In Brief: Berlin Senate discussing tightening pandemic rules, including on private gatherings

Officials will also discuss implementing a masking requirement outdoors in certain areas.

Photo by Noah on Unsplash

 

By Sylvia Cunningham, Kate Brady and Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

The Berlin Senate are discussing tightening pandemic-related restrictions on Tuesday, including how many people can meet in private and public places.

The Red-Red-Green coalition is talking about restricting outdoor gatherings throughout the day to five people or two different households.

The rule is already in place between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day.

Officials are also talking about imposing a masking requirement outdoors on busy streets or in certain plazas.

And it’s likely a recent court ruling overturning restrictions on bars and restaurants will be discussed.

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Employees from Berlin’s city cleaning service (BSR) are on strike Tuesday, meaning no garbage will be collected and no streets will be cleaned.

Berlin’s 15 recycling yards will also remain closed.

The latest strikes in public services come just days before the next round of wage negotiations on Thursday in Potsdam.

The German Association of Cities recently offered a wage increase of 3.5% over a period of three years, which the unions rejected. Workers union Verdi is calling for salary increases of 4.8% — but at least 150 euros a month.

The strikes are just a small part of nationwide actions, with similar strikes also taking place in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The BSR warned that anyone who leaves waste in front of the gates of recycling yards in Berlin could face a fine.

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A popular weekend Thai food festival that Berlin authorities threatened to shut down will continue, but in a different format.

“Thaiwiese,” also known as “Thai Park” has for years been a fixture at Preussenpark in Wilmersdorf. According to city lore, it started when a group of Thai families picnicking there informally shared their food with other park goers.

The summer fest quickly evolved into scores of temporary stalls selling everything from Pad Thai to Cuba Libres. But health concerns and noise and trash complaints quickly put the vendors at odds with Berlin authorities, who vowed to shut the event down.

Instead, the city announced this week it will turn Thaiwiese into an official, Thai Street Food Festival. Officials say they plan later this year to hire a firm to build a building to house the festival, which will be open between Fridays and Sundays, March through October with about 60 stands.

Until then, pandemic permitting, Thaiwiese will continue in Preußenpark in Wilmersdorf.

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

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