In Brief: Berlin transit workers on strike until Saturday 3 a.m., affecting trams, subways and most buses

The Verdi union called for the warning strike because transit officials are refusing to consider a collective wage agreement for Germany’s public transit workers.



By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and William Glucroft

Berlin and Brandenburg transit workers went on strike again Friday at 3 a.m. All trams and subways and most buses in the two states are not running for 24 hours.

Regional and S-Bahn trains are not affected, but officials tweeted that a problem with cables may lead to delays near Frankfurter Allee.

The Verdi union called for the warning strike because transit officials are refusing to consider a nationwide, uniform collective wage agreement for Germany’s 87,000 public transit workers.

Some swimming pools in Berlin may also be affected by warning strikes until 11 a.m. People who already purchased tickets will be reimbursed if the pool is closed, according to the authority in charge of bookings, Berliner Bäder.


In Berlin, Airbnb bookings are rising again, but they’re still down overall.

In April, with the pandemic peaking, Airbnb saw just 770 bookings in the German capital. That’s compared to 12,000 in April the year before.

The 8,000 bookings last August amount to just half of Airbnb’s activity in Berlin at the same time last year.

Public broadcaster rbb compiled the data from Inside Airbnb, a group critical of the company’s impact on cities.

The report estimates that four-fifths of Airbnb and other short-term rentals on offer in Berlin are likely illegal.


An association representing accredited laboratories warns that COVID-19 testing in Berlin is in danger of being overrun and that testing should be mainly done on symptomatic patients.

The group’s managing director told public broadcaster rbb that last week alone some 52,500 coronavirus tests were performed in Berlin, roughly 95% of the maximum capacity.

The situation is rosier in terms of available intensive care beds across Germany for critically ill coronavirus patients. The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians reports there are 8,500 vacant ICU beds and 12,000 more in reserve.

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

Whether it’s our coverage of the coronavirus, rent freezes or more light-hearted subjects like Berlin’s pandas, you can count us for factual and informative content. We are the go-to source for the English-as-a-common-language community in Berlin and beyond. The pandemic will challenge us to find new ways of doing reporting, but we will continue to bring you the programming you love and news you can trust. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by donors like you. So please consider donating today to keep us on air, online and in your community.