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Berlin Senate Eases Corona Restrictions in German Capital

A day after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and all First Ministers eased the Corona measures in the entire country, the Berlin Senate took some decisions on Thursday. Those include a reopening of restaurants.

In Berlin, restaurants are allowed to reopen on Friday, May 15th, 2020. Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., they will be able to serve guests under conditions. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters (5 feed) and strict hygiene rules apply. Pubs and other establishments that offer beverages only remain closed.

Restaurants and Hotels to Open

Guests may visit restaurants with members of their families and people from up to one other household. Buffets are forbidden. The Senate recommends the use of reservation systems to restaurant owners, for more control. The reopening ends six weeks of massive problems for the food service industry.

Governing Mayor Müller and the Senate adjusted Germany’s Corona rules to fit Berlin. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

From May 25th, hotels in Berlin may offer rooms to tourists again. The Corona crisis had decreased the number of tourists in the city from more than a million per month to nearly zero. It is unclear how quickly those numbers will rise again.

Massage Parlors Back in Business

From May 9th, 2020, sun studios, beauty and massage parlors, tattoo studios and similar businesses have the permission to reopen as well. In all areas, the same distance rules apply. All shops in Berlin may open as long as they allocate 20 square meters (215 square feet) to each customer. Tiny shops with even less that 215 feet may welcome one customer at a time.

University campuses may open areas which require the physical presence of people. Strict rules apply here too. Driving schools are back in business too, as long as the teacher wears a protective mask. Governing Mayor Michael Müller and his Senators also decided that sightseeing trips on buses or on foot are allowed again. The distance rule applies here as well.

Contactless Sports are Back

What sports are concerned, clubs may resume their activities from May 15th, under certain conditions. Contactless training outdoors will be legal as long as the 5 feet distance rule is being adhered to. Forms of sports with up to eight people, including the trainer, will be allowed from the 15th of May too. Starting on May 25th, 2020, even contactless sports competitions may take place.

On the same day, Berlin’s public swimming pools are allowed to reopen. The owners can get individual permissions from the sports authority, but first they need to hand in a convincing hygiene concepts they will follow.

Small Protests and Gatherings to be Allowed

And, finally, gatherings and protests with up to 50 people will be allowed from May 9th. Of course conditions apply here too. Starting on May 18th, indoor gatherings and meetings with up to 50 participants will be allowed again, with strict rules. From May 25th, protests and gathering with 100 people will be possible. The hygiene and distance rules apply in all cases.

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