This is a live blog from May 26, 2020.
Head here for today's news: https://www.lengoo.de/blog/05-28-2020-live-blog-for-covid-19-updates-in-germany-in-english/
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 is 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.
- Federal association for sexual services demand opening of brothels
- Politicians of the CDU want to reduce minimum wage
- More people on sick leave during coronavirus crisis
- 200 more infections in textile factory in Guatemala
16:53 South Tyrol thinking about free tests for tourists
South Tyrol is considering offering holidaymakers a coronavirus test free of charge in the future to stimulate tourism,. The considerations include both antibody blood tests and PCR tests, stated the Head of State Arno Kompatscher in a radio interview. Such a voluntary test could be included in hotel offers.
16:41 16 Federal states - 16 exit strategies from coronavirus regulations
Some of them pushed forward, the others hesitated when easing the strict restrictions in the coronavirus crisis, in the meantime, each federal state is dealing with it in its own way.
16:38 Ten days of national mourning in Spain
Ten days of national mourning will begin tomorrow in Spain to commemorate the victims of the coronavirus pandemic, Flags will be hung at half-mast on more than 14,000 public buildings across the country and all navy vessels. After the end of the emergency, which will last at least until June a commemorative ceremony with King Felipe VI. will take place. Around 235,400 people died in Spain as a result of infection according to Johns Hopkins University. The lives of these men and women have ended suddenly, said government spokesman María Jesús Montero. Relatives not only had to fight with this but also with the difficult circumstances under which they suffered it.
16:28 New record level of infected people in Chile
The health authorities in Chile have reported nearly 5,000 more coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours - as many as never before within 24 hours. Two government members have also indicated that they have been infected: the Minister of Energy Juan Carlos Jobet and the Minister of Public Works Alfredo Moreno. Nearly 74,000 coronavirus cases in total are now known in the Latin American country.
16:21 Easing for Hessian restaurateurs
This regulation has applied so far for restaurateurs in Hessen: one guest per five square meters. Yet, according to the state chancellery, this regulation is now hanging in the balance.
16:14 MV pays carer bonus
Private persons from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern who care for a family member or care for a disabled person can now apply for a one-off bonus of over 500 euros. This is to honor "the effort and commitment of carers, who are relatives", said Social Minister Stefanie Drese (SPD). Her Ministry wants to make a total of 1.4 million euros available from the state’s social fund.
16:03 Resistance to Lufthansa rescue package
Lufthansa, heavily hit by the coronavirus crisis, is to be supported with nine billion euros of state aid, but criticism of the plans is being expressed on several sides.
15:57 Coronavirus could increase risks in another hot summer
This summer, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), countries in the Northern hemisphere will have another heatwave. It is already apparent that 2020 could become one of the hottest years since the beginning of the weather records. Experts are warning that health risks could increase through the combination of high temperatures and the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore the states should prepare intensively for the threatened hot spell.
15:41 Brandenburg announces easing
Further coronavirus restrictions will be lifted in Brandenburg from Thursday onwards. According to State Premier Dietmar Woidke (SPD), up to ten people will be allowed to meet in the open air. Demonstrations and divine services in the open air with up to 150 participants will also be allowed. Up to 50 people in private parties will be allowed to celebrate again. Theaters, cinemas and concert halls will be allowed to resume operations from 6 June onwards. For the time being, the obligation to wear masks on public transport as well as in shops will remain in place.“One thing still applies with all the easing: We still need general social distancing, we still need contact restrictions. We are not over this by a long chalk“ stressed Woidke.
15:24 Outdoor swimming pools open again in most federal states
The federal states have announced numerous further easing of their coronavirus measures. Thus, in 12 states the outdoor swimming pools are to be opened by 8 June at the latest - in individual states, this has already happened. Only in Bavaria, Hesse, Saarland, and Schleswig-Holstein, it is still not clear when the pools are to be opened. In all cases: even in outdoor swimming pools, the social distancing and hygiene rules are to be complied with. Thus, tickets are only booked online in many places to prevent queuing at the cash registers. Furthermore, it is also necessary to maintain social distancing in the water at a distance. Bathing in normal swimming pools is considered to be hazardous, as the water is chlorinated. Natural swimming places, on the contrary, remain closed.
14:50 Putin: Military parade to commemorate victory over Hitler on June 24
Head of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin has ordered the great military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Hitler to take place on June 24, despite the high number of coronavirus infections. On Tuesday, he called on Defense Minister Sergey Schoygu to start organizing the major event under strict security precautions.
