The latest corona state for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 11 February)
New cases in one day: +396 (546 Wednesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,573 (+17 over Wednesday)
🟢 R number: 0.75 (0.75 Wednesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 62.9/100,000 inhabitants (64.4 Wednesday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 24.7 per cent (24.6 per cent Wednesday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
The lowdown ...
17 days til your next haircut
In case you missed it, the Berlin Senat - the city-state government - officially extended the corona lockdown till at least 7 March on Thursday, following a marathon 11-hour plenary session in the Berlin parliament.
Hairdressers: Salons can open 1 March - a little reward for Berliners' perserverance. Non-essential shops, restaurants, bars, gyms and culture venues will have to wait their turn. Mayor Michael Müller hinted this might happen when the 7-day incidence rate drops below 35 (currently it's 62.9).
Schools: Grades 1-3 return 22 February, half-time, in alternating half-sized classes. Caveat: presence is not compulsory i.e. the state cannot force parents to send their kids to school. For graduating classes, each school is free to come up with its own policy. What's more, the Senat has purchased 3 million rapid corona tests for use at schools.
Daycare: Kitas can operate at 60 per cent capacity from 22 February. The kids of parents in "essential professions" (journalists!) and kids with special needs get first dibs.
Alcohol: The ban on public drinking is being thrown out the window from Sunday. And yet the politicians still want us to "stay at home". For some reason, they like saying this phrase in English.
New border checks
Germany has labelled the Czech Republic and the Austrian region of Tyrol "virus mutation areas", alongside Britain, Ireland and Portugal. That unsavoury moniker refers to the prevalence of the mutations first found in the UK and South Africa. Interior minister Horst Seehofer says, in response, Germany will instate border checks for people entering from Czech Republic and Tyrol from Sunday. It's not yet clear whether travellers wlll have to show a negative corona test, as they do if coming from the UK. Politicians are concerned such requirements could disrupt the flow of essential workers commuting from border regions.
In case you missed it ....
Germany loves building new autobahns. But environmentalists are calling for a moratorium. Otherwise, the country will never meet its climate targets.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team