BERLIN - Germany will lift most restrictions to contain the coronavirus despite infections hitting a record in the country on Thursday.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said after talks with leaders of Germany's 16 states that a record of almost 300,000 infections in one day was not good news, but the easing of restrictions was justified given intensive care units were not overwhelmed.
As of March 20, requirements to wear a mask will be dropped in indoor places like schools and at supermarkets but will remain mandatory in medical clinics and care homes.
Germany's 16 states will have the power to impose restrictions if they identify hotspots where both infections and hospitalizations peak.
The German parliament has been debating a vaccine mandate but it could take weeks before any vote on the divisive measure.