In Brief: Despite rise in COVID-19 cases, Berlin Senate decides against immediate action to tighten rules

Two of the factors in Berlin’s “traffic light” system assessing the threat of COVID-19 to public health are yellow, which is what prompted city officials to consider new restrictions.

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

 

 

By Sylvia Cunningham and Kate Brady

The Berlin Senate on Tuesday decided against tightening COVID-19 restrictions, although the city’s health senator is still considering a ban on some alcohol sales.

Two of the factors in Berlin’s “traffic light” system assessing the threat of COVID-19 to public health are yellow, which is what prompted city officials to consider new restrictions.

Senator Dilek Kalayci told public broadcaster rbb it’s primarily younger people who are responsible for the increasing cases, because they don’t follow rules at parties or in bars.

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A landlord is suing Berlin over damages he blames on coronavirus restrictions. It’s the first case of its kind in the state.

For 47 years, Norbert Finke has been welcoming patrons to his toilet-themed “Klo” bar near Ku’damm boulevard.

Finke told the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel that pandemic restrictions have led to a 42% decline in sales this year compared to last.

The 76-year-old’s lawyer believes that landlords should be financially compensated for the time they were closed due to Berlin’s Infection Protection Act.

The verdict is eagerly awaited in Germany’s gastronomy sector. According to a survey earlier this month, more than 60% in the industry fear for their livelihoods.

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The German Ethics Council said it opposes so-called “immunity certificates” for people who have recovered from COVID-19.

The council was asked to weigh in on the certificates by Health Minister Jens Spahn. He floated the idea back in May to give people greater freedom of movement.

In a statement published Tuesday, the council said not enough is known about the virus and even if patients do develop immunity, how long it lasts.

The experts were divided, however, on what to do when more is known. Many said they could see a certificate making sense in the future, while others said such a certificate would never be appropriate because of legal and practical concerns.

Some critics of immunity certificates also argue that they would unfairly reward people who have been infected.

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

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