Stores Start to Reopen in Germany After Coronavirus Lockdown

Chancellor Angela Merkel urges caution as Germany begins tiptoeing back to economic normality

Certain factories and shops resumed work as Germany took its first steps out of the coronavirus lockdown. WSJ’s William Boston reports from the streets of Berlin, where bars and restaurants remain closed. Photo: Peter Juelich/Bloomberg News

BERLIN—Shoppers flocked back to stores across most German states on Monday as Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that exiting lockdowns too fast could jeopardize the country’s progress in curtailing the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany’s government last week said it would start tiptoeing its way back to economic normality, gradually restarting businesses this week that were closed by a monthlong lockdown. First in line are smaller shops, which can now reopen as long as they follow strict hygiene rules and put safeguards in place...