In Brief: Restaurants and cafes to reopen in Berlin and Brandenburg on Friday, with strict measures in place

The manager of the Berlin Hotel and Restaurant Association urged members to strictly abide by hygiene guidelines, telling German news agency dpa it would be a “catastrophe” if opening restaurants leads to a rise in infections.

Photo by Esther from Pexels


By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Caleb Larson

Restaurants and cafes in Berlin and Brandenburg reopen tomorrow, but face strict pandemic rules and limited hours.

The Berlin Hotel and Restaurant Association is calling on its members to strictly abide by hygiene guidelines, including making sure the staff wears masks and sets tables apart.

Association Manager Thomas Lengfelder told German news agency dpa it would be an “absolute catastrophe” if opening restaurants leads to a rise in infections that would necessitate shutting down again two weeks from now.

Lengfelder warned that emergency funds for proprietors are running low and another lockdown would finish many businesses.


Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn says that there is no longer a mask shortage in Germany.

In an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit, Spahn responded to criticism of mask procurement, which is managed by the federal government.

“Should we have bought masks earlier? Yes,” he said. But Spahn also denied standing in the way of mask purchases.

Spahn asked for understanding, saying that while the shortage is clear in retrospect, it wasn’t anticipated at the time. He also explained that now the shortage is over, the goal is to move mask production to Germany, rather than importing them from abroad.

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. 

Whether it’s our coverage of the coronavirus, rent freezes or more light-hearted subjects like Berlin’s pandas, you can count us for factual and informative content. We are the go-to source for the English-as-a-common-language community in Berlin and beyond. The pandemic will challenge us to find new ways of doing reporting, but we will continue to bring you the programming you love and news you can trust. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by donors like you. So please consider donating today to keep us on air, online and in your community.