This is the live blog for April 24, 2020.

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Non-German native speakers have a hard time to stay on top of the news concerning the development of the situation of CoViD-19 specifically in Germany. Because of that, we curate a live blog in English for all people living in Germany. The information published on this site is translated from German and based on the live blog of Tagesschau.

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Short Facts

  • RKI warns against further relaxation - 2337 new corona cases in Germany
  • Health Minister Spahn defends the planned corona tracing app
  • Billion fund for Research
  • DFB Cup final cannot take place on May 23rd
  • French parliament seals aid package worth 110 billion euros
  • US House of Representatives passes further economic stimulus package

17:36: That's it for today. Join us tomorrow for more live updates!

From now on, please head over to Tagesschau to follow the updates (German only).

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17:27 A call for help with empty chairs

Restaurateurs have set up hundreds of empty chairs in 80 German cities in public places. The hotel and restaurant association Dehoga told us that they wanted to draw attention to their economic emergency in the coronavirus crisis with this action.

17:18 More than 50,000 coronavirus deaths in the USA

More than 50,000 people have died as a result of coronavirus infection in the United States, as reported by Johns Hopkins University. The Institute also reports more than 870,400 registered cases of infection.

17:11 Bremen: Senate approves requirement to wear masks

The Bremer Senate has also agreed to a requirement to wear masks from Monday. It is intended to apply to public transport and stores. Self-sewn masks are also allowed, as well as covering the nose and mouth with a cloth or scarf. Children under the age of seven or people with health problems or disabilities are exempt from the requirement.  Imposing a fine for breaches of the obligation is not initially foreseen at the start. This is what the city wants to check again in the week after 1 May.

17:04 Lufthansa expects extensive job cuts

The Lufthansa airline could lose up to 10,000 jobs due to the coronavirus crisis. This was communicated by the Group’s Chairman, Carsten Spohr, in an internal letter. The airline’s fleet will be reduced by around 100 aircraft. Spohr expects Lufthansa to only redress this imbalance again in 2023. Even after the crisis, the company would receive at least ten percent lower revenues and ten percent lower utilization. “We were the first industry to be affected by this global crisis and aviation will be the last to left by it,” said Spohr. Lufthansa had around 130,000 employees and 760 aircraft worldwide before the pandemic broke out.

16:56 Left party sets new date for the party congress

The Left Party delegates were supposed to meet at their party congress in June. Now there is a new date, as the "Spiegel" magazine reports. According to this, the party congress will now take place in Erfurt from 30 October to 1 November. The party then wants to elect a new leader.

16:54 Beethoven anniversary extended

The festivities around the Beethoven anniversary this year will be extended due to the coronavirus crisis. They will continue until September 2021. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770. The 250th anniversary of his baptism is on December 17 this year.

16:48 Report: German-French border

The border between the Saarland and France has been controlled since March 16 and this is an increasing test of endurance for commuters, residents, and forces, as Anne Bobzin reports.

16:45 Rise in requests at Italian Caritas

Caritas in Italy has recorded a massive increase in requests for aid. The number of people in need who have turned to the organization has increased by 114 percent compared to the time before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. This was the result of a survey held among its 70 own associations, said Caritas. Almost all those affected were struggling with financial problems, 60 percent are also complaining about effects on their health.

16:38 FIFA and IOC support associations financially

FIFA is providing $150 million, equivalent to around €130 million, to support national associations. The funds come from the forward project, which includes the operating costs contributions to the 211 member associations, which will now be released for the years 2019 and 2020. This will give each association at least $500,000. FIFA President Gianni Infantino stressed that this is the first step in a far-reaching aid program. The International Olympic Committee is also expanding its aid to national associations and is again providing $10.3 million, equivalent to €9.5 million, with this the IOC has already provided $57 million in financial aid.

16:30 First small religious services in Saxony

The first religious services were celebrated in Saxony, however in a very small setting. The Church of Saxony and the Dresden-Meißen and Görlitz dioceses are adhering to strict hygiene requirements: a minimum distance of 1.50 meters must be implemented, holy water and touching people is forbidden.

