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Germany could introduce tickets for access to shopping areas to prevent overcrowding under proposals reportedly put forward by business leaders reports Justin  Huggler

Shops were allowed to reopen across most of Germany last week, but there are concerns over a possible second wave of coronavirus infections after large crowds flocked to the streets in Berlin and other major cities.

Now the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) has reportedly put proposals for an app-based ticketing system to Angela Merkel’s government.

Under the proposals, access to pedestrianised shopping areas, shopping centres and hotels would be controlled. Anyone wishing to enter would first need to obtain a timed electronic ticket via a smartphone app.

“Digital solutions can help you keep your distance in everyday life without having to stay at home,” the RND group of regional newspapers quoted a source at the chamber of commerce as saying.

“This controls the flow of customers, thus reducing the risk of infection and at the same time ensuring that the business is able to keep operating.”

A similar system of timed ticketing has already been introduced to control numbers at Berlin’s two zoos, which reopened their outdoor areas this week.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s infectious diseases centre, on Tuesday appealed to people to stay at home as much as possible despite the lifting of lockdown.

“We don’t want the number of cases to increase again,” Prof Lothar Wieler, the head of the RKI, said.

In most of Germany people are allowed to move about freely in their home town and surrounding area, but facemasks are compulsory on public transport and while shopping.