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6 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

People from two households can now meet in public, Merkel says as Germany’s lockdown eases further

By Samuel Horti

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed a further easing of lockdown measures with the heads of the country’s 16 states, meaning two families can now meet up in public or visit each other.

Current social distancing measures, which require people to keep 1.5 metres apart, will remain in place until at least 5 June. But people in residential care homes will be allowed to accept one specified visitor, and large shops can reopen provided people wear masks inside, Merkel said in a press conference announcing the new measures.

Since 22 March, a maximum of two people have been able to meet up – now, the limit is two households.

Merkel has also agreed an “emergency break” with heads of states that will see restrictions reinstated if new infections rise above 50 people per 100,000 population.

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States will be able to decide how to reopen cinemas, restaurants and theatres.

The Bundesliga football league can also restart later this month, Merkel said, which would make it the first major football league to hold matches since the pandemic began.