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.
- Transport ministers demand 2.5 billion euros for public transport
- Easyjet plans to cut almost a third of jobs
- Churches expect massive shortage of financial means
- RKI: 353 new infections in Germany
- more wage replacement for parents and less VAT for restaurants
17:47 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).
17:26 Hundreds of thousands of French apply for unemployment aid
In April, about 843,000 inhabitants in France applied for unemployment aid. This represents a "historic" increase in the unemployment rate of 22.6 percent, the Ministry of Labor announced. The ministry did not primarily justify the increase with mass dismissals during the coronavirus crisis, but many companies would not hire new employees due to the economic burdens.
17:21 Croatia relaxes entry regulations
Citizens of several EU states can re-enter Croatia without having to fulfill specific requirements. This was agreed upon by the Croatian government. In addition to Germany, the relaxation applies to Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Previously, travellers from these countries had to prove either the booking of an accommodation or the ownership of a property or a boat when crossing the border. Now it is sufficient for them to indicate where they will be staying in Croatia and how they can be contacted. If you want to enter Croatia, you can also print out a form at "entercroatia.mup.hr", in which the necessary details can be entered.
17:12 Zoo names newborn giraffe after the virus
The Bali Safari Park gained a new resident on April 9: a small giraffe. Since the offspring was born during the corona crisis, it now has the name of the virus that led to this pandemic. The giraffe is called "Corona". According to the zoo owners little "Corona" is very healthy. The kitten is still being breastfed by mother Sophie and is under observation for a few more weeks.
17:01 Lindner critical of EU reconstruction plan
The chairman of the FDP, Christian Lindner, sees the danger that the planned EU rescue fund to strengthen the economy in the member states after the Corona crisis "might in the end not strengthen Europe, but weaken it".
The money would have to be used to generate growth and jobs and to invest in future technologies. "We do not want to create incentives to prevent reforms in the member states that were necessary even before Corona", warned Lindner.
EU aid should not be used to "cover up old problems and plug budget gaps".
In the opinion of EU Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn, however, there is "no Plan B" for the reconstruction plan, which is to amount to 750 billion euros. He therefore warned that ratification by the EU states could drag on until the end of the year. For the plan to come into effect, all parliaments of the 27 EU countries must agree to it.
16:51 Coronavirus outbreak in UPS distribution center near Hannover
At least 72 employees in a distribution center of the logistics company UPS in Langenhagen near Hanover have been infected with the corona virus. This was announced by the Ministry of Social Affairs of Lower Saxony and Hanover. Corona cases in a daycare and a school are also said to be connected to the outbreak. UPS therefore urged all families that have a professional connection to the distribution center to pay attention to symptoms.
16:28 Breweries sell significantly less beer
As a result of closed bars and restaurants and canceled events, German breweries recorded a considerable drop in sales of alcoholic beer in April. Overall, sales were down 17.3 percent compared to the same month last year.
Sales collapsed most in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein with a drop of 54.9 percent. This is followed by the two German states where most beer is brewed, North Rhine-Westphalia (-20.3 percent) and Bavaria (-18.8 percent).
There is only one state where breweries couldn't complain: In Thuringia, beer sales even increased by 4.3 percent
16:20 Thuringia's mayors warn against too extensive relaxation
In a joint position paper, the mayors of the Thuringian cities of Erfurt, Gera, Weimar, Jena and Eisenach warned against moving too far too quickly from protective measures against the corona pandemic.
Relaxations were only justifiable, he said, if they were compatible with infection protection and traceability of infection chains. It is indeed right to take steps towards a new normality, to be able to react to local peculiarities and developments and not to restrict fundamental rights any longer and further than necessary, the mayors said. However, a minimum of measures must continue to be taken even in the regular mode.
In the opinion of the mayors, these include hygiene concepts, distance rules and, as long as necessary, the obligation to wear masks. One must remain preventively active, says the joint paper. It is not enough to react only when the number of infections in a place rises.
Thuringia's Minister President Bodo Ramelow has spoken out in favour of returning to regular social life in early June. He has received criticism for this from federal and local politicians.
16:10 Collapse of US economy is more severe than expected
Economic output in the USA decreased more drastically in the first quarter of the year than experts had predicted. Gross domestic product fell by 5.0 percent between January and March - at a rate projected for the year as a whole. The USA had last recorded such a decline during the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.
Experts had predicted a minus of 4.8 percent. The consequences of the corona crisis and the associated business closures are expected to be reflected even more clearly in the economic balance sheet in the further course of the year.
16:10 More tests, more tourists?
Portugal wants to attract more travelers to the country again - and is relying on mass corona tests to achieve this. Even an entire city is to be tested for cases.
