Germany extends lockdown but paves way to relax more rules

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is extending its coronavirus shutdown by three weeks until March 28, but easing some restrictions to allow nonessential stores and other businesses to reopen in areas with relatively low infection rates.

After about nine hours of talks, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of the country’s 16 states agreed Wednesday to measures aimed at balancing concern over the impact of more contagious coronavirus variants with a growing clamor for a return to a more normal life.

The first moves have already been made: many elementary students returned to school last week.

And on Monday, hairdressers opened after a 2 1/2-month break.

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