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  • Daily Berlin Corona update: Friday, May 29 – Mon Jun 1


Daily Berlin Corona update: Friday, May 29 – Mon Jun 1

Club culture demo on Landwehrkanal gets out of hand, anti-restriction protest quiets down and thousands take part in #BlackLivesMatter march. Bars and pubs welcome new rules and lockdown penalties back again.

Image for Daily Berlin Corona update: Friday, May 29 - Mon Jun 1

As of Monday night, the officially confirmed number of Corona infections in Berlin lies at 6838.

Pentecost weekend update:

  • On Sunday 3000 people took part in a ‘demo’ slash party in around 400 boats on Landwehrkanal, ending with a rave outside Urbankrankenhaus. The idea was a demonstration against the death of club culture, with 100 participants, but the event got out of control and safety regulations were not respected. Collective “Rebellion der Träumer,” who had called for the demo on Facebook, have since apologised. Berlin’s Club Commission have distanced themselves from the event and asked participants to cut back on social contacts for the next four days.
  • Other demonstrations on the weekend went down in a more civilized manner, except for some aggression against a press photographer at a protest against Corona restrictions at Humboldthain on Saturday. Overall, turnout at anti-restrictions demos was down to around 50 participants per location. 
  • Around 2000 people came out on Saturday to protest against police violence. They gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Mitte. On Sunday, 1500 marched from Mehringdamm to Hermannplatz under the #BlackLivesMatter in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 
  • Berlin’s R value has risen to 1.66, but the Ampel remains green and the number of active infections is down from 529 on Friday to 321 on Monday night. 

Friday’s news

  • There are currently 6766 confirmed cases in Berlin.
  • So far, 6240 people have been declared recovered from Covid-19, meaning the number of active infections in the city lies at 526.
  • Of those infected, 3331 are male, 3431 are female. Four did not specify their gender.
  • 148 people are currently in hospital as a result of the virus, 40 are in intensive care.
  • The total number of casualties lies at 197, 14 of them were under 60 years of age. The average age of the deceased was 81.
  • Today’s R value lies at 0.41, the number of weekly new infections per 100.000 Berliners is at 4.7, and only 3.2 percent of ICU beds are taken up by Covid-19 patients.

Virus spread continues to slow, businesses respond to relaxed rules, new restrictions explained

Berlin is back in the Corona green zone as its R value fell steeply this week. Though today’s value of 0.41 represents a slight increase on yesterday’s figure of 0.36, these latest R values – which represent the number of people each individual with the virus infects – are a good deal lower than the 0.88 and 0.9 figures reported on Wednesday and Tuesday. This latest data keeps Berlin in the safe zone after the previous spike in the figures. 

The city’s gastronomy association has cautiously welcomed the newly-relaxed rules for drinking establishments, but warned that many pubs and bars will find it difficult to adhere to the 1.5 m distancing rule. “We’ll have to see how many establishments can implement the new regulations, since many do not have the capacity to implement distance and hygiene rules,” Deputy Chief of Dehoga Gerrit Buchhorn said today. Many small Kneipen simply lack the space to maintain the 1.5 m gap between tables. 

The new changes could also mean a financial crunch for sports venues. The problem? The Senat’s physical distancing rules are so strict that running a profitable operation is impossible for many sports studios, yoga places and dance schools who rely on packing their spaces full in order to break even. Nicole Ludwig, Sport Spokeswoman for Berlin’s Greens today proposed opening up outdoor spaces like car parks to sports and dance studios temporarily so classes can be held outside. 

In case you missed it, the city decided to lift Corona restrictions in a wave of changes announced yesterday. Here’s a summary of the new rules:

  • From today: groups of up to five people can now meet at home or outdoors regardless of whether they live together or not. Up to 50 people can gather for funerals, baptisms and weddings. As before, an unlimited number of members from two households can meet up.
  • May 30: the limit on the number of participants attending demonstrations and outdoor religious services will be lifted.
  • June 2: pubs and bars open their doors to seated guests. Gyms, dance schools, casinos and outdoor cinemas to reopen. People can also play sport in small groups in sports halls. Outdoor events like film screenings and concerts will be permitted with up to 200 participants. For indoor gatherings like fairs, markets and conferences the limit is 150 people. Services in churches, synagogues and mosques are exempt from the rule and can welcome unlimited crowds.
  • June 16: Outdoor events with up to 500 participants will be permitted.
  • June 30: Indoors cinemas to reopen. Outdoor events with up to 1000 participants and indoor events with up to 300 participants will be permitted.

In all cases, the 1.5 m distancing requirement remains in force until at least July 4. These dates reflect the earliest point various businesses and venues may open, however many places – including some sports halls, pools and casinos – have announced delays so do check with the specific venue before heading there.

Image for Daily Berlin Corona update: Friday, May 29 - Mon Jun 1

Police call for evidence after ZDF attack, Corona penalties valid again

After the May 1 attack on a ZDF television crew by a masked group, police are urging the public to send them video footage from a nearby protest thought to be linked to the assault. Crew members were seriously injured when 25 attackers came at them on a Mitte street a short distance from the Hygiene Demo on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Police believe the attackers belong to an “extremist left” grouping and are looking for video and photo clues from that day to help track them down.

You can now be fined for contravening the coronavirus laws after the Senat revised its sanctions to comply with a recent court ruling. Break the social distancing rules and you could once again pay the price – up to €500 for failing to keep your distance and €100 if you meet up with too many people. On Tuesday the Constitutional Court had declared the fines invalid as they were too unspecific, but now police have the go-ahead to hand out penalties again – so you best behave yourself!

Igor Levit in marathon web concert, the film festival from your sofa

Igor Levit is going to spend 20 hours at the piano this weekend. For a special concert, the pianist will play continuously from 2pm on Saturday to Sunday midday. With his marathon music session, Levit wants to draw attention to the challenges musicians have faced since the Corona pandemic. “This time is brutal for us artists – physically, mentally, emotionally. And that’s why this work is so apt – it draws attention to the state we are in,” Levit told the DPA. The concert will be streamed on Levit’s Instagram account.

Can’t wait until June 30 for the cinemas to reopen? Luckily you can get your film fix this weekend courtesy of We are One, an online film festival featuring flicks from 21 international movie festivals. For 10 days starting tonight, you can enjoy a programme of feature films, shorts and documentaries right from the comfort of your sofa, with participants including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Berlinale and the Cannes, Venice and Toronto film festivals. Catch the screenings on the We Are One YouTube channel.

Image for Daily Berlin Corona update: Friday, May 29 - Mon Jun 1

Berlin heads on holiday, more pools welcome swimmers, Senat gives window advice

Berliners are set to head to the Baltic coast en-masse for the long weekend, as hotels and attractions on the Ostsee reopen. The ADAC motorist club is warning of traffic jams on the northbound Autobahns as the city heads to the seaside. If you’re thinking of joining the hoards for a quick day trip to the coast, think again: a one-night minimum stay is required for tourists heading to the northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

From June 1 bathers can once again go for a splash (or an unauthorised dive) at the Columbiabad and Gropiusstadt Kombibad pools. The Neukölln baths are both set to open for three periods throughout the day: from 7am to 10am, 11am to 3pm and from 4pm to 8pm. This allows staff to disinfect and clean the pools before new guests arrive. All swimmers are required to buy a ticket online before coming, as with all outdoor baths.

Here’s one way to defeat the virus: open your windows. That’s the advice from the city’s Health Administration to Berliners this weekend. Since the virus is carried in aerosols – which spread well in closed rooms – getting some airflow into your flat will help banish any nasties floating around.

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