In Brief: Berlin Marathon called off due to the pandemic

Participants now have the option of getting a refund or carrying over their registration to next year.

Photo by: ©SCC EVENTS / Sportograf

By Sylvia Cunningham, Kate Brady and Monika Müller-Kroll

It’s now official: The 2020 Berlin Marathon will not take place due to the pandemic.

The event, which was planned for the last weekend in September, typically attracts upwards of 60,000 participants from 150 nations, made impossible this year by the Berlin Senate’s ban on major events through Oct. 24.

Organizers had already told athletes last month the marathon could not “take place as planned.” They unsuccessfully tried to salvage the event by introducing hygiene regimens or postponing it to a later date in 2020.

Participants now have the option of getting a refund or carrying over their registration to next year.

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The Berlin Senate has offered to provide hotel accommodation to people affected by a COVID-19 outbreak in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

The idea is to give some extra space to residents who are living in close quarters and forced to quarantine.

But health councilor for Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Knut Mildner-Spindler told public broadcaster rbb, people may live in cramped conditions, but that doesn’t justify their moving to hotels, when they have amenities to do laundry, cooking and take care of themselves at home.

At least 45 residents in the apartment building have tested positive for COVID-19. The affected households are receiving food and necessities from local authorities.

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Railway repairs started yesterday on the southern stretch of the Berlin Ringbahn.

The construction will disrupt S-Bahn service between Tempelhof and Treptower Park and Tempelhof and Baumschulenweg for the next month.

S-Bahn spokeswoman Sandra Spieker said the amount of train traffic in the past years has led to wear and tear, making it necessary to lay down almost 11 kilometers of new tracks.

Buses will replace the regular train service through July 27.

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

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