German researchers are reportedly using fluorescent disinfectants to track what surfaces audience members touch the most.
The project received 990,000 euros ($1.17 million) funding from the states of Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony with the aim of helping to pave the way for the resumption of major indoor sporting and music events by ascertaining realistic levels of risk.
Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister of Economics and Science, Prof. Armin Willingmann, said before the event: “The corona pandemic is paralyzing the event industry.
“As long as there is a risk of infection, major concerts, trade fairs and sporting events cannot take place. This is why it is so important to find out which technical and organizational conditions can effectively minimize the risks.”
Denmark has reopened schools and nurseries for children up to the age of 11.
In Spain, construction and manufacturing work is back under way.
In Austria, thousands of smaller shops reopened on April 14, and the country will allow outdoor sport such as tennis, golf and athletics from May 1.
In Italy, some regions have reopened bookstores and children’s clothing stores.
France, however, has extended its lockdown measures for four more weeks until May 11. Belgium will maintain its restrictions until at least May 3.
In Russia, veterans groups have called for President Vladimir Putin to postpone the World War Two 75th anniversary victory parade planned for May 9, because of the risk it could pose to participants.
After a video conference with the heads of Germany’s 16 lands, Chancellor Merkel announced the gradual loosening of the strict lockdown measures.
Schools can reopen “gradually and very slowly” after May 4, she said, with new safety measures for breaks and school buses, and priority given to those students with exams.
She said: “It will be a great logistical effort and it needs very careful preparation.”
Stores of up to 800 square meters (8,600 sq ft) could be able to restart their businesses from Monday, provided they have “plans to maintain hygiene”, the chancellor said.
Car dealers, bike stores and bookstores can all reopen, regardless of their size. Hairdressers will be allowed to open their doors from May 4, provided they too comply with strict hygiene measures.
Angela Merkel strongly recommended people don protective face masks while shopping and while taking public transport, saying this “will help to protect other people”.
It makes Germany the latest country to issue guidance on face masks in public – although Chancellor Merkel did not make it mandatory.
German economy, the Europe’s biggest, entered a recession in March, its economy ministry said, citing “collapsing global demand, interruption of supply chains, changes in consumer behavior and uncertainty among investors”.
Last month, the German government passed a stimulus package worth €750bn ($816 billion) in a bid to help ease the effect of the coronavirus.
Germany has extended its restrictions
on social interactions to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, banning
public gatherings of more than two people.
People will not be allowed to form
groups of three or more in public unless they live together in the same
household, or the gathering is work-related. Police will monitor and punish
anyone infringing the new rules.
In a TV address, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel said “our own behavior” was the “most effective
way” of slowing the rate of infection.
The measures included closing hair,
beauty and massage studios. Other non-essential shops had already been shut.
Restaurants will now only be allowed
to open for takeaway service. All restrictions apply to every German state, and
will be in place for at least the next two weeks.
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