In the city state of Berlin, the lifting of most Corona rules is supposed to take place 10 days later than originally planned, on April 1st, 2022. Soon, it will be easier to visit restaurants. Masks at shops will not be required anymore. The problem is that the infection numbers are not falling, but increasing.
Berlin, March 16th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — The Senate has a lot to deal with these days because Berlin is confronted with two huge challenges. One is the influx of war refugees from Ukraine. The other is the crisis the entire world has been dealing with for 26 months. Corona is unpredictable. Just weeks ago, Germany expected a spring and summer with far less infections. Not anymore.
‘Basic Protection Measures’
On Wednesday, the Robert Koch Institute reported the second-highest number of new infections of all time. As many as 262,593 new Coronavirus cases were registered. On Thursday of last week, there had been 262,752 new cases, exactly 159 more than today. In spite of this new Corona wave, Germany intends to get rid of most Corona rules.
Now, some federal states are postponing the lifting of Corona rules, which was supposed to happen on march 20th, until April 1st. Berlin is among them. In anticipation of a decision about the new Infection Protection Act at the Bundestag on Friday, the city state’s Senate took some decisions. Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey announced only “basic protection measures” would remain in place from April 1st. Masks will still be mandatory in public transport and at hospitals.
Events and Shops
Large events will not be restricted anymore, just like in 2019. In shops, people will not have to wear masks anymore. Everyone will have access to restaurants, cafés and pubs without vaccination certificates or Corona test results. Some experts are horrified because the Corona situation does not really warrant an easing of restrictions or a lifting of almost all Corona rules, to their opinion.
Berlin and other federal states are building on an interim period the next version of the Infection Protection Act will likely give them. Until March 31st, they will probably have the right to decide themselves how to proceed with the Corona rules. Until that day, today’s Corona rules will remain in place in the city state of Berlin.
Once the Bundestag, which is located in the same city, takes its decisions, the Berlin Senate is supposed to convene for an irregular session, probably on Saturday, to finalize its Corona approach. For now, there are some open questions. For instance, it is unclear what exactly the Corona testing rules at schools and kindergartens will look like.
Germany’s Seven Day Incidence just reached another all-time high. The new level is 1,607.1. Four out of sixteen federal states are above 2,000. They are Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania (2,300.1), Saarland (2,088.5), Thuringia (2,041.2) and Bavaria (2,008.5). Berlin’s Incidence just jumped up to 1,102.4. But it is still one of the states with the lowest numbers of new infections per inhabitant.
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