Germany lifts more restrictions, Merkel urges caution

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Germans to behave responsibly as large parts of the country relax more pandemic restrictions at the start of the Pentecost weekend. She said Friday that caution is needed to avoid further shutdowns. German regions have gradually started easing restrictions recently as new coronavirus cases decline steadily, accompanied by an accelerating vaccination campaign. By Friday, most of Germany’s 400 cities and counties had a weekly case number below the threshold of 100 per 100,000 inhabitants that triggered strict lockdown measures. But top officials stressed the need to remain vigilant.