🚥 The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Tuesday, 5 January)
New cases in one day: 1,235 (771 Monday)
Total number of corona deaths: 1,390 (+63 over Monday)
🟢 R number: 0.82 (0.86 Monday)
🔴 New infections per week: 131.8/100,000 inhabitants (134.6 Monday)
Source: Berlin's coronavirus status page
Lockdown's here to stay - with bells on
Following yesterday's meeting between chancellor Merkel and Germany's 16 state premiers, the country's lockdown measures have been extended until the end of January. Starting from Monday, 11 January, there are some new extra rules on travel and contact restrictions too. Here's what you need to know:
- Members of one household can only meet in private with one other person from outside the household.
- In areas where the weekly incidence rate exceeds 200 per 100,000, local authorities can take extra measures, including restricting travel permissions to 15 km of one's home (unless for a valid reason, like work or a medical appointment).
- Non-essential shops (apart from bookshops in Berlin, for some reason) as well as cultural centres will remain closed, with restaurants still take-away or delivery only.
- Kitas are closed and schools are online only, with provisions usually only available in emergency situations. To help parents tackle combining home office and home school, the government has doubled the number of sick days parents can take to look after children to ease childcare problems.
Open up - or maybe don't
A swathe of shop owners and businesspeople are not happy about being told they have to stay closed for several more weeks after almost a year of disruption from the pandemic - so they're going off script. Using the hashtag #WirMachenAuf ("we're opening"), they say they are planning to protest by opening their shops on Monday, 11 January. Offending retailers face fines starting at €5,000 - but some of them say they're in such a dire situation as it is, the fine would only match the financial damage staying shut would cause them anyway. A Telegram channel dedicated to the cause has more than 56,000 members.
Money, money, money
Shopkeepers aren't the only ones cross about the extended lockdown - Germany's oldest trade union, the Food, Beverages and Catering Union (NGG) is demanding more support for those employed in the sector. Chairman Guido Zeitler says the Kurzarbeitergeld, or partial furlough pay, union members have been receiving so far won't cut it in the long term, and called for minimum payments of €1,200 a month, as well as one-off emergency payments of €1,000. Verdi, Germany's largest union, is reportedly backing the calls.
In case you missed it...
Sightseeing around Berlin could be tricky if we end up under the 15km rule - luckily you can visit some blasts from the past through the power of your imagination and our latest B History article on the iconic city landmarks that no longer exist.
That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team