Merkel said that Germany also appears to have broken its most recent outbreak.
“Step by step, more will be possible in Germany, too, wherever the incidence drops, and that will hopefully be the case for all of Europe,” she said.
Merkel spoke to reporters in Berlin, from where she took part remotely in a two-day EU summit that discussed, among other issues, the effort to develop a “green certificate” that would facilitate travel across the region this summer.
Even if case numbers drop, some countries will likely impose restrictions – such as mandatory testing and quarantine – for travellers who can’t prove they’ve been vaccinated or recovered from infection.
EU leaders discussed the technical requirements for such a certificate, which would record a person’s vaccine status and outstanding questions about how to treat people who received vaccines that weren’t approved for use in the bloc.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said Saturday that the certificate was on track to be launched in June.
So far, about 30% of adults in the EU have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.