The parade on Victory Day on May 9 had been canceled because of the coronavirus crisis. Now Putin has said that the peak of the epidemic has passed. He repeatedly emphasized that the parade would take place at a later date.
14:33 Thuringia confirms change from crisis to control mode
Despite criticism, Thuringia will continue to pursue its path towards exiting the comprehensive coronavirus prohibitions. After a cabinet meeting in Erfurt, State Premier Bodo Ramelow (from the party Die Linke) reaffirmed that the state wants to "transition from crisis mode to control mode." In view of the current 238 coronavirus cases in Thuringia, he says that the state's interference with fundamental rights is no longer justified. The red-red-green state cabinet is on board with this plan.
Instead of continuing to extend the general provisions again and again, hygiene concepts in the individual industries must be implemented in the future, said Ramelow. Protection from infection is also a personal task for every citizen. "No state government or police department can help me with that," said Ramelow.
Thuringia does not want to follow the contact restrictions proposed by the Federal Chancellery, which only allow gatherings of a maximum of ten people. Overstepping into individuals' privacy with a government regulation could not be justified, said Ramelow.
13:52 Berlin constitutional court drops several fines
The Berlin constitutional court has partially repealed the catalog of fines for breaches of the coronavirus provisions. This affects to the fines for breaching the minimum distance rules and the directive to reduce physical social contact to an absolute minimum. These formulations were too vague, according to a decision of the highest court in Berlin (VerfGH 81 A/20 from May 20).
It was difficult for citizens to clearly recognize which actions or failures to act were subject to a fine. This could especially lead citizens who respect the law to further restrict themselves in their fundamental rights than would be necessary in order to avoid breaching a regulation.
13:48 Bonus for taking on apprentices from bankrupt companies
Companies that take on apprentices from bankrupt companies will receive a bonus. Representatives of the federal government, the federal states, the Federal Ministry for Labor, Economic Affairs, and trade unions agreed on this in the so-called Alliance for Further Education. This is due to concerns about a drop in apprenticeship places, hundreds of thousands of companies have been experiencing financial difficulties in the coronavirus crisis. The bonus is expected to be limited until the end of the year. An exact amount is not yet known.
13:43 Coronavirus app could be launched soon in France
The French data protection authority CNIL has given the green light for the launch of the coronavirus app "StopCovid". The legislative proposal complies with the legal provisions on privacy protection, the authority said in a statement. The most important recommendations made by the CNIL have been implemented - as a result, the coronavirus warning app uses anonymized data, does not create a list of individuals, and will be used on a voluntary basis. With the help of Bluetooth signals, the app aims to detect which smartphones have come into close contact with one another - and warn users if it later turns out that they were close to infected persons.
The Secretary of State for the Digital Economy, Cedric O, explained that the app might be available as early as next weekend, if parliament agrees.
13:36 Rhineland-Palatinate also introducing relaxations
Starting this week, Rhineland-Palatinate will allow a number of business to open and leisure activities to begin - subject to strict hygiene and safety requirements. From Wednesday, theaters, movie theaters, concert venues, opera houses, and cabarets will be able to reopen again, as the state chancellery announced in Mainz. Indoor sports will also be possible again as long as hygiene concepts are implemented.
Under the same conditions, gyms and dance schools will also be allowed to reopen from Wednesday, as well as outdoor swimming pools, flea markets, circuses as well as gambling halls and casinos. Furthermore, outdoor events will be allowed with up to a hundred people.
13:27 Saxony to further relax restrictions from June 6
From June 6, Saxony plans to further ease the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus crisis, as health minister Petra Köpping reported after a cabinet meeting in Dresden. However, social distancing measures and a requirement to wear masks will remain in place. Köpping had already announced a change how coronavirus restrictions would be handled. Instead of bans, there will be directives in the future. Minister Köpping announced relaxations for visiting retirement and nursing homes: "With the new regulation, we want to facilitate these."
13:16 Relaxed rules for the cultural sector in Bavaria
Theaters and movie theaters in Bavaria will be allowed to reopen under strict hygiene and social distancing conditions from June 15. Concerts and other cultural events will also be possible again, said State Premier Markus Söder after a cabinet meeting in Munich.