16:17 Fund for Research

The United Nations has launched a "historical" initiative to develop vaccines and medicines for the novel coronavirus. "We are facing a global enemy like no other," stated UN Head António Guterres at a virtual conference. The goal of defeating the pandemic "requires the greatest effort of public health systems in history." The UN is jointly planning for this with a billion fund with the World Health Organization (WHO) and support from the private sector, from foundations and several countries, including Germany. This is to subsidize research, including the search for medicines and a vaccine against the virus.
"We will only defeat this virus if we pool our forces," said Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and announced an inaugural conference for the "Accelerate-Accessed Fund" on the  4th of May when eight billion euros is to come together for this. The project to found the fund is called “ACT Accelerator”, according to the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. ACT stands for “Access to CoViD-19 Tools”.

15:49 Virologist warns against possible relapse

The restrictions and precautionary measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic are showing an effect, but this should not give rise to a "false sense of security", emphasizes virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit.

15:37 IG Metall: companies will struggle with liquidity bottlenecks

The metalworkers' union IG Metall warns against the drastic impacts the coronavirus will have on companies in its own organizational area. Based on information from around 5,000 companies, the union estimates that 70 percent of companies are in crisis mode and, for example, have to rely on compensation for reduced hours for employees.

One in four companies is already struggling with massive liquidity problems. For 15 percent of companies, it will only take four to six weeks until they will experience payment difficulties.

15:20 Strikes in times of coronavirus

The climate activists of "Fridays for Future" continue to protest for more environmental protection – albeit in a different way. The protest has moved online, but slowly starts hitting the streets again as well – with paper and cardboard.

15:12 Polish kindergardens and schools to stay closed for weeks

Poland is also gradually easing initial coronavirus restrictions. However, this does not apply to kindergartens and schools: they will remain closed until May 24th. On the other hand, the government is promising the hotel industry that operations will start again soon, at the very least with restrictions.

15:08 Website to request compensation for loss of earnings online soon

Those who have lost earnings because of the coronavirus crisis, can start applying for compensation from next week onward. Employers and the self-employed can provide all the necessary information and upload relevant documents to substantiate their claim at, reports the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

In addition to North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein want to participate as well.

Those who are placed under quarantine or who cannot work as a result of an infection, and therefore suffer from a loss of earning, can apply for compensation. Since the end of March, the scheme also applies to people who have to take care of their children with kindergartens and schools closing, making them unable to work.

15:01 Lithuania extends border controls

The Ministry of the Interior in Lithuania has extended the border controls, which have been in force since March 14th, until May 14th. This concerns the borders with Poland and Latvia. Citizens from other countries may only cross the border if they are on their way home.

14:58 Bishops' Conference compiles a catalogue of measures

The German Catholic Bishops' Conference has sent recommendations to their dioceses on hygiene rules to be followed in services.

To the greatest possible extent, services should only be held in large churches and cathedrals. The number of participants should be based on the size of the space.

The recommendations, among others, include observing a minimum distance between attendants on church benches and no loud communal singing for the time being. Besides the priest, only a few clergymen should be involved in the services.

14:39 Brandenburg: State parliament approves requirement to wear masks

A final decision has now been made regarding the obligation to wear masks in Brandenburg: the state parliament gave the green light, meaning that  protective masks must be worn on public transport and in shops from Monday. The requirement applies from the age of six.

"It won't do any harm. Even if it helps others and not myself, this is a good step," said Brandenburg's State Premier Dietmar Woidke (SPD).

14:34 DGB pleads for careful easing

The Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB) has expressed its support for only lifting the coronavus restrictions with caution. "Health protection must be the top priority," the DGB chairman Reiner Hoffmann told the news agency dpa. This is the only way to prevent a second wave of infections.

Since, in his opinion, schools and kindergartens could also only opened gradually, Hoffmann pushed for rapid regulations to secure continued pay for parents who currently have to take care of their children in the long term.

The DGB opposes the extension of working hours, especially in so-called system-relevant professions. Employees are already approaching their limits, "reducing breaks and extending weekly working hours cannot be justified," Hoffmann stressed.

14:23 "Major restrictions in religious freedom"

Ramadan starts today - in a "dramatic situation," said Aiman Mazyek, President of the Central Council of Muslims, in an interview with Tagesschau24. Ramadan actually lives from people coming together to break their fast or for evening prayer in the mosque. But this "major restriction in religious freedom" would have to be accepted during the coronavirus crisis.

