In Brief: Tegel airport to close on June 15 for at least two months

Officials say the pandemic has led to a steep drop in passengers and air traffic.

Photo © Günter Wicker/Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Monika Müller-Kroll

Berlin’s Tegel airport is now scheduled to close on June 15 for at least two months after the airport authority’s shareholders reached an agreement yesterday morning.

MP Stefan Gelbhaar of the Green Party called it a “good decision,” saying it didn’t make economic sense to keep the airport open when the pandemic has led to a steep drop in passengers and air traffic.

The lawmaker blamed the federal government for why it took as long as it did to reach a decision about Tegel in the first place.

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The German government says it will extend the time it replaces the salaries of parents who are unable to work due to closed daycare centers and schools.

Family Minister Franziska Giffey told public broadcaster ZDF that working parents who are homebound because they have to look after their children will receive compensation for up to 20 weeks.

Giffey said this extension counts also for single parents and calls it a very important step to provide financial security to families.

Previously, parents received the payments, which cover up to two-thirds of a salary, for no more than six weeks.

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Deutsche Bahn says it has begun producing disinfectants as part of a “hygiene and cleanliness offensive” it began yesterday in rail stations and on its trains.

The German railway company said its labs in Munich and Brandenburg are producing nearly 1,600 liters, or 423 gallons, of hand sanitizer daily to help fight the coronavirus.

Rail officials say they’ve also dispatched more sanitation workers to long-distance trains.

 

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