The coronavirus pandemic in Germany

More than 200,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been registered in Germany since the country’s first confirmed case of infection in late January.

A timeline:

January 27: Germany records its first case of the novel coronavirus, an employee of the car parts supplier Webasto in the southern state of Bavaria. Cases there were linked to a Chinese colleague who had attended a work training event.

February 25/26: Coronavirus cases are confirmed in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg in the south-west and North Rhine Westphalia in the west. Other regions follow, with Saxony-Anhalt the last state to report infections on March 10.

March 9: The virus claims its first victims in Germany, in North Rhine Westphalia, as the number of infections nationwide climbs to 1,000.

March 10: States ban events with more than 1,000 participants.

March 11: The World Health Organization officially designates the crisis as a pandemic.

March 12/13: Theatres and concert halls close their doors one by one and cinema releases are postponed. Bundesliga football is put on ice.

March 16: Germany introduces checks and entry bans at its borders with France, Austria, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland. Meanwhile, most states have closed schools and kindergartens.

March 17: Several companies, including auto giants Volkswagen and Daimler, announce that they are halting production as demand falls and international supply chains are disrupted. Non-EU citizens are banned from entering Germany.

March 18: Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the nation in a televised speech, calling for solidarity and discipline. She appeals to people in the country to reduce contact with others.

March 22: A ban on gatherings of more than two is introduced across the country, with exceptions for members of the same household. Shops and hairdressers close.

April 15: Following initial signs of success in reducing the spread of the virus, Merkel and state premiers agree to gradually reopen schools from May 4.

April 20: After a month-long hiatus, shops are gradually allowed to reopen. Saxony becomes the first state to make masks mandatory in shops and on public transport – rules that are soon adopted across the country.

April 24: More than five weeks after it began, the German Foreign Office’s “coronavirus airlift” concludes, having flown around 240,000 stranded people back to Germany.

April 30: The easing of restrictions continues with moves to reopen play parks and places of worship.

May 6: Merkel’s government leaves the easing of measures largely in the states’ hands, with hotel, restaurant and sport facility reopenings to follow.

May 8: The states of Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine Westphalia introduce mass testing for slaughterhouse workers, in response to localized outbreaks linked to the meat industry.

May 16: Bundesliga games resume, without the crowds. Saxony-Anhalt becomes the first state to record zero new infections over a 24-hour period.

June 3: The governing coalition in Berlin approves a 130-billion-euro (148-billion-dollar) stimulus package for 2020 and 2021 to haul Europe’s biggest economy out of the crisis.

June 13: Thuringia in central Germany becomes the first state to lift limits on gatherings.

June 17: Over 1,400 employees of the Toennies slaughterhouse in the state of North Rhine Westphalia test positive for the virus, prompting the temporary reintroduction of sweeping restrictions in two districts, home to hundreds of thousands of people.

July 16: Germany’s official coronavirus caseload surpasses the 200,000 mark. Over 9,000 people have died.

Source: dpa

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