,000 participants in an effort to reduce the number of coronavirus infections. Up until now, people have been too slow to cancel such large events, Spahn told dpa. "That should change fast, given the dynamic developments of the last few days," Spahn said. Germany has been criticized for still going ahead with large sporting events such as the Bundesliga football games, while elsewhere in Europe similar events are being cancelled or held behind closed doors. On Sunday, Germany had a total of 847 coronavirus cases, according to the country's official disease control Institute.

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March 6, 2020: Germans stock up on soup sachets as coronavirus fears grow

Germans have been increasingly filling their cupboards with instant soup - particularly popular for weathering a potential health crisis - as the new coronavirus spreads in their country, according to data from a major research Institute. Revenues from the sales of dry soup mixes more than doubled last week, rising by 112 per cent on the previous week, the GfK reported. "We don't have spikes like this anywhere else," GfK expert Robert Kecskes said. Boosted sales were also noted with tinned fish and fruit, both up 70 per cent, while there was a 73-per-cent rise in dried pasta revenues and 80 per cent for tinned vegetables. The sales, attributed to panic-buying amid fears of consumers having to self-quarantine in an effort to avoid the disease, led to a 14-per-cent boost last week for German food retailing in general, the GfK said.

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March 5, 2020: Industry body warns of coronavirus risk to German economy

German industry is bracing itself for the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak. "Economic growth threatens to almost come to a standstill," a quarterly report from the Federation of German Industries (BDI) warned. If the national economies affected by the pandemic do not return to normal in the second quarter, the BDI expects a reduction in Germany's own economic output. The industry body had previously forecast growth of 0.5 per cent for Europe's largest economy in 2020, owing in part to the fact that this year has more working days than the previous year.

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March 4, 2020: Germany's Hannover Messe industry fair postponed due to coronavirus

The organizers of the Hannover Messe, one of the world's largest industry fairs, say the event will be postponed due to the spread of the new coronavirus. The event is now set to take place on July 13-17 in the German city of Hanover, not April 20-24 as originally planned, Deutsche Messe AG announced on Wednesday. The company said it was "unable to implement the proposed measures" recommended by the Robert Koch Institute in order to prevent the spread of the outbreak at major events. Around 6,000 exhibitors had been registered for the Event.

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March 3, 2020: German carmakers present new models online after Geneva cancelled

Germany's leading automotive companies presented new vehicles aimed at cutting emissions on Tuesday, but online from their respective headquarters after the Geneva motor show scheduled to start this week was cancelled. In Munich, BMW presented its all-electric Concept i4. The four-door coupe has a range of up to 600 kilometres on the basis of new battery technology, chief executive Oliver Zipse said. Mercedes-maker Daimler aims to cut the CO2 emissions across its fleet by 20 per cent this year, chief executive Ola Kaellenius said from Stuttgart. Volkswagen aims for its first all-electric ID.4 sport utility vehicle (SUV) to be on the road this year, with a range of  500 kilometres. Chief operating officer Ralf Brandstaetter said from Wolfsburg: "We will produce and sell the ID.4 in Europe, China and the United States."

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March 3, 2020: Leipzig Book Fair cancelled due to coronavirus

The Leipzig Book Fair, the second-largest event of its kind in Germany, is being cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak, a spokesperson says. The fair was supposed to run from March 12-15 with a focus on works from across south-eastern Europe. The exhibition, which was due to feature 3,700 events at 500 locations throughout Leipzig's trade fair grounds and the wider city, had been expected to draw 2,500 exhibitors from 51 countries. Last year's Leipzig Book Fair attracted 286,000 visitors.

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March 2, 2020: Coronavirus cases rise in Germany

Berlin (dpa) - The number of cases of the new coronavirus in Germany rose to 150, the official disease control institute reported in Berlin on Monday. The Robert Koch Institute put its risk estimate from the epidemic at "moderate," with its head, Lothar Wieler, noting that the situation continued to be extremely dynamic. In the southern states of Baden Wuerttemberg and Bavaria, school pupils were order to stay at home after last week's carnival holiday, if they had been in a high-risk area. Certain public events have been cancelled throughout the country, as the federal government said it did not believe the epidemic would end soon. Germany's western states, as well as Berlin, have all recorded cases, with the exception of Saarland. Eastern states have been left largely untouched thus far. North Rhine Westphalia, the most populous state has recorded more than 70 cases, Bavaria 22 and Baden Wuerttemberg 20. The Heinsberg area of North Rhine Westphalia terminated quarantine conditions for several hundred residents after 300 participants at a carnival event on February 15 were thought to be at risk. Of the approximately 1,000 quarantined in their own homes, about a third will have to remain inside until the end of the week.