File photo: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Photograph:( Reuters )
Germany is the biggest economy in Europe. Signals of Covid curb easing in Germany may send a big message
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is meeting heads of federal states on Wednesday. Reuters said citing a meeting draft that among possible steps is easing Covid curbs. Shoppers at non-essential stores may no longer have to show proof of negative Covid tests or proof of vaccination.
The draft also included plans to increase the number of people allowed at indoor private gatherings to 20 if all of them are vaccinated.
In a second phase of easing, night clubs could re-open and unvaccinated Germans would be allowed into restaurants from March 4, the draft showed.
A requirement to wear masks indoors and on public transportation is to remain in place.
Germany's expert panel said on Sunday that the government needed to put plans in place for easing curbs, given the current wave of infections was expected to flatten in the coming weeks, but it warned against loosening restrictions too soon.
"Thanks to the milder course of the disease, we are entering a new phase of the pandemic, which allows prospects for gradual opening," Hendrik Wuest, the prime minister of Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia, told Welt newspaper.
Finance Minister Christian Lindner also called on federal and state governments to decide on a comprehensive easing at their meeting on Wednesday, adding that there must be a "noticeable difference in everyday life" afterwards.
Coronavirus case numbers have slightly dropped in Germany, as the government plans to loosen coronavirus restrictions in Europe's biggest economy.
Germany reported 76,465 new daily coronavirus cases on Monday, down 20% from the same day last week. The 7-day infection incidence per 100,000 people also fell to 1,460 from 1,467 on Sunday.
(With inputs from agencies)