IN PICTURES: Berlin boat demo turns into rave with little social distancing

More than a thousand people took part in a bizarre rubber dinghy demo in Berlin on Sunday to support the city’s struggling club culture, an event which quickly turned into a party with more than questionable social distancing measures in place.

IN PICTURES: Berlin boat demo turns into rave with little social distancing
Photos: AFP

Around 1,500 people (police estimates) gathered at Berlin’s Landwehr Canal on Sunday, lining the banks and filling the body of water with yachts, canoes and small inflatable boats.

The event was organised by club collective Rebellion der Träumer to support Berlin’s hard hit nightclubs, who have been unable to open their doors since the Covid-19 health crisis began.

“So that it doesn’t turn into a 'superspreader' event, we would like to ask you to take face masks with you and to keep your distance,” the group wrote on their event post on Facebook .

But photos published by news agency AFP and other local media sources show that the public didn’t exactly adhere to these social distancing precautions.

READ ALSO: 'United we stream': How Berlin's clubs are coming together to survive the corona crisis

A sea of people cramped into the packed canal partying with music and alcohol, but not many face masks at all.

“The risks should not be underestimated,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Saturday, fearing that the population would drop its guard too early as the country's lockdown was eased.





#berlin #unitedwestream #leavenoonebehind #spree #clubkultur #wasserdemo #raveculture

A post shared by Ana D. Martín (@ana.d.martin) on May 31, 2020 at 10:50am PDT

“Some people now believe that because the great mass suffering did not occur, the danger was probably never so great. What a mistake! A look at our neighbouring countries that have been so much harder hit shows what could have happened easily”.

In a statement on Facebook, Rebellion der Träumer said it was calling for a serious debate on how to support those suffering from the coronavirus crisis, highlighting that more support for clubs and festivals, as well as self-employed artists was needed.

“As cultural workers our professional existence and our venues are acutely threatened – many artists, cultural institutions and festivals are falling through all the nets,” it said in the post.

The group, which said the demonstration was organised with an alliance of different initiatives and clubs, said it had chosen to host the event on water “in order to minimize the risk of infection as much as possible”.

Rebellion der Träumer said it was overwhelmed by the support but apologised for the scale of the event and that the protest ended outside a hospital.

In a Facebook post, the group said “we did our best in various ways to make the demo as safe as possible”, adding that it had urged people to only go on rubber dinghies with housemates or partners, and to stick to safety measures.


Member comments

  1. Interesting notion to expect any hygiene measures from an average clubber, seeing what goes on in club toilets 😀

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EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point.