Merkel defends Germany coronavirus restrictions

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference following a meeting with international economic and financial organisations at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany May 20, 2020, on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (REUTERS Photo)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is defending her country's coronavirus restrictions and calling on her compatriots to keep respecting social distancing rules.

Germany started loosening its lockdown restrictions on April 20 and since then has at least partly reopened many sectors. At the same time, the country has seen frequent protests against lockdown measures.

Merkel said in her weekly video message Saturday that the measures were necessary, and that officials must continue to justify why some restrictions can't be lifted while ensuring that they are proportionate.

Merkel said that Germany has "succeeded so far in achieving the aim of preventing our health system being overwhelmed."

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