This is the live blog for April 25, 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.

We are using the combination of custom-trained machine translation models and expert linguists to provide these translations.

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Short Facts:

  • Merkel expects higher contributions to EU budget
  • WHO warns against "immunity IDs"
  • So far 5500 CoViD-19 deaths in Germany
  • Economists expect economic output to collapse
  • Röttgen rages against " relaxation pushers"

17:00 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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16:32 Saarland provides citizens with protective masks

Due to the requirement to cover mouth and nose in certain situations becoming effective on Monday,Saarland will provide its citizens with protective masks. Everyone will receive five masks, Minister-President Tobias Hans told the newspaper "Bild". These would be "handed out free of charge to the Saarlanders via the local authorities in a great show of strength over the next few days ".

About one million people live in the federal state. According to the report, the masks are to be brought directly home, especially in smaller towns, by local authorities and firemen. Elsewhere, for example in Saarbrücken, there are central distribution points. There will also be "drive-through" options for motorists.

16:17 Left party calls for capital levy to finance coronavirus crisis

The Left Party wants the wealthy to pay for measures to combat the coronavirus crisis. The party calls for a capital levy. The CDU/CSU and SMEs are opposed to the idea.

15:33 Woidke asks Poland to open the borders for commuters

Brandenburg’s Minister-President Dietmar Woidke has asked Poland to relax the strict coronavirus restrictions for commuters working in Germany. Professional commuters should have the opportunity to go do their job on the other side of the border, wrote Woidke, who coordinates the German–Polish cooperation for the Federal Government, to the Germany Coordination Officer of Poland, Bartosz Grodecki. He has pleaded for pragmatic solutions in the event the restrictions are extended, reports the “Märkische Oderzeitung” from Frankfurt (Oder).

The national conservative government of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki closed the borders for foreigners in mid-March in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. After returning to Poland, professional commuters have to self-isolate at home for two weeks. According to the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in South and East Brandenburg, more than 25,000 commuters are affected.

There were protests against the border closure on both sides of the German–Polish border last night, with several hundred participating.

15:13 Green party demands consumer vouchers to "save the inner cities"

The Green Bundestag delegates have called for support of retailers during the coronavirus crisis, in the form of vouchers worth a total of 20 billion euros. As part of a "fund to save the inner cities", every citizen should receive a "brick-and-mortar voucher" of 250 euro, according to a policy draft by prominent members. "A wave of insolvency is above all threatening brick-and-mortar stores,” Hofreiter explained when asked about the reasons behind the proposal. Without government intervention "only the strong will remain, the big online chains".

In the policy paper of the Green party members, they specify that the “vouchers can only be used in stationary trade, for stationary services, or in restaurants and bars". The 250 euro have to be spent in shops that have been affected by the shutdown." Any online use of the vouchers is excluded.

The paper contains further demands, such as an "economic recovery plan for the digitalization of the German regions". Its signatories include Head of the Parliamentary Group Anton Hofreiter and his deputy Oliver Krischer.

14:33 Italy plans to distribute free masks to carers and police officers

Prior to easing lockdown measures, Italy will distribute free protective masks to carers in nursing homes, public officials, police officers, and transport workers. This is a "gesture of solidarity, closeness and support" for workers in areas that are becoming the epicentre of the crisis, said the Italian government’s pandemic commissioner Domenico Arcuri. From 4 May, Rome wants to allow millions of Italians to return to work.

14:17 More than 120,000 coronavirus deaths in Europe

The coronavirus pandemic has already killed 120,140 people in Europe, according to official figures reported by the news agency AFP. Europe thus remains the worst affected continent.

The highest death rates have occurred in Italy with 25,969, Spain with 22,902, and France with 22,245. In total, there have been around 1.3 million confirmed novel coronavirus infections in Europe, according to authorities.

At least 197,303 people worldwide have died of the Covid-19 lung disease caused by the virus. The United States remains the country with the highest number of deaths worldwide, where, according to recent reports, nearly 52,000 people have died.

14:03 Söder: "No rushed actions"

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder is not expecting any major decisions during the next telephone call between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state prime ministers on 30 April. “I think it’s good to exchange ideas as often as possible,” said the head of the CSU in an interview with “Focus Online”. “But I wouldn’t expect too much this time. It would be sensible if we were to provide an update next Thursday, but not be too hasty in initiating any further actions,” said Söder. Patience was needed in politics and among the population, he added.

On 30 April, the Chancellor will once again talk to the state prime ministers about the next steps during the crisis. However, the Federal Government and the states are not expected to decide on further easing of restrictions until 6 May, as made clear by Merkel.

