In Brief: Berlin health senator urges Berliners to avoid travel to COVID-19 risk areas over the next months

Dilek Kalayci said in the last few weeks and months, it was traveling Berliners that led to an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

 

 

By Sylvia Cunningham and Kate Brady

Berlin Health Senator Dilek Kalayci is urging Berliners to stay in Germany and avoid traveling to COVID-19 risk areas over the coming months.

Kalayci said on Monday it was ski vacations that first helped spread the virus to Germany. She added that in the last few weeks and months, it was traveling Berliners that led to an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections.

The health senator also said she is worried about the spread of the coronavirus among young people. According to Berlin’s latest statistics, the median age of infected individuals is currently 36.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Foreign Office is warning against unnecessary travel to Paris and many other parts of France, which have seen a surge of cases. In several regions over the past week, the number of new infections is higher than 50 per 100,000 residents.

For more information about travel warnings and the latest coronavirus rules, check out our COVID-19 information page.

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Berlin police were kept busy this past weekend with speeders and illegal races across the city, just a week after a mother and daughter were seriously injured in a car crash on Ku’damm boulevard.

In just one of several incidents, an officer fired shots at a Mercedes after the driver charged at police at Nauener Platz in Wedding.

The driver had initially stopped, but then fled in the vehicle.

Police spokeswoman Heidi Vogt said the car was later found empty, about 2 kilometers away near Schillerpark.

Meanwhile, police say the driver of a suspected illegal race on Ku’damm last Monday that injured the mother and daughter is still on the run.

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Prominent German politicians are increasing pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to call off the Nord Stream 2 project, less than a week after she and other top cabinet members condemned the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Among the critics is Green Party co-chair Annalena Baerbock. She told public broadcaster ZDF on Monday that the pipeline was wrong from the beginning — not only from an ecological point of view, but for geopolitical reasons as well.

Baerbock said going forward with it would counteract all sanctions.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he hoped the Russians wouldn’t force Germany to rethink its position on the pipeline project by not cooperating with the Navalny investigation.

Health Minister Jens Spahn echoed Maas, telling Bild’s talk show that it was up to Russia as to what happens next.

But construction on the gas pipeline, which will stretch across the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, is nearly complete. And those opposed to pulling the plug on the project said it would result in billions of euros in losses and job cuts at European companies.

Kremlin critic Navalny has been undergoing treatment at Berlin’s Charité hospital for a little over two weeks.

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

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