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Merkel Announces Germany’s Soccer League Restart

German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for the beginning of a press conference in Berlin, Germany, May 6, 2020 after an online meeting of Merkel and the German state governors on the loosening of the restictions to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday the German soccer league Bundesliga can resume playing later this month, ending a two-month pause prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Merkel made the announcement as one of a range of containment measures being relaxed, following a meeting with the country’s 16 state governors Wednesday. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing because the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped.

The chancellor said the league can proceed but must follow a series of strict hygiene rules, including holding matches without spectators and quarantine time for teams before they play.

The Bundesliga has been inactive since mid-March, but clubs returned to some form of training in early April and have gradually increased their intensity levels over recent weeks.

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