COVID19 7 May 2020 Pandemic will likely last into 2021, top German civil servant says Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff has said the coronavirus pandemic will last at least until the end of this year, "and that’s being very optimistic". “We are not living after the pandemic now – rather we are living in the middle of a pandemic, one that will be with us for a while – at least for this year and that’s being very optimistic,” Helge Braun said. Germany further eased lockdown yesterday, lifting restrictions on shops opening, and allowing people from two households to meet. › How Kate Forbes became the new star of Scottish politics Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!