COVID-19: Germans to wear masks in shops

BERLIN (AFP) – European countries are working to find a balance in how far to ease coronavirus lockdowns, with Germany enforcing mandatory masks in all shops from yesterday, as the crushing global economic cost of the pandemic becomes clearer.

Excitement over moves towards normality is being tempered by fear of fresh outbreaks of a disease that has already killed 214,000 people worldwide.

Even a gradual return to everyday activity is “risky”, warned French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, as he unveiled plans to gradually end the lockdown starting next month.

From yesterday in Germany, masks are needed to enter shops, which began to open last week after the government declared its outbreak under control.

Nose and mouth coverings are already compulsory on buses, trains and trams.