The Berlin Senate (government) has approved changes to the corona containment measures introduced in March, easing some of them while introducing new ones. On Tuesday (21 April), the Berlin Senate passed amendments to the regulation to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2). Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) said he was proud of how responsibly Berlin residents had observed the restrictions so far.
Measures that remain unchanged for the time being:
- In order not to jeopardise the success achieved so far, social contact restriction, meaning residents can leave their homes under certain conditions only still applies. They can go to work, shop, take walks, do training or walk their dogs, if they keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from others. Medical experts say this is still the best way to avoid infection
- The ongoing rule that individuals may only meet with one person outside their household or family remains in place.
- Big events with more than 1,000 participants are generally prohibited until 31 August.
- Catering establishments, such as restaurants, are still not allowed to offer seating or standing room while bars and clubs remain closed until further notice. The delivery and collection of food or beverages at restaurants for consumption at home is permitted.
- Theatres and other performance venues such as operas and concert halls will remain closed until 31 July.
- Sports halls, swimming pools, fitness studios, saunas, tanning salons remains prohibited.
- There is no obligation to wear face masks in shops. However, wearing mouth-nose protection is strongly recommended.
New rules and changes:
- As from 27 April, everyone in public transport is obliged to wear a mouth and nose protection. Mayor Müller announced that there will be decentralised issuing offices for the distribution of masks to members of the public who cannot acquire the masks themselves. There should be no fines for those who violate the new rule.
- Big events with more than 5,000 participants remain prohibited until 24 October.
- Religious gatherings, demonstrations and fixed outdoor gatherings with up to 50 participants can take place again from 4 May.
- Sport in public sports facilities is again permitted if the social distancing regulation is observed. The districts will decide which facility can open
- Shops with a sales floor area of up to 800 square meters may reopen under certain conditions from Wednesday.
- Grocery stores, hardware stores, garden centres, craft stores, car dealerships, bicycle and book retailers can reopen regardless of their size.
- Hairdressers can reopen from 4 May under strict compliance with hygiene regulations.
- The zoo and aquarium are scheduled to open next Saturday, the outdoor area of the botanical garden on April 27.
- Libraries, museums, memorials and non-commercial galleries and exhibitions may reopen from 4 May.
- Schools may gradually resume local lessons from 27 April
Germany’s partial lockdown began to ease on Monday, with shops with floor space less than 800 square meters — as well as all bookstores, bicycle shops and car dealerships — are allowed to open for business. Grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies and other essential businesses have remained open during the country’s partial lockdown.
The number of new coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 2,237 over the last 24 hours to 145,694, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s public health institute. The death toll also climbed by 281 to 4,879.
It is the second day in a row that new infections have accelerated in Germany.
Meanwhile, a further 4,200 people recovered from the disease in the last 24 hours bringing the official total to 99,400, the institute’s statistics showed.
RKI figures rely on data from state and local health officials and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from other published statistics, such as those from the Johns Hopkins University.
Sola Jolaoso with agency reports