By Sylvia Cunningham and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Restaurants and cafes in Berlin can reopen starting on May 15, Berlin Mayor Michael Müller announced on Wednesday evening.
He said people will have to keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) away from other customers and the establishments must close by 10 p.m., adding the fear is that after a few drinks, people might forget about social distancing.
Müller urged people to remember, this is still an extraordinary situation. He added, even if it’s a “bitter path” forward, we have to proceed cautiously so we don’t lose what we’ve achieved.
Bars and clubs will remain closed for now. But other rules were less clear, like whether restaurant patrons will have to wear masks.
Additionally, all stores, regardless of size, can open in Berlin starting Friday though a limit on the number of customers and social distancing rules remain intact.
Germany may mandate social distancing and hygiene rules, but Health Minister Jens Spahn says that won’t be the case with a coronavirus vaccine.
During an interview yesterday with public broadcaster ZDF, Spahn dismissed reports that Germans will be required to get the coronavirus vaccine once it is developed.
He said there’s no need to force people, because he expects there will be a high willingness to get vaccinated.
In an earlier interview with public broadcaster ARD, the health minister said it could take years for a COVID-19 vaccine to be developed.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.