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Partial lockdown in Berlin likely to stay in place until December 20th

Restaurants, cafés, pubs and cultural institutions in Berlin are likely to remain closed until shortly before Christmas, reported local media on Friday.

Partial lockdown in Berlin likely to stay in place until December 20th
A sign on this building in Berlin-Mitte reads: 'Berliners: wear what you want. Main thing is that you wear masks.' Photo: DPA

There’s also a chance these facilities will remain closed longer over New Year's Eve and into the new year in 2021.

It also cannot be ruled out that Berlin will tighten the contact restrictions that have been in place since the beginning of November, reported the Tagesspiegel as well as the Berliner Morgenpost based on information they received from the capital's State Senate.

Several Senate representatives expressed a “broad consensus” over extending the shutdown, reported the Morgenpost.

According to current rules valid until November 30th, people are allowed to be in public and private spaces alone, with people from one's own household and two other people from different households. 

Meetings of two households up to a maximum of 10 people are also permitted. It is also possible that the Senate will agree to further limit the number of people who can meet in Berlin.

READ ALSO: How many people are you allowed to meet in Berlin?

Rules for schools are also likely to be tightened, leading to a mixture of face-to-face and digital teaching for upper secondary and vocational school pupils. At the moment, all schools are permitted to stay open for in-person teaching. 

Berlin’s Senate is also likely to adopt rules agreed at a meeting next Wednesday November 26th between Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats and Germany’s 16 state premieres.

Earlier this week, Merkel and leaders issued strong recommendations on top of the November shutdown.

Next Thursday November 26th at the earliest, the Senate will adopt the new set of rules, set to remain in place until Sunday December 20th.

According to a new reformed Infection Protection Law passed in the Bundestag on Wednesday, new coronavirus regulations adopted by Germany’s states must be limited to four weeks – but with the possibility of extension. 

December 20th was chosen as an end date so that the regulations would not stretch into the Christmas holidays.

READ ALSO: Germany reforms coronavirus laws: What you need to know

Member comments

  1. Of course you will continue the lockdown. The lie muss be perpetuated until a vaccine is available. How else will they get the suckers to take the jab, unless everyone is scared.

  2. Theres always one twat. I guess you are it today Adrian. The longer that people like you misbehave, the longer the restrictions will continue.

  3. Agreed Ali. The longer people like Adrian interfere with social cohesion and co-operation – an evolutionary skill of human society used to overcome natural disasters and phenomena out of our control – not with fear and conspiracy as they like to frame it – but with love and responsibility – the longer all the things they are actually fighting against and are afraid of, have to go on.

    Adrian we need more team players and less saboteurs buying into conspiracy theories which make no logical sense whatsoever. Google some photos of what your children would look like if we didn’t all take a vaccine for small pox and reconsider your senseless control conspiracy theories.. try playing for the team. The rest of us would really appreciate it.

  4. Agreed Ali. The longer people like Adrian interfere with social cohesion and co-operation – an evolutionary skill of human society used to overcome natural disasters and phenomena out of our control – not with fear and conspiracy as they like to frame it – but with love and responsibility – the longer all the things they are actually fighting against and are afraid of, have to go on.

    Adrian we need more team players and less saboteurs buying into conspiracy theories which make no logical sense whatsoever. Google some photos of what your children would look like if we didn’t all take a vaccine for small pox and reconsider your senseless control conspiracy theories.. try playing for the team. The rest of us would really appreciate it.

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COVID-19

Pandemic in Germany unlikely to end this year, says top virologist

High profile German virologist Christian Drosten believes Germany will see a severe spike in Covid infections after summer, and that the pandemic will not become endemic this year.

Pandemic in Germany unlikely to end this year, says top virologist

Drosten previously said that Germany would probably be able to declare the end of the pandemic this year.

But in an interview with Spiegel, Drosten said he had reevaluated his opinion. 

“When the Alpha variant came, it was very surprising for me. When Delta appeared I was sceptical at first, then with Omicron we had to reorient ourselves again. And since January there have already been new Omicron subtypes.

“So I would actually like to correct myself: I no longer believe that by the end of the year we will have the impression that the pandemic is over.”

READ ALSO: End is in sight for pandemic in Germany, says virologist 

Drosten also said that Germany will not see a largely Covid-free summer, which has been the case in previous years, and a further increase in infections in autumn. 

“We are actually already seeing an exponential increase in case numbers again,” Drosten said.

“The BA.5 variant (of Omicron) is simply very transmissible, and people are losing their transmission protection from the last vaccination at the same time.”

In other countries, he said, when the number of cases become high, hospitalisation and death rates also rise again. “Unfortunately, that will also be the case here,” said Drosten, but added: “Overall, however, far fewer people will become seriously ill and die than in 2021.”

Drosten said he expected many more infections from September.

“I hope that the school holidays will dampen the increase in cases somewhat. But from September, I fear we will have very high case numbers,” the head of the virology department at Berlin’s Charité hospital told Spiegel.

READ ALSO: German Health Minister lays out autumn Covid plan

Virologist Christian Drosten at a Covid press conference in 2021.

Virologist Christian Drosten at a Covid press conference in 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

If the government does not take any action, he predicted there would be a lot of sick leave across all industries. “That will become a real problem,” he said.

Drosten said he did not expect overcrowded intensive care units in Germany.

But the new BA.5 sub-variant, which is becoming dominant in Germany, may affect people more strongly. 

“The wheel is turning more towards disease again,” said Drosten. It is not true that a virus automatically becomes more and more harmless in the course of evolution. “That makes me even more worried about the autumn,” he said.

Drosten recommends wearing masks indoors during the colder months, saying it is “the least painful” measure.

If, in addition, “up to 40 million people could be immunised or given a booster vaccination” before winter, for example by urgently calling for company vaccinations, that would “really make a difference”, Drosten said.

In the long term, he said it’s inevitable that people will become infected with coronavirus.

He said the population immunity due to vaccinations and infections will at some point be so strong that the virus will become less important. “Then we will be in an endemic state,” said Drosten. In the worst case, however, this could take “several more winters”.

However, Drosten warned against people trying to deliberately infect themselves with Covid, saying getting the infection in summer doesn’t mean people will be protected in winter. 

Drosten himself said he has not yet contracted Covid-19.

“So far, I guess I’ve just been lucky,” he said. “I rarely put myself in risky situations, but I’m not overly cautious either.”

‘Pandemic depends on behaviour’

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)’s latest weekly report, more outbreaks are occurring in care homes, and the number of patients in intensive care units is slightly rising as infections go up. 

The institute said there had been a 23 percent increase in the 7-day incidence compared to the previous week. On Friday the 7-day incidence stood at 618.2 infections per 100,000 people. There were 108,190 infections within the latest 24 hour period and 90 deaths. 

“The further course of the pandemic depends not only on the occurrence of new virus variants and the uptake of vaccinations on offer, it also depends to a large extent on the behaviour of the population,” said the RKI.

According to the DIVI intensive care register, the number of Covid-19 patients in ICUs had increased to 810 on Thursday this week, from about 600 at the beginning of the month.

However, that number is still low compared to previous Covid peaks when thousands of people were in intensive care in Germany. 

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