German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that day care centers and schools would be the first to reopen when the contagion levels of the pandemic slow down and begin to ease current restrictions on public life and economic activity.
“We are doing everything possible so that day care centers and schools are the first to reopen. To give children a part of the daily routine and to reduce the pressure on families ”, assured the chancellor in her usual Saturday video message.
According to Merkel, everyone in the German Government is “very aware” of the “tough” that is “the day to day for many parents and children today”, due to the measures in place to control the spread of the pandemic.
In Germany, schools and day care centers have been closed since mid-December.
“It is a huge effort for parents of children in daycare and primary school to care for and educate their children at home. To this we must add labor obligations and concerns ”, said the chancellor.
Merkel, who next Thursday will participate in a virtual meeting on this topic with fathers and mothers – some of whom are members of single parents – nevertheless recalled some of the state aid approved in recent months to support families.
Among them, he mentioned an extraordinary support of 200 euros per child (paid in the autumn) and an increase in the monthly allowance for children, from 204 to 219 euros (which came into force in January).
In addition, he said, the number of sick days that can be requested due to a child’s illness has been doubled to 20, assuming the need to provide assistance at home due to the closure of schools.
Merkel also underlined that, thanks to “the efforts made, the numbers of new infections have been falling for some time now”, but called for the guard not to be lowered because “the real risk” is the “highly contagious virus mutations” .
“We have not yet reached the point where daycare centers and schools can reopen their doors,” he said, without making any reference to February 14, the date until which this measure was extended.
Germany recorded 12,321 new cases of covid-19 and 794 deaths in the last 24 hours, maintaining the downward trend. The cumulative incidence in the last seven days has dropped to 90.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,191,865 deaths resulting from more than 101 million cases of infection worldwide, according to the latest assessment by the French agency AFP.