15:55 Faction leaders demand an examination of Coronavirus policy of the federal government
In a guest article for "Der Spiegel", the two chairmen of the parliamentary groups CDU/CSU and SPD, Ralph Brinkhaus and Rolf Mützenich, argued that the German Bundestag should review the way the Federal Government is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The article stated that the Federal Government had deliberately been given special powers to deal with the pandemic. "But our role as parliament also demands that we now review how the Federal Government has used these competences. And where necessary, we will transfer these regulatory powers back to the parliament."
15:50 WHO confirms higher mortality linked to the pandemic in Europe
In 24 European countries, the death rate has increased since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Since the beginning of March, around 159,000 more people have died in these countries than would have been expected in a normal year.
15:45 Saxony wants to ease restrictions for sports
From June 6, Saxony wants to reopen all sports facilities and allow sports competitions again, but without an audience. The state's Minister of the Interior, Roland Wöller announced the plans.
15:39 Miserable conditions in Brazil
Overworked clinics, mass graves for the victims of the Corona pandemic - the conditions in Brazil are deteriorating rapidly. But President Jair Bolsonaro apparently does not need to fear political consequences of the crisis.
15:33 Lufthansa wants to offer more connections in June
Lufthansa announced that the airline and its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Air Dolomiti will offer more flights in June. The subsidiaries in particular had almost completely suspended operations in March due to the corona crisis.
Lufthansa announced that the airlines of its group will begin to operate about 2000 weekly connections to about 130 international destinations in the coming month. That amounts to roughly 15 percent of the capacity of flights compared to last year.
15:08 Declining trust in politics
The trust of Germans in the politics of the Bundestag apparently gets weaker the longer the corona pandemic lasts. This is indicated by figures from the “Krisen-Barometers” by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, which are available to the “ARD-Hauptstadtstudio”.
At the end of April, about 70 percent of the participants in the survey had indicated that they had confidence in the work of the committee. Meanwhile, only about half of the respondents (49 %) state this.
Since the end of March, the Foundation has been conducting a representative survey with weekly polls to map the climate of opinion during the Corona crisis.
15:00 U.S. unemployment rate continues to rise dramatically
In the U.S., more than 2.1 million people registered as unemployed again last week and submitted an initial application for financial assistance according to government figures.
This means that almost 41 million people have lost their jobs completely or temporarily since the outbreak of the corona pandemic in the USA. There has never been such a massive drop in employment figures in the history of the country.
According to estimates, the unemployment rate for this month could be more than 20 percent. The rate for May will be announced in early June.
14:52 Denmark: No increase in infections after opening schools
On April 15, Denmark gradually started reopening its schools after four weeks of closure. Now the Danish Serum Institute announced that the number of coronavirus cases has not so far increased as a result of this decision, as reported by the Reuters news agency.
A similar conclusion was reached by the Finnish Institute for Health and Social Affairs. Since May 14, students in the country have been able to return to schools, starting with elementary schoolchildren. Here, infections have not increased either.
14:43 Significantly fewer exhibitors at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October
Last year, around 7,450 exhibitors from more than 100 countries were represented at the Frankfurt Book Fair. This year, the number of authors, publishers, and service providers is likely to drop to about one third, announced Book Fair Director Juergen Boos.
Most exhibitors will be from Europe. Participants from overseas would barely be able to attend the exhibition, especially from South and Latin America as well as from Asia.
In addition, the number of visitors may need to be reduced due to the coronavirus restrictions that might still apply in October. Boos currently expects that up to 20,000 guests will be able to visit the exhibition site at once from October 14 to 18.
14:26 Baden-Wuerttemberg partly wants to do without social distancing when opening schools
At the beginning of the week, State Premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, announced the complete reopening of kindergartens and elementary schools by the end of June. As the Ministry of Education and the Arts announced, social distancing as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus won't be imposed.
Regular operation could only work without any distance rules, according to a ministry spokesperson. She also referred to the first partial results of a study carried out by university hospitals on behalf of the federal state. According to the first investigations, children play a minor role in transmitting the virus.
However, the respective school classes and kindergarten groups are expected to remain amongst themselves and not mingle, even during breaks.
14:16 Launch of the "Test and Trace" system in England
The British government has introduced a system for tracking and tracing coronavirus infections in England. On Thursday, Health Minister Matt Hancock appealed to the people to comply with the rules associated with it. This is a "civic duty," he told the radio station BBC. In the "Test and Trace" system, 25,000 employees - supported by an additional 27,000 employees in hospitals and testing facilities - will identify the contact persons of infected people. Anyone who may have been infected is asked to self-isolate, even if they do not have symptoms.
