UPDATE: Click here to read the full official list of changes as confirmed via press conference.
At a press conference on Wednesday discussing the next steps in Germany’s lockdown measures, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced many changes to come across the country, including the gradual re-opening of schools, shops, and extensions on current exit restrictions.
It is important to note however that states may handle matters differently when it comes to specific timelines and regulations. Bavaria in particular has been the state most impacted by the spread of COVID-19, therefore we are looking at a slightly delayed timeline compared to the rest of the country, with Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder advocating for a more cautious approach than other state leaders.
While the Bavarian State Government is set to meet this afternoon to discuss specifics, Muenchen.de has released a statement here outlining specific Bavaria-wide changes to come. Here are the confirmed details we know so far:
- Schools will re-open in Bavaria from May 11 onwards. This is one week later than the May 4 opening date in other federal states.
- Exam preparations can begin from April 27 onwards. This is for students writing exams such as the Abitur or Mittelreife.
- Primary schools and daycare centers will remain closed. Emergency care will continue to be provided for those in critical roles such as healthcare.
- Exit restrictions will be extended until May 3. This is in line with the extension issued in other states. Strict border controls will continue until May 4.
- Shops will be re-opening at a different schedule than other states, and with different regulations. Shops in other federal states (up to a size of 800 square meters) will re-open on Monday, but Söder has made it clear that the re-opening of shops in Bavaria will occur on a different timeline. An exact timeline has yet to be announced.
- All large events will be banned until August 31st. This of course has cast doubt on the fate of large events like Oktoberfest. While discussions are still taking place about whether Oktoberfest 2020 can go on, Söder has shown skepticism about the event’s likelihood in recent interviews.
Chancellor Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s federal states will be meeting again on April 30 to discuss further plans. It is said the meeting will specifically address the topics of art, culture and sports. More on this as it develops.