14:07 Federal government negotiating coronavirus app details with Apple

The federal government is negotiating the prerequisites for a coronavirus tracing app with the US corporation Apple. Talks are revolving around the company opening the interface to enable the use of an app," said deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer. The app is intended to show smartphone users whether they have come into contact with people infected with coronavirus.

The government spokesperson also reaffirmed the government's preference for the app developed by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Heinrich Hertz Institute, which provides central storage of anonymized health data for epidemiological evaluation. The Federal Ministry of the Interior pointed out that a review of the RKI app by the Federal Office for Information Security is still pending.

13:40 Macron thanks federal states for accepting coronavirus patients

France's President Emmanuel Macron has thanked German State Premiers for admitting French coronavirus patients in their federal states. The state chancelleries of Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia, and Saxony-Anhalt reported they have received personal letters from Macron. In these letters, the president thanked them for their "great solidarity and commitment". He said that the states offered France support in a difficult situation "which is posing a significant challenge for all of us". Several German states had admitted coronavirus patients from France, but also from Italy for treatment.

13:32 NRW rejects criticism of its opening strategy

According to Minister of Health Karl-Josef Laumann, North Rhine-Westphalia has not rushed into the implementation of its relaxations of the rules for retailers. The state has "followed the government's advice" more closely than most federal states, said Laumann in Düsseldorf. The state government has "fully" adhered to the decisions of the federal government and states on relaxations - with the exception of furniture stores. In NRW, as of Monday customers were able to return to shops as well as - in contrast to other federal states - furniture and specialist baby retailer with larger sales areas. According to his findings, this has not affected spread of infections, Laumann stressed.

Earlier, Chancellor Angela Merkel had warned that opening stores too soon could jeopardize the country's previous success in fighting the pandemic. She referred to the implementation of the decisions made by the government and the states as "too rushed" in some states.

13:24 Biden fears Trump will postpone the US election

The US Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, fears that President Donald Trump will postpone the US election because of the coronavirus crisis. "He will somehow try to postpone the election, he will find some reason why it cannot be held," Biden said during a video conference with supporters of his party.

During the coronavirus crisis, many US states have postponed their primaries to determine presidential candidates. In addition, the Democrats postponed their party conference, originally planned for July, to mid-August to formally announce the presidential candidate.

13:21 Family visits to remain possible across borders

Despite the travel restrictions in place during the coronavirus crisis, family visits across borders will remain possible," said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior. In recent weeks, there have been difficult individual cases that strongly impact on family life - for example when spouses wanted to visit each other or parents wanted to see their children.

The federal police force therefore received a decree on April 17 which classifies a trip to visit family members as a valid reason to enter the country. This also applies to registered civil partnerships. "However, this is not a relaxation of the rules, but a clarification of certain individual cases in order to avoid hardship for families." Due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, there are currently extensive controls and entry bans in place at external German borders. Exceptions apply for goods transport and commuters.

13:08 Church services to be permitted again in Bavaria subject to certain conditions from May 4

Under strict conditions, church services in Bavaria will be permitted again from May 4, despite the continuing coronavirus crisis. This was announced by the Head of the State Chancellery Florian Herrmann during a state parliament session in Munich.

13:04 Report: CSU to hold its first virtual party conference in May

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the CSU plans to hold the first virtual party conference in its history on May 22, as the news magazine "Der Spiegel" reported. The party plans to set up a live studio at the party headquarters in Munich. Participants will be able to dial in.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has agreed to appear as a guest on party delegates' screens. The main proposal will deal with the managing the virus crisis and aid for the economy and citizens. "Democracy must not take a break, even in times of crisis," CSU Secretary General Markus Blume told "Spiegel" regarding the special party conference.

13:00 The federal government has procured more than 100 million new protective masks

In light of the coronavirus epidemic, the federal government has procured further supplies of protective equipment for medical personnel. A total of 108 million protective masks have now arrived in Germany, most of which have been distributed, the Ministry of Health announced. This equipment is in short supply around the world. For this reason, the German government had therefore started a supplementary central procurement process in March and has also reserved regular airfreight capacities to the important manufacturing country of China. Incentives are planned for domestic production.

12:42 DFB Cup Final cannot take place on May 23rd

The DFB Cup Final cannot take place as planned on May 23rd in the Berlin Olympic Stadium. The German Soccer Association announced following a video conference of the presidency, that the competition will be suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The date for the final match will remain open.