Fines for breaches will not be imposed; however, Hancock emphasized that it was "in everyone's interest" to stick to the rules. According to government information, employees should be able to check the contacts of 10,000 infected individuals per day.
14:16 A member of the Ethics Board criticizes the immunity card
Moral theologian Andreas Lob-Hüdepohl is sceptical about a coronavirus immunity card. Proven immunity could liberate the public from interference in their fundamental rights, the member of the Ethics Board told the Cologne Internet portal domradio.de. This would mean, for example, that family members could easily visit relatives in care homes. However, he fears that certain groups would consciously contract the infection in order to obtain an immunity card.
As an example, he referred to employees in precarious life situations who felt they needed to be able to return to work quickly. "This would be a terribly cynical incentive structure."
The theologian at the Catholic University of Applied Social Sciences in Berlin also referred to the lack of knowledge about the tests and an immunity against Covid-19. "I could be immune to a disease but still pass it on," said Lob-Hüdepohl.
14:16 Transport ministers demand 2.5 billion euros for public transport
To support public transport in the coronavirus crisis, the state transport ministers are demanding EUR 2.5 billion from the federal government. "If the federal government doesn't help, we will see the death of an entire industry and it will be difficult to get the public transport system back on track at all," said the chairman of the Transport Conference, Saarland's head of the department Anke Rehlinger after a video conference between the states. The planned economic recovery package of the federal government must therefore include "a hefty mobility package." The coronavirus crisis has led to a drop in passenger numbers of 70 to 90 percent, the ministers wrote in their decision. In this year alone, they are expecting losses of at least five billion euros. "In order to for the climate targets and the traffic transition to remain realistic, the federal government must contribute to in a rescue package for public transport," said Rehlinger.
13:04 Researchers investigate the spread of viruses in passenger cabins
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center in Göttingen want to find out how viruses spread in trains and airplanes. Using the example of a sick passenger, the research center will investigate the extent to which exhaled particles spread in a fully occupied, high-capacity compartment. The investigation will take place both experimentally and through computer simulations. For the sick passenger, the exhalation or cough is calculated with a program that has been used for the simulation of airflow in cabins for a long time. It is complemented by the addition of aerosols, i.e. small floating particles or droplets which eventually atomize and evaporate. The computer program calculates the spread and reach of the particles and illustrates this in a graphic representation.
12:50 Energy consumption reduced by seven percent
Energy consumption in Germany fell by 6.8 percent to 117.9 million tons of hard coal units in the first three months of the year due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis and the mild weather. This was the result of preliminary calculations by a task force on energy audits, published in Berlin. The declining economy, especially in energy-intensive industries even before Corona, also played a role. Coal was particularly badly hit by the downturn, according to the report. Consumption of hard coal fell by about 22 percent, while that of brown coal was down by more than 30 percent. The emission of the climate-damaging CO2 is estimated to have decreased by about eleven percent.
12:42 Churches in Germany facing drastic losses
For many weeks now, houses of worship, church education and conference facilities have been forced to close temporarily - and in addition they are facing the prospect of a massive drop in tax revenues. The two major German churches are preparing for heavy financial losses due to the coronavirus crisis. The Protestant state church in Bavaria has now put together its own support package for the operation of the church facilities.
12:38 Parliament: 20 instead of six weeks wage replacement for parents and less VAT for restaurants
Working parents who have to look after their children at home because of the coronavirus crisis are to receive more help from the state. Wage compensation due to limited day-care and school operations will no longer be paid for six weeks, but for up to 20 weeks.
In the same law, the value-added tax on food in restaurants will be temporarily reduced from 19 to seven percent. This is intended to support restaurants that have suffered a large drop in sales due to the pandemic. The opposition criticized that bars and pubs that only sell drinks will not be considered. It was also decided that employer subsidies for short-time work will remain largely tax-free. The law still needs the approval of the Federal Council.
12:28 Austrian Airlines takes off again on June 15
The Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines (AUA) will resume flight operations on June 15 after an almost 90-day coronavirus break. "The first planes will take off for destinations including London, Paris, and Brussels," the company announced. During the first two weeks of the new start, 37 destinations are planned. However, this offer is still only around five percent compared to the previous year. Long-haul flights are also planned again for July. Passengers will be obliged to wear a face mask on board. People who do not live in the same household are to be distributed as far apart as possible in the aircraft. "However, no guest will be turned away in order to keep the neighbouring seat free, if the capacity is adequate", according to the statement.