13:11 Hamburg gyms, outdoor swimming pools, and movie theaters allowed to reopen
In Hamburg, outdoor swimming pools will be able to reopen from June 2 - with the exception of natural pools, where the water cannot be disinfected. Tickets can only be purchased online. Movie theaters can also open again, provided they observe social distancing rules and have hygiene measures in place. This includes organizing ticket sales in such a way that keeps lines from forming outside of theaters, as health senator Cornelia Prüfer-Storcks reported. Gyms and indoor sports facilities can also be reopened in Hamburg, subject to conditions.
13:05 More than 5.5 million infections worldwide
More than 5.5 million people worldwide have now been infected with coronavirus, as figures from the Johns Hopkins University indicate. The data also show that the number of new infections doubled within one month. The number of confirmed cases increased by nearly one million within the last ten days. Most infections continue to occur in Europe and the USA.
Nearly 2.25 million patients have been recovered from the disease. More than 346,000 people have died with a confirmed infection.
12:40 Fraport in the Coronavirus Crisis
"The deepest crisis in modern aviation": Not only the airlines but of course also the airport operating companies have been affected by the decline in air traffic. Fraport, the operating company of Frankfurt Airport, informed shareholders about the situation during a virtual Annual General Meeting.
12:17 Corona crisis dampens the mood
The longer the coronavirus pandemic lasts, the more the mood of the people in Germany deteriorates. According to a survey conducted by the Allensbach opinion research institute, only 22 percent of the population are currently looking forward to the coming year with hope. In contrast, 44 percent of those surveyed are worried about the coming twelve months. 27 percent expressed scepticism. The fact that the opposition parties have not been able to capitalize on the numerous fears and concerns that currently affect Germans is due to the relatively high level of trust in the crisis management of the federal government. In the second week of May, about three quarters of the more than 1000 citizens surveyed expressed satisfaction with the work of the government. The only exception was the AfD voters. 62 percent of the supporters of the right-wing populists are of the opinion that the federal government is not doing a good job during the crisis.
12:08 British Secretary of State resigns because of senior advisor Cummings
State Secretary Douglas Ross has resigned in protest against the behaviour of British government advisor Dominic Cummings in the coronavirus crisis. Cummings' interpretation of the initial restrictions "cannot be understood by most people who follow the rules of government," Ross wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Johnson's Conservative Party had previously been strongly critical of Cummings. British commentators do not rule out further resignations. "I have voters who could not say goodbye to their loved ones, families who could not mourn together, people who did not visit their sick relatives because they followed government rules," the Secretary of State for Scotland said. He could not tell everyone they were wrong and Cummings was right. In a one-hour press conference on Monday, Cummings strictly denied accusations that he ignored curfew restrictions during a trip to his parents. He does not regret his behavior and has never considered resigning, said Cummings.
12:05 Eurowings is expecting a longer lull
The Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings expects a prolonged lull in air traffic. It could take until 2023 before the aviation industry reaches the pre-Corona level again, said Eurowings boss Jens Bischof. Eurowings will probably only have " about 90 planes in the air" instead of 139 next year. The company wants to save 30 percent of costs, Bischof said. At least 300 of the approximately 1000 jobs in administration are to be cut. Eurowings has about 4000 employees in total. Bischof did not comment on possible job cuts in other areas. Agreements with the social partners are important in flight operations, "especially with regard to the possible distribution of Germanwings colleagues between Lufthansa and Eurowings".
11:59 Financial expert expects 20 percent less church taxes
According to the Freiburg finance scientist Bernd Raffelhüschen, churches can expect a drop in church taxes of up to 20 percent as a result of the coronavirus crisis. What effect this will have on the churches will depend on whether the economy recovers quickly or remains weak for a longer period of time, he told the Oldenburger Nordwest-Zeitung. In principle, he said, church tax was in line with general developments as a tax on wages and income. Last year, Raffelhüschen headed a study on the development of membership numbers in the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) and the Catholic Bishops' Conference.
11:52 Sweden expresses scepticism about Merkel/Macron plan
Sweden sees more chances for economic recovery in a functioning EU internal market than in a reconstruction fund. "Every step we take must be combined with a fully functioning internal market for all goods," says Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson. Sweden supports a role for the EU in helping the economy recover, she said. But the 500 billion euros proposed by Germany and France is "very high" and needs to be discussed. In addition to the EU budget, Germany and France are calling for a 500 billion euro fund to pay out grants.
