By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Sylvia Cunningham and William Glucroft
The federal government gave the green light to residents of 11 more non-EU countries to enter Germany starting today because of their lower COVID-19 rates.
The United States, Turkey, Russia and Brazil are not on the list.
Nor are Serbia, Tunisia and Morocco, even though they are on the EU-approved list. Brussels has said each member state could tailor the list as it sees fit.
Even countries that are green-lighted, like China, will have to provide access to German citizens before Chinese travelers will be allowed to come here.
The list will be updated every two weeks.
Budget airline Easyjet is apparently planning to cut its Berlin-based fleet in half.
Only 18 of the airline’s planes will reportedly keep operating at Berlin’s airports. That translates to a cut of more than 700 jobs. Easyjet’s domestic flights in Germany are also to end.
The employee union Verdi told rbb it was a “dark day” for the industry, calling the decision “rash” and “incomprehensible,” and said it will fight to save the jobs.
There was no immediate comment from Easyjet. But in response to cuts in the U.K., the CEO blamed lower demand and pledged to “work constructively” with the unions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives have agreed to a plan that would reduce the number of electoral districts ahead of next year’s parliamentary election.
Right now, the lower house of the German Parliament is the largest it has ever been, with 709 members. Critics say that means space is tight, costs are high, and it takes longer to reach decisions.
Most MPs agree the Bundestag shouldn’t grow any larger, but there’s long been disagreement on how to make it smaller.
Part of the plan from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) is to cut the number of electoral districts in Germany from 299 to 280, which would decrease the number of candidates directly elected to the Bundestag.
The Green Party, the Left Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) want to reduce this number even further, capping the amount of total seats to 630.
The next step for the conservative bloc is to get their coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, on board with their plan.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.