12:07 New Cases of Infection: South Korea reverses relaxation measures
South Korea has reversed some of its easing measures. In the capital region of Seoul, which has been particularly hard hit, museums, parks and art galleries will be closed again for two weeks. Residents are once again being called upon to refrain from going to restaurants or bars and to avoid large crowds, said Health Minister Park Neung Hoo.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, South Korea was the second most affected country after China. However, strict distance rules, extensive testing and contact tracing brought the outbreak under control - the number of new infections decreased significantly. However, recent new cases of the virus, including in a warehouse for Internet trade, threaten to destroy their success. The authorities today reported 79 new infections within 24 hours, the highest number since the beginning of April. The total number of infections thus rose to 11,344.
11:50 Nissan closes plants in Barcelona
The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan wants to close its production facilities in Barcelona. This will result in the loss of 3000 jobs. The Spanish Ministry of Industry in Madrid regretted the company's decision and urged the management to consider alternatives. Trade unions fear that 20,000 more people could lose their jobs at suppliers in the region. Nissan has a plant in Barcelona and two smaller plants in the area. Nissan will present its annual results today. For the first time in eleven years, a loss is expected. Besides the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Nissan has been shaken by the scandal and departure of its former chairman Carlos Ghosn. A comprehensive restructuring is currently in process.
11:43 WHO establishes a new foundation to collect donations
The World Health Organization wants to improve its financial situation and has established a foundation for this purpose. The so-called "World Health Organization Foundation" is to solicit funds from private individuals, companies or institutions. The WHO is currently in a financial crisis as its largest contributor - the USA - has frozen its payments. China has offered the WHO two billion in corona aid. Christian Lindmeier, press spokesman for the WHO, commented in the ARD Morning Magazine about accusations that by accepting the money, they would become less critical of China.
10:49 Anschober: "Italy is still a hotspot"
Austria's Health Minister Rudolf Anschober is still critical of possible border openings with Italy due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Italy is still a hotspot", said Anschober to the "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten", although the situation has improved in some regions and there is a high level of commitment. "I am a great friend of freedom of travel, but we still have to be careful with Italy." Austria wants to reopen its borders with numerous neighbouring countries in the coming weeks. With regard to the borders with Italy and also Slovenia, however, the government in Vienna has been very cautious recently. Italy, in particular, is pressing for Austria to relax its border controls so that tourism, which is extremely important for the country, can get going again. For its part, Austria wants to open its borders to EU citizens as early as June 3.
09:22 Mayor of Florence: "Cities of art facing collapse"
According to the mayor of Florence, art cities in Italy are on the verge of collapse because of the coronavirus pandemic and need help from patrons. "If, on the one hand, local authorities are in a total crisis, art cities are on the brink of collapse," Dario Nardella told the newspaper Corriere della Sera. "We've been brought to our knees."
The slump in tourism alone has cost Florence millions of euros. "49 million less in lost overnight stays, 18 in tourist bus tickets and 15 in city museums' revenues." Nardella called on patrons for donations, "because the government has yet to give a single euro." He is therefore planning a worldwide tour to raise funds.
Starting with China, "the country that showed the most solidarity with Florence". This was followed by New York, Los Angeles, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India and London, Berlin and Paris.
09:06 Easyjet to cut 4500 jobs
As a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, the British airline Easyjet intends to cut almost a third of its jobs. The company announced in London that they will cut 4500 jobs.
Due to worldwide travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Easyjet suspended its flight operations at the end of March. The company wants to offer at least a small number of flights again starting June 15th. The flights are planned on routes where Easyjet expects sufficient demand, the airline announced a week ago. These are mainly domestic flights within Great Britain and France.
Depending on the demand and the relaxation of the corona measures in the individual countries, the flight schedule is to be further expanded in the following weeks.
09:01 Corona warning app: Federal Data Protection Commissioner criticizes delay
The Federal Data Protection Commissioner Ulrich Kelber has criticized the delay of the coronavirus warning app. "The difficulties in developing the coronavirus warning app have caused a loss of credibility", the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group. He added, however, that in defense of the politicians, it must be said that there was no blueprint for the current crisis situation.
In Kelber's opinion, the model under discussion with centralized data storage would have been worse in terms of data protection, but would have been permissible as well. He emphasised that data protection and health protection were not mutually exclusive. The decisive factor, he said, was that there would be no mandatory use of the future app, "neither directly nor indirectly". The coronavirus warning app should be ready by mid-June.
08:00 Here's what happened last night
- CoViD-19 numbers for Germany: Robert Koch Institute reports 353 new cases of CoViD-19 (179,717 total) and 62 new deaths (8,411 total) due to the virus
- Tens of thousands of breaches of Corona restrictions in Bavaria
- Schleswig-Holstein plans "regular" new school year
- Travel warning for EU countries until mid-June
- More than 100,000 Corona deaths in the U.S.