May 6 (UPI) -- The Bundesliga -- Germany's top soccer league -- will be allowed to resume in May after German Chancellor Angela Merkel lifted some lockdown restrictions Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bundesliga most likely will be the first major sports league in Europe to resume play since being suspended. The league stopped play March 13 and could resume as early as May 15. A May 22 startup also is an option.
Nine match days remain in the Bundesliga regular season.
"Matches will be allowed under the approved rules," Merkel Wednesday at a news conference in Berlin. Fans will not be allowed in stadiums when games resume. Germany bans mass gatherings until Aug. 31.
The German soccer league on Monday said players from its two divisions have taken 1,724 tests for the coronavirus, with 10 coming out positive. The Bundesliga said more tests are planned this week.
The Bundesliga will be the first of the world's five major soccer leagues to return. The four other top leagues, also in Europe, are La Liga, the Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1.
France's Ligue 1 has canceled the remainder of its 2019-2020 season due to the pandemic. England's Premier League announced Friday it plans to resume its season, but has not yet allowed players to train. Players from Serie A and La Liga were allowed to train this week.