Today's corona news in 60 seconds
+++ New pandemic law +++ Two corona demos +++ Outdoor parcel shops +++ The stats +++
🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Tuesday, 17 November)
New cases in one day: +1,572 (Monday+1,337)
Total number of corona deaths: 393 (+22 over Monday)
🟢 R number: 1.02 (1.20 Monday)
🔴 New infections per week: 227 / 100,000 inhabitants (224.8 Monday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 18 per cent (22.1 per cent Monday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Turning corona regulations into law
On Wednesday, the Bundestag is expected to pass legislation meant to provide more legal certainty for the many executive directives and regulations that have been passed by German states during the pandemic. The various lockdown measures continue to be challenged in court by businesses and individuals. SPD MP and legal expert Johannes Fechner said the new law would make Germany's corona mesaures incontestible in court. Guido Zöllick, the president of hospitality industry association Dehoga, has already filed a suit demanding the legislation guarantee compensation for enterprises hit by pandemic shutdowns.
Some in the opposition, such as Stephan Thomae of the FDP, criticise the "infection law" for giving the executive branch too much power. Corona sceptics are, of course, vehemently opposed. Parliamentarians report receiving a flood of emails from members of the Querdenker scene claiming the leglisation marks the beginning of the "corona dictatorship".
Yep, two more corona demos Wednesday
After being banned from demonstrating right in front of the Reichstag because they threatened to block access to the parliament, hundreds of people opposed to the aforementioned law (and virtually every other corona measure) began gathering at the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday morning. The self-described "anti-fascist gathering against troublemakers and enemies of society" says 4,000 people will begin marching along Unter den Linden later in the day. A second, similar demonstration will begin at nearby Neustädtische Kirchstraße. Around 2,200 police officers have been deployed.
Outdoor X-mas parcel shops
To prevent large numbers of people from showing up at post offices this December, DHL says it is setting up outdoor, pandemic-friendly mobile parcel shops to deal with the expected flood of Christmas packages. The first such pop-up shop launches in Neukölln at noon on Wednesday. Germans send roughly 420 million packages every holiday season.
In case you missed it...
For gay men in Berlin's Arab community, coming out to their family can be fraught with risk. Read Moustafa Daly's story about Lebanese immigrant Yahya here.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team