In Brief: Berlin Senate eases some pandemic-related restrictions on contact sports

There will still be other rules in place, depending on the sport.

Photo by: Markus Spiske, Unsplash

By Dina Elsayed, Kate Brady and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

The Berlin Senate is easing pandemic-related restrictions on contact sports, like soccer, in the wake of recent protests.

Interior Senator Andreas Geisel told the daily Der Tagesspiegel that the COVID-19 infection rate is now low enough to scrap social distancing rules out on the field.

However, there will still be rules in place, depending on the sport. Those practicing martial arts, for instance, must do so with the same partner.

The revised regulations will officially come into effect next Tuesday, but until then, violations against the current rules will not be punished.

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The number of organ donors has increased in Germany in the first half of this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 487 organs were removed for transplantation between January to June, an increase of 7.3% compared to last year, the daily, Der Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday.

While the German Organ Transplantation Foundation describes this increase as a “positive development,” the majority of donations date back to the period immediately before the coronavirus crisis.

Some 2.5 million organ donation cards were also ordered in the first four months of this year — that’s half a million more than in the same period in 2019.

According to Eurotransplant, more than 9,000 people in Germany are currently waiting for an organ transplant.

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The Berlin Regional Court held a hearing yesterday over whether the interior of St. Hedwig’s iconic cathedral in Mitte can be redesigned.

The trial centers on whether the rights of artists involved in the reconstruction of the cathedral in the 1960s are being violated by the ongoing redesign.

The same lawsuits were dismissed by the Berlin Administrative Court in January 2019.

Critics of the renovation of the Catholic church that is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome are opposed to the plan to cut off public access to the lower church in the center of the structure.

Work on the cathedral, that’s been closed for nearly two years, is to continue until 2023.

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

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