13:06 Nursing representative in favor of easing visitation bans

The Federal Government's nursing association representative has called for an easing of contact restrictions in nursing homes. "We know that we need to be prepared to deal with the coronavirus for a longer period of time. We also need to adapt the situation in care homes: blanket or restrictive visitation bans cannot be a solution," Andreas Westerfellhaus told the newspaper "Die Welt".

Care home residents require special protection, but they cannot be completely isolated. "In my view, the fact that some countries have not acted on this decision and are leaving no room for institutions to be flexible in this regard, should not remain so. I therefore urge the countries concerned to make improvements."

13:04 No parades for fallen soldiers

Instead of the usual commemorative parades in Australia and New Zealand, thousands of people stood outside their homes in the early morning to commemorate the fallen soldiers. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the large-scale events planned for this year's "Anzac Day" were cancelled. Instead, people paid tribute to the veterans by holding a minute’s silence at the start of the day on Saturday, while radio and television stations broadcast religious services.

13:37 Death rate in Spain increasing again

The number of deaths in Spain has increased slightly again. The number grew by 378 to 22,902, as reported by the newspaper "El Pais". The day before, 367 new deaths had been reported, which was the lowest figure this month. The number of coronavirus infections in the country has thus increased to 223,759 from 219,764 the day before.

13:03 Inmates riot at Buenos Aires prison

After hours of negotiations between representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the prison administration and representatives of the detainees, the riots have ceased for the time being. On Saturday, a delegation was to inspect the damage in the detention center and then have a round-table discussion with the detainees regarding transfers to house arrest.

The coronavirus pandemic has repeatedly led to prison riots all over Latin America in recent weeks. The often-overcrowded detention centers mean people have poor access to hot water, soap, and medical care.

11:57 Merkel expects higher contributions to EU budget

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) expects that the German contribution to the next EU budget will be higher than expected due to the coronavirus crisis. A European economic recovery programme will be needed, she said in her video podcast on Saturday. This will be "a programme that is linked to the European budget, in which Germany will also have to become much more involved than was previously anticipated."

The Chancellor stressed that the aid packages agreed at the EU summit on Thursday "really have to come into effect by 1 June". They will provide support in the amount of some 500 billion euros to combat the acute consequences of the coronavirus crisis for member states, companies and workers. "But that is not enough," said Merkel. "We need an economic recovery programme in the wake of the crisis, and the economic damage will be great."

11:34 WHO warns against immunity IDs for coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against so-called immunity IDs for people who have gone through the coronavirus infection. Some governments have suggested issuing a sort of coronavirus ID to formerly infected people who carry coronavirus antibodies in their blood so that they can return to work earlier, for example. However, according to the WHO, the assumption that antibodies in the blood make people immune to the virus is not sufficiently scientifically supported: "There is currently no evidence that people who recover from the coronavirus and have antibodies are protected from a second infection," said the WHO.

10:59 Scheuer plans emergency aid for coach operators

Transportation Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) is planning emergency aid for the hard-hit coach industry in the Corona crisis. The German Press Agency has learned from government circles that this is intended to prevent a wave of bankruptcies. The situation of this medium-sized industry is estimated to be dramatic due to the severe restrictions. Coaches have been " set to zero", passenger traffic and bus tourism have come to a complete standstill. Coaches can no longer operate, and school transport is also likely to be slow to get going again.

10:55 India intends to further ease coronavirus restrictions

According to the Indian government, detached shops and small shops in residential areas should reopen despite the coronavirus crisis. Shops in shopping malls and in areas particularly affected by the coronavirus, however, will have to remain closed, according to the Interior Ministry. In open shops, rules continue to apply such as keeping a distance between customers and employees.

10:53 Merkel calls for European unity

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has called for European unity in the coronavirus crisis. It is important, she said, "to show in the coming weeks and months that we belong together, that we will work through the economic consequences of this crisis, and that we want to do everything possible to ensure that Europe grows together during this situation," said Merkel in her video podcast.

09:48 Germany: 5500 coronavirus deaths to date

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has reported the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Germany at 152,438 - an increase of 2055 from the previous day. In terms of population, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and Saarland are the most affected. The RKI only takes into account the electronically transmitted figures from the federal states and updates its list once a day. To date, 5500 deaths have been registered. According to the RKI, the number of those recovered is approximately 109,800.

08:00 Here's what happened last night

  • CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: John Hopkins University & Medicine reports 154,999 infected and 5760 deaths
  • 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