German authorities announced on Thursday, April 30, the easing of some restrictions introduced to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Places of worship, museums, gardens, zoos, playgrounds, and monuments will be opened to visitors in the coming days; restaurants will remain closed.
However, social distancing measures will remain in place until at least Sunday, May 10. Gatherings of more than two people are banned and citizens are advised to keep contact with people outside of their household to a minimum, maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 m (5 ft) between themselves and others in public. The government will consider further extensions/relaxations on Wednesday, May 6, as well as the reopening of schools.
The use of face masks in public spaces became compulsory as of Monday, April 27, including on public transport and while shopping.
Cafés, bars, cinemas, and music venues remain closed, while large public events are suspended until at least Sunday, May 10. Grocery stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, post offices, and delivery services, are excluded from these measures.
As of April 30, authorities have confirmed 163,009 COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 6623 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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