BerlinEvery weekday at 11am come to the Berliner Zeitung English Edition for the latest corona/Covid-19 news at a glance.

🚥 First, the official corona stats for Berlin (tallied Monday, 26 October)

🟡 R number: 1.19 (1.25 Sunday)

🔴 New infections per week: 131.8 / 100,000 inhabitants (122.7 Sunday)

🟢 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 9.2 per cent (9.0 per cent Sunday)

Total number of corona deaths: 251 (+ 1)

Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page 

The lowdown...

Lockdown light?

Chancellor Angela Merkel has moved up a corona conference with the heads of Germany's 16 states to Wednesday from Friday amid reports she wants a renewed lockdown as numbers continue to soar. While most public interaction would be forbidden, schools and daycares as well as retail would remain open except in areas with especially high numbers. Bars and restaurants would likely also face even more drastic restrictions, German media reported.

Curfew extended, fewer allowed at events

Berlin politicians on Tuesday are expected to extend mandatory closing hours for bars and restaurants as well as a ban on alcohol sales between 11pm and 6pm to 16 November – the limits were set to expire 31 October. Outdoor events will also likely be limited to 1000 participants, down from 5000 (!) while indoor events may only host 300 rather than 500 (also !) people. The pols will also clarify new mask restrictions put on several streets as well as markets to ensure they only apply to pedestrians after Berlin police officers this past weekend did what they do best – stop and lecture cyclists, this time for alleged (and non-existent) mask violations.

CDU bigwigs hint at new lockdown

German economy minister Peter Altmaier said during a Franco-German economic summit that he expects the number of new daily corona cases to hit 20,000 by the end of the week – just days ago Frank Montgomery, a German physician who heads the World Medical Association, said a renewed lockdown would be unavoidable at that figure because the pandemic is out of control. At the same time,  CDU vice-chairman Thomas Strobl told The Pioneer news site that he would prefer a hard, seven-day lockdown where everything non-essential was closed and people had to stay home.

In case you missed it...

Catherine Hickley moved from Britain to Halle in 1989 to teach English to East Germans and got a first-hand look from behind the Iron Curtain just as the communist system was collapsing. Her story is a fun read, find it here.

That's all for now folks. Stay safe!

Yours,

The Berliner Zeitung English team

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