Berlin bars face tighter rules as coronavirus cases increase across Germany
The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany has risen by almost 1,000 in 24 hours. It came as Berlin considered alcohol bans to stem the spread of Covid-19.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), health authorities in Germany have reported 966 new coronavirus infections within a day.
Last week, the number had already exceeded the 1,000-mark on Thursday, Friday and Saturday – for the first time since the beginning of May. On Monday the figure was 436.
It came as Berlin authorities considered how to crack down on people ignoring coronavirus distance rules in bars and pubs. There are also reports of guests leaving fake contact information so they cannot be informed if there is an outbreak.
In an interview with the Berliner Morgenpost, Berlin health senator Dilek Kalayci said she was concerned about this behaviour and suggested that if the situation does not improve, the Senat could ban the sale of alcohol in bars and pubs.
"In pubs, a lot of people come into close contact, and if there's a lot of drinking things become difficult," Kalayci said.
She added that alcohol consumption makes people "more careless. This leads to the spread of infections".
Checks by police and the Ordungsamt (public order office) on venues are to be stepped up.
On Tuesday, Kalayci told RBB radio that she was not suggesting a general ban on the sale of alcohol in bars, but rather following the lead of other cities such as Hamburg where a ban on serving drinks on some streets at particular times of the day was in force.
"This is not about a general ban on alcohol," the SPD politician said. "That would be nonsense."
She said people going to bars and observing the rules were not the problem. However, streets with crowds of people and a party atmosphere was problematic.
In Berlin there's been a total of around 9,700 confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak.
What's the latest on Germany's confirmed cases?
Since the beginning of the crisis, at least 217,293 people in Germany are confirmed to have contracted the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the RKI reported on Tuesday morning.
Since the previous day, there were four new deaths. The number of deaths in connection with a coronavirus infection is now 9,201 according to RKI data. A total of 198,100 people have survived the infection, according to estimates.
The reproductive rate, or R-number for short, is 1.09 in Germany (previous day: 1.17). This means that an infected person infects on average more than one other person. The R-value reflects the course of infection about one and a half weeks before.
The RKI also gives a so-called seven-day R. It refers to a longer period and is therefore less subject to daily fluctuations. According to RKI estimates, this value was 1.05 (previous day: 1.17) . It reflects the course of infection from 8 to 16 days ago.
Where are the hotspots in Germany?
With 128.9 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within the last seven days, the district of Dingolfing-Landau in Bavaria has far exceeded the limit set by authorities.
It's related to an outbreak among harvest workers where more than 400 cases have been detected, as well as employees of a canning company.
If an area has 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within the last seven day restrictive measures are imposed.
The city of Duisburg has also recorded a significant increase in infections, with 24.9 infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
The RKI said that in North Rhine Westphalia and Hamburg the 7-day incidences are high, with a "markedly increasing trend". In Berlin, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate the 7-day incidences are also higher than the mean total 7-day incidence.