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From bars to gyms: What’s reopening in Berlin in June?

Bars, pubs and gyms are some of the venues which will now be allowed to reopen in the German capital after the coronavirus shutdown.

From bars to gyms: What's reopening in Berlin in June?
A closed bar during the shutdown in Friedrichshain, Berlin. Photo: DPA

For more than two months, strict measures have been in place in Berlin, and across Germany, to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Now the Senate has announced it will further ease the restrictions to allow more public life to reopen – however clubs, which Berlin is famous for, will have to remain shut.

The federal government has been publishing nationwide guidelines about coronavirus restrictions. However Germany's 16 states are drawing up their own plans and  rules can differ from state to state.

Check with your local government for the latest measures and any changes to rules.

Here's an overview of the latest developments in Berlin:

Fitness venues, bars, pubs and cinemas

– From June 2nd fitness studios will be allowed to open again – under strict conditions. For example, showers must remain closed off, and a distance of three metres must be maintained between gym machines.

– Sports are allowed in groups of up to 12 people, both indoors and outdoors.

– Bars and pubs can reopen from June 2nd – but they must have table service. They are allowed to open from 6 to 11 pm. As is the case with restaurants, operators must have a plan in place to ensure distancing, hygiene and contact tracing.

READ ALSO: '

– Amusement arcades, casinos, betting shops and similar establishments can open from June 2nd.

– Cinemas can open from June 30th, open-air cinemas from June 2nd.

– There is no date yet for when clubs can reopen

READ ALSO: Plexiglass and staggered seating: How cinemas in Germany plan to reopen

– Religious gatherings: Outdoor religious events are permitted with an unlimited number of people from May 30th. Indoor events with 200 people are allowed from June 2nd and an unlimited amount of people are allowed from June 16th. Distance and hygiene rules must be in place.

EXPLAINED: What to know about Germany's new social distancing rules

Meetings

– Private meetings, which are necessary for so-called “compelling reasons” (for example a wedding for funeral) can take place with up to 50 people. 

– For all other meetings the following applies: in private homes, i.e. indoors, a maximum of two households may meet.

– Outside, however, people from two separate households can meet or up to five people – note that the Germany-wide guidelines allow 10 people to meet. The 1.5-meter distance rule between people not from your household continues to apply.

– Other indoor events and meetings are permitted with up to 150 people from June 2nd, and up to 300 people from June 30th.

READ ALSO: What are the new rules for eating out in Germany?

– Outdoor events or meetings, such as concerts or film screenings, are permitted with up to 200 people from June 2nd and up to 500 people from June 16th and 1,000 people from June 30th.

Large events are prohibited until August 31st.

All events must have distance and hygiene rules.

Demonstrations

Outdoor public demonstrations are permitted from May 30th without any limit on the number of participants, provided that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres and other hygiene rules are observed.

Pandemic not over

During the press conference held on Thursday May 28th, interior senator Andreas Geisel repeatedly warned that the relaxing of restrictions was not a sign that the pandemic was coming to an end. And if the situation worsens, rules could be brought back in.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus in Germany – which restrictions are changing from May 25th?

Geisel mentioned South Korea – a country that successfully contained the infection, relaxed restrictions but has had to tighten them again. He said no- knows when a second wave or localised outbreak can happen. 

“In principle, the pandemic is not over,” he said.

The new Berlin laws to contain the pandemic are valid from May 30th until July 4th.

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COVID-19 RULES

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now

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