A number of public events show difficulty enforcing restrictions

An anniversary. A wedding. A political gathering. A handful of recent gatherings illustrate at least one reason why the lockdown had to be extended on Tuesday. 

Cops ending a wedding in (yes) Wedding.<br>
Cops ending a wedding in (yes) Wedding.
Morris Pudwell

Berlin-While most of us are working from home, limiting visits with friends and even preventing kids from meeting in groups, others spent the last few days celebrating their club's anniversary, praying in church and even attending a wedding – usually without social distancing or any kinds of masks . But at least one recent gathering shows that ignoring corona restrictions can carry a hefty price.  

On Friday, police said they broke up an anniversary party thrown by fans of regional football club BFC Dynamo in Alt-Hohenschönhausen. Patrol officers discovered the Fest, which marked the club's 55th birthday, when large numbers of people in club garb kept going into the same building on Weißenseer Weg around 8pm.

Because of the number of fans, the officers called for backup and ultimately took down the personal information of 42 fans. The police also found illegal firecrackers, a small amount of drugs and a baton.

"A 47-year-old man allegedly resisted when his personal details were taken and tried to hit a police officer," a police spokeswoman said. The suspect insulted several police officers during his arrest and, because he appeared to be under the influence, had his blood drawn.

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In addition to charges for insults and illegal fireworks, the police said they also filed charges against 18 BFC fans for corona violations.  

Over in Wedding, Saturday evening the Berliner Polizei said it broke up a large party where none of the revellers were wearing the required masks. Neighbours had noticed the large gathering and alerted authorities.

"The responding officers identified a total of 56 adults and 7 children in the specified apartment, who were apparently celebrating a wedding there," a police spokesman said.

The individuals now face charges for violating corona regulations– officers were on-scene for about two hours because of the size of the party. 

The end of an iconic bar

The next evening, police sent about 170 people gathered for a religious service – also in Wedding – home after citing more than 100 for violating infectious disease laws.

Although police didn't identify the church, they said it's located between Koloniestraße and Soldiner Straße and that the pastor had only expected an intimate service. More than expected arrived, including many families with children.

And at least one Prenzlauer Berg bar owner is facing €25,000 in fines and a potential loss of his lease after last week hosting a gathering of Querdenker, the group of people opposed to the corona restrictions.

Sören P., who runs Scotch & Sofa in Kollwitzstraße, confirmed the fine and action by his landlord to several media outlets. Neither the landlord nor Sören, who has run the iconic bar alone since 2016, could be reached for comment. 

In recent YouTube videos, he said he opened his bar as a meeting place for a group of about 30 corona opponents because he also wanted to help form a new political party that would battle the current lockdown. Thursday night's event was livestreamed, even as police broke up the gathering, because no-one was adhering to social distancing and mask regulations.

Sören had hoped to soon re-open his bar but will likely now have to shutter it forever.