11:26 Up to eight million in new debts for the Deutsche Bahn?
The Deutsche Bahn apparently intends to incur up to eight billion euros in debt this year due to the coronavirus crisis. This is according to a draft for the supervisory board, quoted by the news agency Reuters. If this limit were to be exhausted, the company's total debt would rise to around 30 billion euros. The debt cap previously imposed by the parliament's budget committee is thus no longer applicable. " Given the current revenue shortfalls as well as upcoming repayments of bonds, the raising of additional funds is necessary in the short term," the paper states. Deutsche Bahn declined to comment on the report.
11:13 Baden-Wuerttemberg plans to completely open kindergartens by the end of June
Baden-Württemberg's kindergartens should be fully reopened by the end of June at the latest. Minister of Education Susanne Eisenmann told the news agency dpa that a legal framework was being worked out quickly together with the municipalities and funding agencies in order "to be able to reopen kindergartens completely by the end of June at the latest". She based this on the initial findings of a study on children and the coronavirus, on which the University Hospital of Heidelberg is working with partners. Eisenmann explained that this study sends signals that children up to the age of ten years play only a minor role as carriers of the virus. Therefore, a concept for the further opening of primary schools is now being developed.
10:48 Record increase in death toll in Russia
A further 174 people have died in Russia who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. That's the highest number ever recorded in 24 hours. According to the authorities, the total number of deaths thus rises to 3807. 8915 new infections have also been registered. This means that 362,342 people in Russia have been proven to be infected with the coronavirus.
10:46 Association welcomes planned lifting of travel warning for 31 countries
The tourism industry has welcomed the German government's plans to lift the worldwide travel warning for 31 European countries as of June 15. "This not only gives hope to the companies in the travel industry, but also to the many Germans who are looking forward to their holidays, for example on the Mediterranean," said Norbert Fiebig, President of the DRV travel association, to the dpa news agency. The industry, with around 2,300 tour operators and more than 11,000 travel agencies in Germany, has been badly hit by the coronavirus crisis. The summer business is usually the season with the highest turnover.
10:27 Saxony plans further easings in the coronavirus crisis
According to a statement by Saxony's Minister President Michael Kretschmer, several media have reported that, as of June 6, weddings and family celebrations, among other things, will be possible again "on a larger scale" in the state. "We have to discuss to what extent private events will be possible", Kretschmer explained. Currently, the rule still applies that only members of a maximum of two households may meet. However, he emphasised that the incidence of infections has developed so positively that we want to make more possible in this area as well. Kretschmer added that there would also be "a change" in the "bus and coach" sector.
10:20 Italian Foreign Minister in favor of Europe-wide tourism launch on June 15
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio spoke out in favor of a joint relaunch of European tourism in mid-June. "Let's work together to ensure that we can all make a fresh start on June 15th in Europe: June 15th is a bit of a European D-Day for tourism," Di Maio told Rai television. Di Maio referred to the German government's intention, outlined in a draft key issues paper, to lift the worldwide travel warning for German tourists for 31 European countries from June 15.
10:12 Solo artists fear for their livelihoods
Concerts - postponed or cancelled, the financial aid - for a limited period: For freelance artists the current situation is threatening their existence.
09:26 Latam Airways files for bankruptcy in the USA
The largest Latin American airline, Latam Airlines, has applied for bankruptcy protection following the drastic slump in air traffic resulting from the coronavirus crisis. The group, based in the Chilean capital Santiago, stated that it and some of its sister companies had filed for restructuring in the USA. The aim was to maintain operations, reduce debt through the bankruptcy process, and tap new sources of finance. Passenger and cargo flights will continue to operate, and employees will receive their wages and salaries, the company stated. The creditor protection proceedings affect the parent company Latam Airlines Group S.A. and its sister companies in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, as well as its operations in the USA.
09:06 Consumer sentiment up again slightly
Following the initial easings of the coronavirus restrictions, the GfK consumer climate index is recovering slightly. The figures, however, remain poor in comparison with the previous year.
08:00 Here's what happened last night
- CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institute reports 432 new cases of CoViD-19 (179,002 total) and 45 new deaths (8,302 total) due to the virus
- Trump threatens to change his nomination party conference
- German government's rescue package for Lufthansa is complete
- Viennese doctors succeed in first corona lung transplantation in Europe
- DFB treasurer speaks of "deepest economic crisis
- Spanish Tourism Minister promises holiday season from July