Corona in Berlin: New rules for bars and restaurants - limits on groups and gatherings

Two of the city's three corona warning lights turned red just as federal politicians turned up the heat at what they saw as a restriction-resistant Hauptstadt.

Bummed about the new corona restrictions.
Bummed about the new corona restrictions.Annette Riedl/dpa

Berlin-The Berlin state government is rolling out stricter corona rules to try to get a grip on rising infection numbers.

Bars, restaurants and Spätis (convenience stores) will have to close from 11pm to 6am. During that time, only groups of a maximum of five people or two households will allowed to meet socially.

No more than 10 people can meet for private indoor events - previously it was 25. 

The new rules go into effect Saturday, 10 October.

The Senat came together to discuss new rules on Tuesday evening after another of the city's corona traffic lights switched to red. Both the warning signal for new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days and the light for the reproduction rate (R number) are now on red.

The latest R number for Berlin is 1.26, which represents the number of people an infected person will infect, while the incidence, or new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, was 44.2.

Berlin's R number light turns yellow when it's above 1.1 for three consecutive days and red when it's above 1.2 for three days. The incidence figure turned yellow at 20 and red at 30.

The third Berlin corona traffic light remains on green: only 3.1 per cent of ICU beds in hospitals are occupied by Covid-19 patients - 20 per cent would trigger a yellow and 30 per cent a red.

Two red lights indicate a need for action, as decided by the Berlin government when it set up the traffic light system in the spring. 

Over the past 24 hours, 288 new corona infections were reported in Berlin, slightly fewer than the day before - when there were 301. A total of 16,236 infected persons have been registered in the capital since the beginning of the pandemic.

Once again, Neukölln is particularly affected, with 61 new infections in the southwestern district. On Monday, Neukölln reported 121 new cases. Mitte comes in second with 43 new infections and Tempelhof-Schöneberg third, with 38 new corona cases.

126 people infected with corona have been hospitalised in the city, 17 more than on Monday. Forty of them are in intensive care. A total of 13,601 people have officially recovered from the infection. So far, 231 people have died in connection with Covid-19. No new deaths were reported on Tuesday. Berlin currently registers 2404 active corona cases.

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