BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany has lifted export bans on medical equipment which were issued earlier this month to avoid shortages of masks, goggles and gloves, the economy ministry said on Thursday as authorities race to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“The export of protective equipment to other EU member states therefore no longer requires a permit,” the economy ministry said.

The move came after Berlin said on Saturday that, in agreement with the European Commission, it was amending the decree issued earlier this month that required a government agency to approve exports of protective equipment.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Madeline Chambers)