12:42 Respiratory illness sick leave up 120 percent

The number of sick leaves due to respiratory illnesses has more than doubled during the coronavirus period compared to the previous year. This is according to a current analysis by Barmer Krankenkasse. While in week 13 of 2019, around 67,000 insured employees were on sick leave, this year's week 13 saw around 150,000 people on sick leave, an increase of more than 120 percent.
"The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on the number of sick leaves", said Frank Liedtke, Barmer's national managing director. It makes sense for people with respiratory illnesses to stay at home now. This effect has been facilitated by the simplified sick leave by telephone. People have obviously become more careful not to infect their colleagues.

12:37 Number of new coronavirus deaths in Spain at lowest level since March

The number of new coronavirus deaths in Spain is at its lowest level for more than a month. According to the Ministry of Health, 367 people died from the coronavirus within 24 hours. This brings the total number to 22,524, and the number of infected persons has risen by 6740 to 219,764.

12:33 Criticism of Corona Tracing App increasing

Minister of Health Spahn continues to advocate central data storage for the coronavirus app - and is being criticized not only by data protectionists. Network political organizations are also demanding that the plans be abandoned.

12:20 Court ruling: No school for Hessian fourth graders yet

"Fourth graders in Hesse will not be required to go to school on Monday. The associated risk of infection with the coronavirus violates the children's basic right to equal treatment, according to the Hessian Administrative Court (VGH). (Ref: 8 B 1097/20.N) An urgent appeal filed by a student against this decision was successful. The court stated that the fourth-graders were exposed to a higher risk of infection than the other primary school children, who would only have to return to school a week later. The summary judgment is unappealable.

According to Hesse's Corona Ordinance, schools will remain closed for the most part until May 3. There is an exception for examinations and should be for fourth graders as well."

12:10 Bavaria - Up to 5000 Euro fine without face mask

Violations of the mandatory face mask regulation for protection against infection of the coronavirus can cost up to 5000 euros in Bavaria. This is according to the updated catalogue of fines, which is available to the German Press Agency. The list states that 150 euros will be charged if face masks are not worn in buses, trains, and shops. The "Passauer Neue Presse" had also reported on this. It becomes particularly expensive for shop owners who do not ensure that their staff wear face masks: For this, the catalogue of fines stipulates a penalty of 5000 euros. In the meantime, all federal states have opted for mandatory masks in parts of public life. In Bavaria, this begins on Monday in local public transport and in shops - for those aged six years and older.

12:05 Study: About one in five New Yorkers infected

"The number of coronavirus infected people in New York is apparently much higher than previously assumed: According to a study, one in five residents of the US city may have been infected with the virus. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that 21 percent of New Yorkers were found to have antibodies against the pathogen. In the entire state of New York, the figure was just under 14 percent.

This means that around 2.6 million people have been infected in the state in recent months - ten times more than the number of positive coronavirus tests. In New York City alone, the figure would be 1.7 million people. For the study, 3000 randomly selected supermarket customers in the state were tested for antibodies. Governor Cuomo emphasized that the results were initially only preliminary."

11:57 Sweden also dampens hopes for holidays abroad

After Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the Germans that there will be no normal summer holiday this year, his Swedish counterpart has now also agreed to this. Ann Linde added after a joint telephone conversation: "All citizens should be prepared for the fact that it will be difficult to travel - and for a long time." She pointed out that Sweden had issued a travel warning until 15 June. Only then would a decision be made. The German government intends to make a decision on the travel warning, which currently applies to all countries in the world, at the beginning of May.

11:52 Tax increases after the crisis is over?

The president of the Institute for the World Economy, Gabriel Felbermayr, has introduced tax increases into the discussion on dealing with the coronavirus crisis. He told the news portal t-online that sooner or later, one has to think about this. However, this would not be based solely on higher taxes for high income earners. Furthermore, taxes should not be raised for the wealthy "because the incentives for these groups of people or companies to produce and offer work would be reduced. The decision to raise taxes should not be made during the crisis.

11:40 RKI recommends general testing of all respiratory tract infections

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recommends general testing of all respiratory diseases for a possible coronavirus infection. The tests are no longer subject to the condition that there is sufficient testing capacity, said RKI Vice President Lars Schaade. On the one hand, he added, there is more testing capacity, the cold season is over and "more hits" on the coronavirus are to be expected. Finally, Schaade emphasized that after the easing of the initial restrictions, it is "particularly important" to detect the coronavirus while the symptoms are mild. "We strongly recommend that everyone with a respiratory infection, whether cough or fever, be tested."

