The company has denied such reports

6:02 p.m .: «» Measures that have never been done before «»

Merkel emphasizes that the guidelines are «» measures that have not yet existed in Germany. «» But this is the only way to prevent the virus from spreading. The federal states have to enforce these measures. 

6:01 p.m.: Merkel begins 

Chancellor Merkel starts the press conference. She announced that further measures against the corona virus have been decided together with the federal states. 

5:55 p.m.: Journalists are waiting for Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in a few minutes for the press conference in the Chancellery. It is expected that she will comment on the far-reaching measures decided today between the federal and state governments.  

5:20 p.m.: Switzerland declares a state of emergency and mobilizes the army

Switzerland is introducing emergency law because of the rapid spread of coronavirus infections. All shops, restaurants, bars as well as entertainment and leisure facilities must remain closed until April 19, 2020, the government ordered on Monday. Exceptions include grocery stores and health facilities. The government also announced that it would also introduce controls at the borders with Germany, Austria and France from midnight. It approved the deployment of up to 8,000 military personnel to support hospitals, logistics and the security area.

Leipzig: Visitors to Leipzig city center walk through a shopping street in the center of the city. (Source: dpa)

4:05 p.m.: The federal and state governments decide to largely close shops

To contain the novel corona virus, public life in Germany is to be drastically restricted. According to its own information, the federal government agreed on Monday with the prime ministers of the federal states that numerous shops should be closed. Exceptions include grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores as well as petrol stations, banks, post offices and wholesalers. Here, however, hygiene and access requirements are to be issued.

As has already happened in various federal states, numerous facilities are also to be closed everywhere. You can find an overview here.

3:19 p.m.: Government recommends closing shops

In the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the federal government is proposing to the states to close a large number of shops. However, supermarkets and other shops that serve to supply people should remain open, as the German press agency learned from government circles on Monday after a meeting of the cabinet committee on the corona crisis. 

The paper with recommendations from the cabinet committee to the federal states is available at Retail outlets for food and feed, weekly markets, delivery services, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, petrol stations and banks and savings banks, post offices, laundromats and wholesalers are to remain open. Outlet centers, for example, should close. 

Construction and pet supplies markets are allowed to open according to the recommendations, but strict conditions apply to ensure that there are no queues and that not too many people enter the shops at the same time.

3:09 p.m.: Merkel appears in front of the press that evening

In the evening, Chancellor Merkel wants to inform about the Federal Government’s measures in the fight against the spread of the corona virus. Merkel will appear in front of the media at 6 p.m., the Federal Press Office announced on Monday. The Cabinet Committee Corona, headed by Merkel, had previously met.

We will accompany the press conference live for you. 

2:57 p.m.: IMF provides $ 1 trillion in financial aid 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is offering the affected countries massive financial aid to deal with the coronavirus crisis. The fund’s $ 1 trillion credit capacity could be used to support member states struggling with the spread of the virus, IMF director Kristalina Georgieva said in a blog post on

However, she made it clear that governments are required to take fiscal measures. Globally coordinated economic aid is becoming more urgent every hour. The IMF has flexible emergency loans with a volume of 50 billion dollars ready for use quickly by emerging and developing countries. $ 10 billion could be given out at zero interest.

2.45 p.m.: «» Bild «»: Government recommends closing shops 

The «» Bild «» newspaper reports that the government’s crisis cabinet has passed further recommendations: According to this, social contacts should be reduced to a minimum. Shops should be closed for this, restaurants should open at 6 a.m. at the earliest and close at 6 p.m. (CET) at the latest. This does not apply to shops for food and feed, weekly markets, delivery services, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, petrol stations, banks and savings banks, post offices and laundromats. However, the recommendations must be implemented by the federal states.

2.28 p.m.: Eurogroup chief: economies are «» in war-like times «»

Eurogroup boss Mario Centeno sees Europe before a long fight against the corona virus. It is clear that the virus has not yet reached its maximum spread, Centeno said before a video conference by EU finance ministers on the economic consequences of the epidemic on Monday. The EU had «» taken the first steps in a temporary but long struggle. The enforced containment measures would «» bring Europe’s economies «» into war-like times.

The EU Commission already expects the European economy to shrink this year due to the Corona crisis. Several EU countries have announced billions in programs to counter the economic consequences of the crisis and prevent corporate bankruptcies.

For its part, the EU Commission wants to show compliance with the requirements for budget deficits and state aid for companies. It also wants to support affected countries with an investment program of up to 37 billion euros. For all these measures it still needs the support of the Member States. «We will ensure that EU rules on budgets and state aid do not stand in the way of helping our economies,» said Centeno in a video message. «» There is flexibility and it will be used. «»

2.20 p.m.: Austrian airlines cease operations 

Austrian Airlines, which belongs to Lufthansa, and the Ryanair subsidiary Laudamotion are temporarily suspending their regular flight operations due to the Corona crisis. Austrian will suspend flights from Thursday, the last flight for the time being will land in Vienna on March 19 in the morning hours from Chicago, the airline announced. Until then, flight operations will be controlled and reduced in a structured manner in order to bring as many passengers, crews and aircraft home as possible. Austrian Airlines will initially cancel all flights until March 28th. Passengers who have booked a flight during this period would be rebooked on other airlines if possible, it said.

Laudamotion, part of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, will cease its flight operations with immediate effect until further notice. All flights will be canceled from the program until April 8th. Affected passengers will be informed immediately by email and can rebook free of charge, as well as receive a refund of the flight price on request.

