The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 21 March)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 9 per cent (8.4 per cent Friday)
New cases in one day: +219 (+306 Saturday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,992 (+1 over Saturday)
🟢 R number: 1.11 (1.04 Saturday)
🔴 New infections per week: 92.6/100,000 inhabitants (97.2 Saturday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 15 per cent (16.4 per cent Saturday)
The lowdown ...
Today Angela Merkel meets the 16 state premiers once again in the time-honoured ritual known as the Bund-Länder-Konferenz to discuss corona and pulling the "emergency brake". A proposal from the chancellor's office suggests a nighttime curfew could be implemented for regions reporting a 7-day incidence rate of over 100 per 100,000 for more than 3 days in a row. People would be told to stay at home at night unless they have a good reason to go out. Currently, 180 out of 401 German counties and cities are over the 100 mark.
What about us?
Berlin hit 101.3 on Friday, but now we're back to 92.6, so don't panic yet. If we have to pull the brake, though, it would probably mean an end to in-school schooling and a return to online lessons for nearly all kids and years. Daycare would likely return to "emergency operations" only - i.e. for the kids of people working in essential jobs. Brick and mortar retailers would be screwed: recently allowed "click & meet" appointment shopping could be stopped.
Maybe there's another way. Despite the third wave, the southwestern city of Tübingen has been trying something different. For the last week, a citywide reopening pilot project has been underway. Local residents can get a free corona test. Those with a negative result are issued a "day ticket" which gives them access to outdoor dining, hair salons, retail shops as well as culture venues like cinemas, galleries and theatres. Data is being collected and analysed - let's hope it works. This could provide a lifeline to small business and culture - and all of us desperate for something to do.
In case you missed it ....
Foreign residents who are impatient with progress in Germany have been heading home to get vaccinated, reports Andrew Bulkeley. Who can blame them?
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team