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German politicians debate easing restrictions as new infections drop

German politicians debate easing restrictions as new infections drop

Senior politicians in Germany have begun debating a potential easing of restrictions imposed over the coronavirus epidemic. Their meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled for Wednesday.

Merkel and the premiers of Germany’s 16 states expect to get recommendations from the German National Academy of Sciences on Monday. The chancellor has said the advice will weigh heavily in considerations for a possible loosening in movement and social distancing rules in place since around mid-March.

The discussion takes place as the number of new infections and deaths declines in Germany, which has weathered the pandemic better than its European neighbors Italy, Spain and France.

Germany’s economy has been hit hard and is predicted to contract by 9.8 percent in the second quarter, the biggest decline since records began in 1970 and more than double the decline seen during the global financial crisis in 2009, Reuters said.

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