2.10 p.m.: The curfew in Spain should last longer 

The state of alarm declared on Saturday evening in Spain, including curfew, should last longer than the initially targeted 15 days. Two weeks would «» not be enough to win the fight, «» said Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos in a radio interview with RTVE on Monday. «» It’s obvious that we don’t have a safe schedule. But if we don’t take particularly tough measures now to stop the spread of the virus and its effects on health and life, it will have no effect at all, «said Ábalos.

As part of the so-called alarm state, the third highest level of emergency, most of the shops were closed and local and long-distance public transport was drastically reduced. But people are allowed to shop in supermarkets and pharmacies and to drive to their work. The longest possible duration of the alarm state is actually 15 days — an extension must be approved by parliament, as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez emphasized in a televised address.

2:05 p.m.: BASF wants to start producing disinfectants

Because of the coronavirus crisis, the BASF Group wants to start manufacturing disinfectants this week. The organizational and technical prerequisites for this are currently being created, as disinfectants are not part of the company’s product portfolio, said a group spokesman in Ludwigshafen on Monday.

BASF is currently planning to make hand disinfectants available to hospitals in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, it said. The chemical company received an exemption from the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Health for the production. 

1.55 p.m.: EU Commission Vice Timmermans in quarantine 

The Vice President of the EU Commission, Frans Timmermans, has gone into voluntary quarantine due to the coronavirus crisis. The background to this is the contact with a person who later tested positive for the virus at an appointment on March 6th, announced the EU Commission. But Timmermans has no symptoms and says himself: «» I feel perfectly fine. «» The self-isolation should last until March 20th. So far, there has been no further suspicion of infection in the ranks of the 27 commissioners, a spokesman clarified.

1.30 p.m.: New deaths in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg 

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the number of coronavirus deaths has risen to eight. In the Heinsberg district, two other people died in connection with a coronavirus infection. A 94-year-old woman from Heinsberg with previous illnesses died of pneumonia in the Heinsberg hospital, the district reported. An 81-year-old patient from Heinsberg died in the Erkelenz hospital, also of pneumonia caused by a coronavirus infection. «» Her health was already burdened by previous illnesses, «» it said. This means that there are already a total of six corona deaths in the Heinsberg district alone. In addition, one infected person died in Essen and one in Düsseldorf.

In Hamburg, too, a person died for the first time as a result of an infection with the novel corona virus. A spokesman for the health authority said it was a resident of a senior citizens’ residence. The man had already died on Friday and the virus has now been found posthumously in examinations. The «» Bild «» newspaper had previously reported on it. This increases the number of deaths in Germany to 18.

1:22 p.m.: Greece imposes quarantine on travelers 

Greece imposes a two-week quarantine on people arriving from abroad. Retail stores are expected to be closed from Wednesday. Supermarkets, pharmacies and food delivery services are excluded, says a government spokesman in Athens.

1.20 p.m.: US military maneuver «» Defender Europe 20 «» is ended 

The US-led military exercise «Defender Europe 20» has been stopped in a controlled manner due to the corona epidemic. «As far as I know, the Americans have decided to end this exercise in an orderly fashion,» said a spokesman for the Defense Ministry in Berlin. 

According to his information, a maximum of 5,500 US soldiers entered Germany. Ships on the way to Germany have been diverted. «» All active exercise parts «» are canceled by the German side. The Bundeswehr is now providing logistical support in orderly to bring the US forces back.

1:04 p.m.: Owner of CureVac believes in vaccine until autumn

SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp assumes that a vaccine against the coronavirus will be available by autumn. «» That should then be available, but tests would have to be carried out on animals for the first time and then on people, «said the majority owner of the Bundesliga club 1899 Hoffenheim in a Sport1 interview.

The 79-year-old is the majority owner of the Tübingen-based company CureVac, which has been researching a vaccine since the beginning of the year. US President Donald Trump apparently tried in vain to buy Hopp’s exclusive rights to the new vaccine. The company has denied such reports.

12.55 p.m.: Opel mother PSA closes plants in France 

The parent company of the car manufacturer Opel, the French PSA group, is closing all plants in France due to the coronavirus pandemic. This was reported on Monday from trade union circles. The US-Italian car manufacturer Fiat Chrysler, the French car manufacturer Renault and the French tire manufacturer Michelin had previously announced plant closings due to the corona crisis.

12.46 p.m.: Company with a possible vaccine has not received an offer from Trump

The sale of a possible corona vaccine from the Tübingen biotech company CureVac is still completely open, according to the company. According to media reports, US President Donald Trump is trying to secure the drug exclusively for his country and is offering the company a large amount in return. «» We have not had an offer, «said a CureVac spokesman on Monday.

CureVac is currently researching a vaccine against the coronavirus and has received 8.3 million US dollars in funding (around 7.5 million euros) from the international vaccine alliance CEPI («» Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations «»). The federal government is also a member of CEPI. Once a suitable vaccine candidate has been found and tested in clinical trials, CureVac will manufacture the drug itself.

12.42 p.m.: Local traffic in Saxony restricted 

The spread of the corona virus is leading to restrictions in local transport in Saxony. «» We are thinking about adapting our offer to what is given, «said Falk Lösch, spokesman for the Dresden transport company, on Monday. Since the beginning of the week, additional trips to transport schoolchildren have been canceled in Dresden. To curb the spread of the corona virus, compulsory schooling was lifted in Saxony on Monday.

As in Dresden, the doors of buses and trams also open automatically in Leipzig. This is to prevent passengers from becoming infected with the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen when they press the stop request button. Transport companies in the Free State also ask to get on the back of the bus and buy tickets before the journey.

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