11:25 Karliczek in favor of mandatory masks at schools

Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek advocates making masks mandatory for students. "From my point of view, there is a great deal to be said for the fact that masks must be worn wherever students cannot maintain the necessary distance," the CDU politician told "Der Spiegel". This would be the case in the school bus, on the way to the school building, and in the corridors. In classrooms, however, students could possibly sit far enough apart. Karliczek is also open to having Saturday classes in order to compensate for the loss of lessons so far.

11:19 Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs supports mask production

The Ministry of Economics wants to financially support companies that produce coronavirus protection equipment in Germany. As announced by the ministry in response to a request by the news agency dpa, the funding of nonwovens as a central preliminary product will be started. The funding scheme will support investments in the production of nonwovens with federal budget funds. Therefore, the subsidized companies would not have to repay the federal subsidy. Based on this, mask production itself should also be promoted in a suitable manner.

11:01 Sweden favors extension of Brexit transitional phase due to the coronavirus crisis

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde has called for an extension of the Brexit transition phase beyond the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic. "The timeframe was ambitious anyway," she says. "I would see an extension as something positive."

10:55 Large majority satisfied with the Federal Government's crisis management

German approval of the Federal Government's coronavirus crisis management has climbed to a record high in the ZDF political barometer. According to the survey, 90 percent said that the government was doing a good job, eight percent thought otherwise. With Chancellor Angela Merkel, 83 percent of those surveyed were satisfied. 87 percent of the 1250 citizens surveyed by the Elections Research Group consider the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic to be appropriate.

10:50 Criticism of gender-specific curfews in Panama

Human rights organizations have criticized the gender-specific curfews in Panama and denounced discrimination against transgender persons. In a letter to the President of Panama, Laurentio Cortizo, Human Rights Watch Director José Miguel Vivanco, responsible for North and South America, criticized that transsexual people have been abused or "arrested, fined or prevented from buying essential products" as a result of the restrictions. According to HRW, there have been about a dozen cases of alleged abuse of transgender people in Panama in connection with the curfew. At the beginning of April, the Panamanian government had ordered by decree that men and women may only leave their homes at separate times because of the pandemic.

10:45 Retailers report weak business after reopening

According to a survey. retailers are reporting weak business in the few days since the relaxation of the coronavirus measures.  "Revenues remain far behind the previous year's figures," the German Retail Association (Handelsverband Deutschland, HDE) announced. "Despite opening, on average only 40 percent of normal business volume is being achieved." According to its own statements, the HDE surveyed 767 retail companies nationwide. This week, the federal states permitted the gradual opening of shops beyond the food trade as long as the sales area did not exceed 800 square meters.

10:20 RKI warns against further easing of restrictions

Lars Schaade, Vice President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) warned in a press conference on the coronavirus situation that anti-corona measures should not be relaxed too quickly. He added that many deaths had been prevented in Germany because of early containment measures. This shows that we have achieved a lot together, Schaade said. He also said it was somewhat ironic that what had been achieved was now being called into question because of Germany's good position. The fact that Germany has come through relatively well is due to the measures. "That must remain so. We must not become careless now", said Schaade. There must not be a "landslide of further easings" now. Once there is more contact again, there will be more infections. Schaade appealed to the people to continue to adhere to all measures such as contact restrictions and compulsory masks.

09:57 First relief for citizens near the German-French border area

For the first time since the introduction of strict border controls almost five weeks ago, citizens in the Franco-German border area can now enjoy some relief: According to three CDU members of parliament, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has promised that separated families can now see each other again. According to the agreement, effective immediately "a border crossing to assist elderly family members" will be made possible - "even if they are not ill and do not have medical care", explained the South Baden parliamentarians Andreas Jung, Felix Schreiner and Armin Schuster (all CDU). "Unrestricted access is also now possible for spouses and registered life partners", they added. In contrast, a partnership without a marriage certificate is not a "valid reason" for entering Germany. However, "entry should be permitted at the discretion of and under the circumstances of the respective case". Since March 16th, crossing the border into Germany has only been possible for commuters or goods transporters.

