Germany: RKI Reports Record Number of New Corona Infections, Berlin Tightens Rules
Germany registered more than 66,000 new Corona cases today. In Berlin, the restrictions were tightened yet again. From now on, unvaccinated people will run into issues.
Berlin, November 24th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Persons who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are under more pressure now. They may not use public transport in Berlin or anywhere else in Germany unless they have a fresh Corona test with a negative result. In all buses and trains, passengers need to be vaccinated, cured from Corona or tested. This is what Germany calls the ‘3G’ rule. Here, the federal states do not have a say. They need to follow the new Infection Protection Act.
No Christmas Shopping
For Berliners, more new rules will apply starting on Saturday, November 27th, 2021. The ‘2G’ rule will apply in almost all shops, except for supermarkets, drug stores and book shops. What this means is that unvaccinated people may not do any offline Christmas shopping because they are a danger to everyone else and themselves. Getting tested will not help them. They may not enter most retail businesses.
In this case, Berlin adopted a rule that applies in Brandenburg. In this neighboring state, the Corona situation is even worse than in Berlin. By keeping unvaccinated persons out of most shops, Berlin is making sure unvaccinated Brandenburgers do not bypass the Corona restrictions by coming to Berlin for shopping sprees. But there are differences too. While Brandenburg shut down all Christmas markets shortly after they opened, Berlin keeps them open. But ‘2G’ now applies there too. Again, unvaccinated individuals are being kept out, unless they are below 18 years of age or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Persons who were recently cured from COVID-19 are exempt as well.
Vaccinated and Tested
In Berlin’s restaurants and pubs, the ‘2G Plus’ rule will apply from Saturday. Vaccinated and cured persons may enter, but they need to wear medical masks, which they can take off while they sit at their table. Until now, restaurant owners in Berlin could choose whether they want to follow ‘2G’ or ‘3G’ rules. Not anymore. Masks also need to be worn at hairdressers and other providers of ‘proximate services’. At cultural venues, it depends. They will either have to apply the ‘2G Plus’ standard or limit the number of visitors and provide lots of room for everyone.
At clubs in the German capital, vaccinated and cured individuals may enter if they get tested for Corona. This is what Berlin calls ‘2G Plus Test’. Of course, the result has to be negative. Getting the extremely high infection numbers down and increasing safety for everyone is the purpose of the new rules. There is another rule, one that applies immediately. At work places, including offices, factories and retail businesses, the ‘3G’ rule applies, meaning everyone who goes there needs to be fully vaccinated, cured or tested, with a negative result.
On Wednesday morning, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) released the new Corona numbers for Germany. They are beyond alarming. With 66,884 new Coronavirus infections and a Seven Day Incidence of 404.5, the country just broke two of its records yet again. Last Thursday, when the Incidence was 336.9, there had been 65,371 new cases. This sad record lasted for six days. Since yesterday, there were 335 Corona-related deaths. Now, 3,987 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care.
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