New COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin

Angela Merkel has announced new measures to slow down the COVID-19 spread, with an emphasis on private parties and social gatherings in the most affected coronavirus areas. The measures were discussed at the end of September, during a meeting with the state leaders.

Private celebrations are “one of the major causes of outbreaks of infection,” said Chancellor Merkel. As a consequence of the high number of corona infections, the federal and state governments intend to limit the parties / celebrations in public or rented rooms, according to Spiegel.de.

For regions with infection rates of 35 per 100,000 there would be a limit of maximum 50 people for gatherings in rented venues or in public spaces. If the infection rates exceed 50 per 100,000 persons, then the number of people allowed at private or public events will drop to 25.

The federal states didn`t reach an agreement regarding the rules for private parties at home, but Merkel said that it`s “strongly recommended” to have a maximum of 10 house guests in the badly-hit coronavirus areas, according to Thelocal.de.

Merkel said the regional outbreaks are “a cause of concern” and “more difficult times are before us, namely the autumn and winter months”.

The Chancellor warned that if the situation is mishandled, Germany could have 19,200 cases per day by Christmas, according to a model presented on Monday. “We had 300 new infections in June, we now have 2,400 new infections on some days,” said Merkel. This means the cases have doubled in the past three months. If this tendency will continue in October, November and December “we would go from 2,400 […] to 19,200″.

The new rules approved by the Senate will be active from 10 October 2020:

  • Between 11:00 PM – 06:00 AM in outdoor public spaces will be allowed to meet maximum five people from different households, or people from two households.
  • Maximum 10 people can attend private indoor events and meetings.
  • Groups of maximum 50 people can meet outdoors during the day time.
  • Between 11:00 PM – 06:00 AM the following establishments will have to stay closed: restaurants, bars, sales outlets, including Spätis (night shops).
  • Petrol stations will stay open but can`t sell alcohol in the same period of time.
  • Pharmacies remain open during this time.

Photo: Florin Tulbure