In Brief: Chancellor Merkel, German state leaders to meet over next steps in coronavirus crisis

Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder, who wants to significantly tighten pandemic measures across the country, told reporters Tuesday that it is not the time to be looking for loopholes, but to do what’s best for Germany.

Photo by Sylvia Cunningham

 

 

By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and WIlliam Glucroft

There’s a sense of urgency about Wednesday’s meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and German state leaders as COVID-19 numbers climb and officials scramble to prevent a lockdown.

Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder, who wants to significantly tighten pandemic measures across the country, told reporters Tuesday that it is not the time to be looking for loopholes, but to do what’s best for Germany.

Meanwhile in Berlin, all nine Vivantes hospitals are closed to visitors to protect patients and staff against COVID-19. Two-thirds of the city remains a high-risk areas for the virus.

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Germany’s busiest airport is experiencing a steep drop in passenger traffic.

Just over one million passengers passed through Frankfurt Airport last month — a nearly 83% decline from the previous September. Cargo and postal shipments, on the other hand, dropped only 5% during that period.

Fraport, the company that operates Frankfurt Airport, blamed the drop on pandemic travel restrictions and uncertainty. The airport saw around 360,000 fewer passengers last month than in August, which coincides with a resurgence in infection rates across Europe and a new round of travel warnings for regions and cities.

Frankfurt Airport is usually one of Europe’s busiest airports and passenger traffic this year so far is down more than 70%.

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Public broadcaster rbb reports Berlin will join other German states headed by Social Democrats in a study about racism within their respective police departments.

The interior ministers for those states will discuss a timeline for the study at a meeting on Oct. 26.

Recent news reports have uncovered scores of German police officers taking part in right-wing extremist chat groups.

But proposed, nationwide studies into police racism across Germany have been nixed by federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

He argued they were unnecessary and would lead to unfair prejudice against law enforcement.

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