Germany considers easing mask rules as infections fall

Guests sit at a distance from one another ahead of the screening of a film as part of the Berlinale Summer Special film festival (Stefanie Loos/AP) (AP)
7:46am, Mon 14 Jun 2021
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Germany has recorded its lowest number of new daily coronavirus infections in nearly nine months, and officials are floating the possibility of loosening mask-wearing rules.

The Robert Koch Institute, the national disease control centre, said on Monday that 549 new cases were reported over the previous 24 hours.

It is the first time since September 21 that the figure has been under 1,000, though it is typical for numbers over the weekend to be relatively low because fewer tests are conducted and reported.

Germany has reported more than 3.7 million cases since the pandemic began.

Football fans in Cologne watch Euro 2020 on TV (Henning Kaiser/AP) (AP)

Another 10 deaths brought the country’s toll to 89,844.

Infection figures have declined sharply in recent weeks and a discussion has started about the future of mask-wearing rules.

Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Funke newspaper group that a step-by-step approach should be taken, with rules to wear them outdoors lifted first.

He said they could be dropped “little by little” indoors in areas with very low infections and high vaccination rates.

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