The Bundesliga is set to return after the German government agrees on measures to further ease COVID-19 restrictions. With 9 matches left to play, Germany will see out its season unlike neighbours, the Netherlands and France who have ended their seasons.
Football in Germany was suspended since mid-March, with the virus has infected over 150,000 people in the country. Almost 6,300 people have died of the disease in the country. It has been reported that measures to control the spread of the coronavirus will be eased in a teleconference with Chancellor Angela Merkel scheduled for Wednesday.
The state premiers are expected to give the green light for large shops to reopen, museums, hairdressers reopening under strict conditions, churches and car factories to reopen probably from May 11, and also allow the Bundesliga to resume matches under strict conditions without fans in stadiums.
Germany has been more successful than other large European countries in slowing the spread of the virus - it estimates that every 100 carriers of the virus now infects only 74 others on average, well below the 100 marks where new restrictions must be imposed. German clubs have been back in training since last month with restrictions ahead of a planned return to full training and then games this month.
The restart could look bizarre, with players facing the possibility of playing in masks and being told not to touch one another in scenarios such as celebrations - all while playing in front of eerily empty arenas. It was thought plans for the Bundesliga to return may be delayed after three Cologne players tested positive for coronavirus last week. But the trio of players was put into a 14-day quarantine and training was able to continue.
A further 10 positive cases were discovered from a total of 1,724 tests carried out on players and staff from cubs in the top two divisions. The second wave of tests will now take place this week.