Today's corona news in 60 seconds
+++ Pre-Christmas shopping at a low +++ More Christmas cutbacks +++ Corona aid "too slow" +++ The stats +++
🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Sunday, 6 December)
New cases in one day: 355 (1,320 Saturday)
Total number of corona deaths: 683 (+4 over Saturday)
🟢 R number: 1.05 (0.94 Sunday)
🔴 New infections per week: 182.9/ 100,000 inhabitants (185.1 Saturday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Warnings of insolvencies after corona Christmas
Yesterday Berliners had the chance to indulge in some retail therapy on a verkaufsoffener Sonntag - but luxury shopping spots like KaDeWe and Kurfürstendamm were missing their usual onslaughts of pre-Christmas shoppers. Nils Busch-Petersen, director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Trade Association, has called this year's Christmas sales figures a catastrophe, with businesses selling clothes, jewellery and toys hardest affected, as they depend on Christmas sales to survive. "I see thousands of insolvencies coming up for retail in Berlin," he says. Business owners lament that many people are just doing their shopping online or in supermarkets - and fear for their survival in 2021.
More bad news for Christmas
Almost two weeks ago, Berlin decided to cap Christmas and New Year gatherings at five people, rather than the nationally-approved 10 - and now more German states are following suit with tougher measures. Bavarian premier Markus Söder has announced strict regulations starting from Wednesday, with nighttime curfews and a ban on drinking alcohol outdoors. At Christmas, restrictions will be eased for just four days, rather than 10 between 23 December and 1 January. But Christmas isn't being called off altogether just yet - because Bavaria is a "Christian family state", apparently. Neighbouring Thuringia - home to Hildburghausen, the town with Germany's highest corona infection rate - is discussing what to do about Christmas easings on Tuesday.
Berlin finance minister: corona payments "too slow"
Matthias Kollatz (SPD) is calling on the government to speed up its payment of corona aid to businesses. Most applicants won't get their money until January, and Kollatz told the Berliner Zeitung there has been a backlog in processing appliations for financial support. He says "the money is there, but it has been lying around too long" - and that the state of Berlin had been quick in paying out emergency aid in the spring. But he says it's right that the national government oversees corona aid measures given the global nature of the pandemic.
In case you missed it...
Corona has been tough for everyone, but for some vulnerable social groups, it's only made existing problems worse. Click here to read about the problems disabled people in Berlin have faced during the pandemic.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team