German chancellor Angela Merkel fears that the new ease of the restrictions set to curb the coronavirus might lead to a surge in infections all over again.
There are fears that the government might be forced to impose a second lock down should the infections rates go up but it would take a lot of convinving to get people indoors again.
Merkel criticised any discussions on opening the country up by lifting the lockdowns, it could end up being too much at once. This interaction between thousands of people could lead to new populations contracting the coronavirus.
She urged Germans to “make as little use as possible” of their new freedoms. “We cannot afford to think ourselves safe for so much as a second,” she said. “It would be a crying shame if we walked into a relapse with our eyes open.”
With small shops opening on Monday for the first time in a month, Merkel said the authorities can only allow such small cautious steps each time to avoid a devastating relapse.
Merkel warned that they still stood at the beginning of the pandemic and are still a long way from being out of the woods.
There were however measures set during this opening as only shops that cover an 800 square metre parameter are being allowed to open to customers. This puts the government under pressure to also open much larger stores to get everyone back on the hamster wheel.
Merkel said loosening restrictions too hastily could be counterproductive as the effects of the first steps would only be seen in two weeks.
“We must remain vigilant and disciplined,” she stressed.
Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn declared the virus “under control” last week after the infection rate stabilised.
Angela Merkel has repeatedly warned that Germany’s success remains “fragile“.