Germany's Bundesliga football league can resume behind closed doors from mid-May, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.
"The Bundesliga can resume from the second half of May in compliance with the rules that have been introduced," Merkel said after a meeting with the regional authorities on the easing of the country's lockdown.
"Today's decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga," Christian Seifert, the managing director of the Bundesliga, said in a statement.
Seifert highlighted "the great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner".
"Games without stadium spectators are not an ideal solution for anyone," Seifert said. "In a crisis threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form."
Elsewhere in Europe, it will be months before football leagues can go back to a semblance of normality.
The reopening of the English Premier League remains undecided.
The French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced last week that the current season of the French league has been scrapped. The league will not resume before September.
In Belgium, all sporting competitions in the country will remain suspended until July 31, the Belgian prime minister Sophie Wilmès said on Wednesday. The Belgian soccer league has said it will respect the national security council's decision.