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Merkel Warns Against Easing Restrictions Too Quickly

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a meeting of the German federal parliament, Bundestag, at the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, April 23, 2020.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned German lawmakers some regions in the nation were moving too quickly to ease COVID-19 restrictions, risking a setback to the progress the country has made in getting the virus under control.

In an address to the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, Merkel said she fully supports the decision made last week – after consultations with regional governors – to begin easing some restrictions, such as allowing smaller businesses to reopen. But she said she is concerned some areas are relaxing those rules too quickly.

Merkel said nobody likes to hear it but “we are not living in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at the beginning.” She said Germany’s early success bought them time that has been used to bolster the health care system and moving too quickly could set all that back.

Turning the European Union, the German chancellor said in the spirit of solidarity, Germany should be willing to contribute more to the EU budget to help other nations in the region recover economically.