German Chancellor Angela Merkel returned to work at the Chancellery after 12 days in quarantine at home, as announced by her spokesperson at a government press conference in Berlin on Friday.

"Thankfully the Chancellor tested negative for the coronavirus several times, so now the work continues from the Chancellery," said German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert.

Seibert also stressed the importance of respecting social distancing rules in the coming weeks.

"The important message now is: we are not in a phase of this pandemic where we can tell people that we can loosen the rules now - which we would of course like to tell them," Seibert said. "It is very important, especially over the Easter holidays, that we all together continue to keep these restrictions, that we stick to the rules."

Merkel had decided to self-quarantine on March 22 after discovering that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her later tested positive for COVID-19.

Germany has nearly 90,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,230 deaths, as of Friday according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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