NEWS 15.10.2020

“Update of the current Covid-19 situation in Germany”

The corona cases are rising massively in Germany again, especially in Berlin.

Today, all 16 Ministerpräsidenten, the heads of the 16 states within Germany, came to Berlin personally to meet with our head of state, Angela Merkel. Their first personal meeting in 4 months. This is expected to be THE meeting regarding Corona measures.

As you will know, other EU countries are severely hit by the pandemic already. From Friday on, no one is allowed to leave the house after 9 PM in France. Netherlands and the Czech Republic already have lockdown measures in practice as well as Spain.

Their numbers are much higher than in Germany with smaller populations, this is what’s coming to Germany too. Accordingly the government’s aim is to contain the pandemic asap, to minimise the economical impact in key sectors, this is shared by almost all EU states. So be prepared for new and harder measures in the very near future, the second wave is around the corner for Germany and the worst is yet to come. All politicians and scientists agree on that.

2020 is a bitch!

The problem is, Germany is a Federal Republic that takes the “federal” part very seriously! For this reason, there are countless different corona regulations, depending on the region. This strong independence of the 16 states now proves to be a problem in finding a common response to the current situation. Even within Germany, you might be required to have a test, not older than 2 days, to make your vacation. And we Berliners are the hottest hotspot in Germany at the moment. Without corona test, we are not going anywhere..

Tonight all try to find common regulations for all Germany to reduce this massive measure mess. The chances are 50/50 that they manage to do so and not start changing again in 1 week due to new numbers. The media reports that Merkel is pissed. British would say “not amused”.

But, there is no way around it, much stronger measures are coming! And, looking at the numbers, very soon. Everything will be done to avoid the second “Shutdown”: The closing of factories, shops, services and schools.

The first announcement of the measures are applicable for all areas with more than 50 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants, that is the current red line. Berlin is considerably higher than that, so all measures apply.

The new measures:

  1. Local curfew (Sperrstunde) areas and towns all over Germany, Starting from 11 PM. In Berlin the hotspots are very localized in some areas. There, the control of the measures might come even tighter. All parks in Berlin will be tightly controlled to stop the big parties in multiple locations that are considered spreader-events that drive the pandemic.

  2. Masks EVERYWHERE and huge fines. They wanted to agree on the fine, but it seems they didn´t, so the fines vary from region to region. Additionally, this measure already starts with 35 new infections, not at 50 new infections.

  3. Further reducing of private gatherings to 10 people and maximum 2 different households in hotspot areas. Which means you cannot meet your friends anymore privately.

  4. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed. If the increase is not contained, the number will be reduced to 5 people.

  5. Strictly no alcohol at night policy! You will not be able to buy booze anywhere in Berlin. (Unless you live in Kreuzberg, in Friedrichshain…)

There will be more measures, but these first ones are aimed to reduce private personal contacts, specially bigger gatherings like big weddings. These have proven multiple times to be one of the main sources of spreader events, especially in Berlin with its many nationalities and customs.
Nobody can make any predictions at the moment. The only thing you can currently expect is weekly changes of measures and regions that are affected. Christmas in Greece? Nobody knows, but unless everybody sticks to the measures real soon, its not going to get better anytime soon

Some good news in bad times? Germany, and specially Berlin, has massive unused capacities in healthcare for the serious patients. This is very different from almost all affected countries in Europe, that are starting to reach capacity limits as we speak. The German efficiency, like it or not, has clear benefits here. If you get really sick, you will get a professional treatment.

There might come some more measure announcements in the next days, we will keep you informed.
Your Greek.Berliners®  Team