German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff said Saturday she was “ very skeptical ” about the prospects for people traveling at Easter but expected the coronavirus situation in the country to improve by the end of May.
Helge Braun told the Funke newspaper group in an interview published Saturday that he is “ very skeptical as far as traveling at Easter is concerned. ” Easter falls on the first weekend of April this year.
But Funke said he hopes that “ we can talk in a much more relaxed way about travel and leisure from Whitsun, ” on May 23.
Merkel and state governors this week agreed to extend lockdown measures until March 28, while outlining a road map for easing restrictions in areas with lower infection rates.
‘Full normality in summer’
Braun said that Germany could return to full normality in the summer if vaccine producers fulfill their delivery promises and no new coronavirus mutations emerge “ which raises questions about the overall success of the vaccination. ”
Germany has so far given 5.7% of its population the first dose of vaccine and 2.8% of the second dose.
The decline in new coronavirus cases has stalled as a more contagious variant first discovered in Britain spreads in the country.
Europe struggles with variants
Europe recorded 1 million new COVID-19 cases last week, a 9% increase from the previous week and a reversal that ended a six-week decline in new infections, the WHO said Thursday.
“The spread of variants is driving an increase, but not only, ” said Dr Hans Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe, citing” also the openness of society, if not done in a safe and controlled manner. ”
The variant that was first discovered in the UK is now dominant in at least 10 European countries: England, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Spain and Portugal.
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