In Brief: BVG says it will not enforce masking requirement on Berlin transit

A BVG spokeswoman told public broadcaster rbb the transport company doesn’t have the legal right to enforce the wearing of masks.

Photo by Chapman Chow on Unsplash

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Caleb Larson and Sylvia Cunningham

As of Monday, passengers on Berlin public transit are required to cover their noses and mouths, but who will enforce it?

Information sheet including the current guidance on masking in Berlin. Click to access full size version.

It won’t be transit employees, BVG spokeswoman Petra Nelken told public broadcaster rbb.

She said her team expects that passengers will accept and implement this “small, mutual consideration,” but added the BVG doesn’t have the legal right to enforce the wearing of masks.

There will, however, be announcements inside the vehicles making passengers aware of the new rule.

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European Union leaders are meeting this afternoon for what could be a tense video summit on the bloc’s economic recovery.

The leaders disagree on how much financial aid is needed to jumpstart their respective economies, which are collapsing under the coronavirus pandemic.

They also can’t agree on whether the aid should be in the form of grants or loans, and what conditions should apply.

Next week, the European Commission plans to release an updated draft of the so-called “Recovery Fund.”

It would provide cash that member states could use to help their ailing economies, though it will be difficult to get all EU members to agree on policy specifics.

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Ramadan begins this evening and for observant Muslims in Germany, this year’s celebration is a lot different.

With Germany’s ban on religious gatherings still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Muslims here are prohibited from joining together to ring in their holy month of prayer and fasting.

The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, told public broadcaster ARD last week, though it’s especially painful to see mosques closed at the start of Ramadan, it’s important to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.

There is, however, some relief in sight before Ramadan ends. Berlin officials announced that religious gatherings of up to 50 people can resume on May 4, provided worshipers comply with hygiene criteria and social distancing rules.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

For up-to-date information on what you should be doing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, check our fact sheet. 

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