At a press conference held on Monday afternoon, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder confirmed that Bavaria’s statewide lockdown and exit restrictions will be extended until April 19.
These restrictions, implemented on March 21 for an initial two week period, are among many precautionary measures taken recently to slow the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of schools and public institutions until April 19, and an active federal ban on any gatherings exceeding two people.
Under current rules, individuals are prohibited from leaving the house except for essential activities such as going to work, to the doctor, grocery shopping, or for a walk/exercise outdoors.
Söder emphasized during the press conference that current restrictions would not be tightening or changing in any way, only extended. While he did mention the possibility of implementing mandatory mask wearing in supermarkets as Austria has done, there are no immediate plans to do so.
As for whether the restrictions will continue past April 19, it is still too early to tell. Söder reiterated the importance of not being careless, and to continue staying at home whenever possible to prevent a resurgence of the virus.
On an optimistic note, initial stats following the exit restrictions have been positive. Söder stated in the press conference that the number of infected people are now doubling every 5 days, whereas the number doubled every 2.8 days prior to the exit restrictions being put in place.
Bavarian economics minister Hubert Aiwanger also stated in the press conference that large quantities of ‘rapid’ COVID-19 tests (which would give results in minutes rather than hours) should become available by early May.