Helge Braun told German broadcaster n-tv on Thursday that the 'no contact' measures, which include a ban on gatherings of more than two people in public (excluding families and household members) and 1.5 metres distance between people, would “certainly” remain in place for the time being until May 10th.
Leaders from Germany's 16 states are meeting with Merkel on Thursday April 30th to discuss further coronavirus plans.
The southern state of Bavaria, the worst-hit state in Germany, already announced on Tuesday April 28th that it was extending its coronavirus lockdown measures until Sunday May 10th.
Braun, of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), said a larger discussion about further steps to ease the shutdown in Germany would take place at the next summit on May 6th.
He said that the decision to relax restrictions depended on the development of infection numbers. “We cannot yet tell from the current figures whether there will be further openings,” said Braun.
Merkel's chief of staff added that the development of the contact tracing app was extremely important going forward. “We need this as soon as possible,” he said.
Current restrictions expire on May 3rd
Germany has been slowly easing out of lockdown over the past 10 days, with many shops reopening and plans for pupils to get back in the classroom.
But lots of businesses, including bars, gyms and hotels, remain closed. Restaurants are only allowed to open to provide takeaway food.
The German government and states decided on April 15th to extend coronavirus restrictions up to and including May 3rd, while also putting together a plan to begin to ease the lockdown.