Updated Thursday, April 2 at 12 p.m.
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Caleb Larson and Sylvia Cunningham
The heads of German states agreed with Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday to extend social distancing restrictions until at least April 19.
In neighboring Brandenburg, premier Dietmar Woidke said 20 patients with COVID-19 are on respirators in his state alone.
He says the restrictions are key to preventing more people from ending up that way.
Berlin officials are deciding today whether to expand punishments and fines for individuals and businesses who do not follow the city’s measures.
The federal agriculture minister is calling for Germany’s borders to be reopened to seasonal workers.
Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner says that seasonal workers are needed to prevent a produce shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.
Klöckner told public broadcaster ARD a change in federal border policy may be needed to balance between protecting the population against the coronavirus and protecting harvests.
In any event, the German Farmers’ Association expects produce to cost more in the coming months.
Hertha Berlin announced yesterday its soccer players, coaches and executive staff will give up part of their salaries to make up for lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The soccer team’s CFO says this move will save Hertha a seven-figure sum over the next three months.
Union, Berlin’s other team in the German league called the Bundesliga, announced last week that they would take pay cuts to help keep the club intact.
Hertha’s other employees will make up lost income through the German government subsidy known as “Kurzarbeit.”
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.