Incidences in Berlin are going down as vaccination rates are going up. "We have been able to reduce the numbers in recent days as significantly as few expected," said Berlin's mayor Michael Müller (SPD) following the Senate meeting on Tuesday. The red-red-green coalition has therefore agreed on far-reaching relaxations as early as this Friday - and in some cases goes significantly beyond what was last promised in its resolutions. Here is an overview of the new rules:
What are the contact restrictions for private meetings and parties?
The Senate is loosening contact restrictions for private meetings with the amendment of the infection control measures as of Friday. From then on, six people from three households will again be allowed to meet indoors. Outside, ten people from five households will be allowed to meet. Children up to 14 years of age and convalescents and vaccinated persons are exempt from the rule. At private events for special occasions such as funerals, weddings and baptisms, up to 50 people may be present indoors and outdoors. However, testing is mandatory for eleven or more people.
Where is the testing obligation waived?
At the start of the weekend, the testing requirement for outdoor catering in Berlin will be lifted. "This means it is also possible to sit down outside for a coffee without having to take a test straight away," said Economics Senator Pop.The requirement to show a negative Corona test to store will also be waived in the retail sector from Friday. The test requirement will also be waived for visits to museums, galleries and memorials. Flea markets will also be allowed to take place again from Friday.
What changes for the catering industry?
In addition to the end of mandatory testing for outdoor catering, further relaxations will apply to restaurants, pubs and cafés from Friday. Indoor catering will also be allowed to reopen from Friday. To do so, operators must present appropriate hygiene concepts and must limit the number of people. A negative Corona test and a reservation are also mandatory.For the number of persons per group, the same rules apply as for the general contact restrictions, i.e.: ten persons from five households outside, six persons from three households inside.
What applies to hotels and vacation homes?
Unlike restaurants, hotels are not yet allowed to reopen for the weekend. However, the ban on tourist overnight stays will then fall on June 11, the Friday of next week. This is the result of an agreement with the state of Brandenburg, which wants to open its hotels and vacation apartments at the same time. Guests must present a negative test result for the overnight stay.Contrary to initial considerations, there will be no restriction on the number of guests to 50 percent of the beds, explained Economics Senator Pop: "We agreed that this restriction would have meant yet another additional hurdle for the hotels and would bring little relief."
Which events are now allowed again?
With the change in infection control measures, events are also allowed again. "From Friday, notable cultural events will be possible again," said Culture Senator Klaus Lederer (Left Party). Cinemas, theaters, operas and concert halls will be allowed to reopen.For them, as for all other events, including sports competitions, the following rules apply: Allowed outdoors up to 500 people. From 250 people, a general testing obligation applies to this. For smaller events, it depends on the hygiene concept whether a test result must be submitted. For indoor events, up to 100 people are generally permitted. From eleven people, testing is mandatory.An exception is made for halls with a technical ventilation system: Up to 500 people may attend concerts, performances or other events there.The rule is even more special for the State Opera, the German Opera, the Konzerthaus and the Philharmonie. Because of their size, even more people are allowed there as part of model projects.
What sports and leisure activities are now possible again?
As of Friday, outdoor sports will once again be possible in groups without restrictions on the number of people. Only adults are subject to mandatory testing. Fitness, sports and dance studios are allowed to reopen at the weekend. Prerequisites are a person limit as well as an appointment booking and the obligation for a Corona test. Amateurs of all sports are allowed to hold outdoor competitions again. However, spectators are not allowed. Here, too, there is an obligation to test. Visitors are again allowed at competitions in professional sports. Here, too, the upper limit on the number of persons and the obligation to take a test apply.Visits to outdoor recreational facilities such as climbing forest facilities are possible from Friday with a reservation and a negative test. The same applies to the indoor areas of the zoo, animal park and botanical gardens, which are now open again.
How are schools preparing for two weeks of full face-to-face classes?
The Senate also voted on Tuesday to return to regular operations in schools starting June 9. After-school care will also be offered again starting June 9. As before, there will be two weekly tests per child for this purpose. However, compulsory attendance will continue to be suspended."We have already started to implement this today," said Astrid-Sabine Busse, chairwoman of the Association of Berlin School Principals. For teachers, she said, this poses no didactic difficulties. Although all cafeterias and dining services would also have to be ramped up again, that too would be possible by next week, Busse said.
At the same time, the principal criticized the fact that attendance will still not be compulsory. Some parents did not let their children attend school. In such cases, however, it would be impossible to teach these children the same subject matter. The return to regular operation will have no effect on preparations for the coming school year. "The new school year is already in place from the planning, it just needs to be implemented now."
What applies in Brandenburg?
In Brandenburg, the cabinet decided on Tuesday openings in two steps. Already from tomorrow, Thursday, many rules will be significantly relaxed in sports, culture and gastronomy. For example, shopping will once again be possible without an appointment, private meetings of up to ten people will be permitted, and outdoor pools will be allowed to open.Testing is no longer mandatory for outdoor catering - but only in restaurants and cafés that cater exclusively outdoors. Guests may also be received indoors again, but still with a test. Cinemas and theaters may also reopen from Thursday for a maximum of 200 visitors with a negative test inside or 500 outside.
Photo by Prateek Katyal