Today's Berlin corona news in 60 seconds
+++ Full daycare service +++ Lockdown till 28 March +++ Austria, Denmark diss on EU +++ The stats +++
The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Tuesday, 2 March)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 5.2 per cent
New cases in in one day: +482 (+242 Monday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,850 (+25 over Monday)
🟢 R number: 0.97 (1.04 Monday)
🔴 New infections per week: 68.5/100,000 inhabitants (66.3 Monday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 17.6 per cent (16.9 per cent Monday)
The lowdown ...
Daycare to open for all kids
Parents will be able to send their rugrats back to Kita from 9 March regardless of whether they work in "system-relevant" professions or not. All kids will be able to spend at least 7 hours per day at daycare. "This step is being taken against the background of the stable, very low incidence of infections in Berlin's daycare centres in recent weeks," the city's education department said in a statement released Tuesday.
Lockdown till 28 March
We spilled the beans yesterday. In case you missed it, the lockdown - if you can still call it that - is expected to be extended by four weeks when Angela Merkel meets with state leaders today. The lockdown is already fraying around the edges, though. From next week families will be permitted to mingle with one additional household, max five people not including kids. Currently, we're only allowed to meet one person from another household at a time. Anecdotally, it's safe to say that Berliners have been breaking that rule en masse for some time now.
Austria and Denmark break ranks
According to Germany's vaccination dashboard, a mere 5.1 per cent of the German population has received at least one corona jab. That's even lower than the disheartening figure of 7.5 per cent for the EU as a whole. Chalk it up to German paranoia about Astrazeneca and - let's call a spade a spade - poor German organisational skills. In response, Austria and Denmark have announced they will be cooperating with Israel (where 52 per cent of the population has received at least one dose) in producing future vaccines. And who can blame them? "We must prepare for further mutations and should no longer be dependent solely on the EU in the production of second-generation vaccines," said Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
In case you missed it ....
Speaking of Israel, Berlin is home to thousands of Israeli expats. One of them has launched a campaign to give Israelis living abroad the right to vote in their home country. Read our interview with Marianne Matyash here.
Finally, don't miss an article: sign up for our new weekly epistle Ze Newsletter here!
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team