09:50 WHO Europe praises "strong leadership" by Merkel and Spahn

The European Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) has praised the work of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn in the coronavirus crisis. "What we are seeing is that health systems, which were already in a strong position prior to the pandemic, are now also dealing with it in the best possible way," said WHO Regional Director Hans Kluge on ZDF. " We have of course achieved this in Germany under the strong leadership of Health Minister Spahn and the Federal Chancellor, and we can only praise this. Kluge also warned, however, that countries should proceed in such a way when easing restrictions, "that they ensure that the health system is prepared for a second wave as well".

09:42 Economic performance of EU expected to drop

According to the EU’s industry commissioner, Thierry Breton, the European Union is heading for a fall in economic performance of five to ten percent this year due to the coronavirus crisis. This was the current state of affairs. But if the situation did not improve and there was a second peak in the viral epidemic, the recession could become even worse, Breton told the TV broadcaster France 2.
According to the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim, the EU has been too slow in mitigating the economic impact. The planned recovery funds will hardly make a dent in the recession this year, criticized ZEW economist Friedrich Heinemann. Planning to anchor the fund within the EU financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027 means it will take far too long for it to take effect

09:36 British retail sales fall at record speed

In March, UK retail sales dropped to their lowest rate since 1996 as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Despite the proceeds from food sales, they fell by 5.1 percent over the previous month, as reported by the Office for National Statistics. This is the strongest decline since records began 24 years ago, and stronger than what was forecast by economists. Within a year, there was a decrease of 5.8 percent. “Given that the widespread lockdown only started in mid-March, it looks like retail sales will decline even further in April,” said Thomas Pugh, economist at the consultancy Capital Economics. This means a monthly decline of 20 to 30 percent is possible.

09:19 Bavarian prisons to produce respiratory masks

Inmates at Bavarian prisons are to produce up to seven million face masks each year. The state of Bavaria has equipped the workshops of several judicial institutions with 65 quick-sewing machines worth around 150,000 euros, as reported by the Ministry of Justice. The production, which will involve more than 100 incarcerated women and men, is being run in cooperation with companies in the textile industry.

09:15 Lauterbach warns against resuming Bundesliga

SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach has spoken out against resuming the Bundesliga without spectators. The physician told the German radio station Bayerischer Rundfunk: "We have to convey the following message to young people: Keep your distance, wear a face mask, this virus is dangerous. All three messages would be contradicted by resuming the Bundesliga games." You would have to start questioning your own message if you made a “badly prepared exception” for football, said Lauterbach. On May 9, the Bundesliga could continue its season after a break of almost two months due to coronavirus.

09:13 Hancock: No decision on Johnson’s return yet

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still recovering from a severe case of Covid-19, according to the government. Health Minister Matt Hancock told Sky News that he had spoken to Johnson yesterday. He was allegedly doing well and clearly seemed to be on the mend. On the question of whether Johnson, as reported by a newspaper, is resuming office on Monday, Hancock said that no decision has yet been made. "I am sure he will return as soon as his doctors recommend it," he added. The Telegraph had reported that 55-year-old Johnson was planning to return to his headquarters in London’s No.10 Downing Street at the start of the week.

09:00 Ramelow criticizes inconsistent actions of states

Thuringian Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow has criticized the inconsistent approach of the states in combating coronavirus. “It’s not as in sync as I would have liked,” he said on the German TV channel MDR. He referred to face masks as an example. These were initially made mandatory by individual federal states such as Saxony and Bavaria, but are now compulsory in all 16 federal states. “We should have come together during the live stream to say: ‘We’re doing this now’,” said Ramelow, adding that it had not conveyed a sense of unity.
Ramelow warned against continued disagreement among the states: “When we return to everyday life, we should not try to outdo each other.” Instead, taking actions to curb the virus would be key. Ramelow also criticized the plans of the Bundesliga to resume play in May: “I’m against preferential treatment for those who can pay the most,” said the prime minister.

08:00 Here's what happened last night

  • CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institut reports 2,337 new infected (150,383  total) and 227 new deaths (5,321 total)
  • Decision on further easing in Germany on May 6
  • Hundreds of thousands of euros of fraud damage in Berlin
  • IAB: More than three million unemployed possible
  • Trump suggests injecting people disinfectants