GERMANY CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL CAUTIOUS ABOUT LIFTING LOCKDOWN

Highlights
• According to multiple sources, Merkel told participants of an online conference of the center-right CDU/CSU parliamentary group that “We cannot afford ups and downs.”
• Talking to the lawmakers, Merkel on Tuesday said that Germany is currently in the “third wave” of coronavirus, as fast-spreading virus variants continue to circulate.

Germany will need to re-open cautiously and step-by-step in order to avoid a sudden return to lockdown if COVID infections pick up again said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday.
According to multiple sources, Merkel told participants of an online conference of the center-right CDU/CSU parliamentary group that “We cannot afford ups and downs.”
On next Wednesday, Merkel will be meeting the leaders of Germany’s 16 states to discuss the way out of a lockdown that started in the month of November and was extended until at least March 7.
Talking to the lawmakers, Merkel on Tuesday said that Germany is currently in the “third wave” of coronavirus, as fast-spreading virus variants continue to circulate.
She also told them that loosening of restrictions needs to be carried out in three stages.
The first step should be lifting restrictions on personal contacts between households, followed by schools and sports, and the last stage would be re-opening restaurants and cultural institutions.
These re-openings are required to be combined with increased testing capacity.
The government of Germany is planning to provide free access to rapid COVID-19 tests by the first week of March, after delaying the rollout.