Berlin is planning further corona restrictions. “We want to ban more,” announced Berlin Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) on Tuesday. According to this, Christmas markets are only to be opened and fenced in under 2G conditions in the future. Only those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered would then have access. This should be checked at the entrances. For individual stalls that are outside the Christmas markets, such as on Breitscheidplatz, the Senate is in coordination with the districts in order to revoke the permits. “Because there is no point in fencing in the Christmas markets when people are standing close together around them.”
Berlin is planning new upper limits for major events: 1000 people in the open air and 200 people in closed rooms. With the hygiene concept, the upper limit can be increased to 2500 in closed rooms and 5000 people outdoors.
New contact restrictions are also planned. According to this, a household may in future only meet with two unvaccinated people from another household. Children under the age of 14 are exempt from this rule.
“We would like to close the clubs and similar facilities,” said Kalayci. But at the moment this is not legally possible for the State of Berlin. Because there is a legal uncertainty. The background to this is that there are different legal opinions: One defines clubs as leisure facilities that can be closed. The other view is that a club is a company, which is why it cannot be closed according to the Infection Protection Act.
Another meeting of the Prime Ministers on Thursday
There has not yet been a Senate resolution on all of these measures.
Stricter measures were also discussed in the Federal Chancellery on Tuesday – at a spontaneous summit, which was probably not a coincidence. He followed the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court, which had confirmed the legality of the Corona emergency brake. At the crisis summit, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the future Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the focus was on how to proceed.
After the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court, a federal emergency brake is not off the table, a nationwide lockdown could be possible again. The traffic light parties do not want to reinstate the pandemic emergency that expired on November 25, despite the rising incidences – but grant the federal states a kind of opening clause for stricter measures up to regional curfews and lockdowns. There will be another early official conference of prime ministers next Thursday. The resolutions discussed on Tuesday should then be taken.
Future Chancellor Scholz for general vaccination
At the top of the list is now a general vaccination requirement. Olaf Scholz spoke out clearly for the first time at the meeting, it was said. The mandatory vaccination vote is planned in the Bundestag without a parliamentary group. It should apply at the beginning of February. Most recently, the minister-presidents had decided on an obligation for employees in hospitals as well as old people’s and nursing homes. This could come next for firefighters, police officers, and public transport workers.
The Union-led states together with Baden-Württemberg, which is ruled by the Greens, called for more stricter, uniform national rules on Tuesday. They had a five-point plan. Additional contact restrictions are at the top of the priority list. According to this, unvaccinated people should only be allowed to meet a maximum of five people from a maximum of two households in the future. Vaccinated, convalescent and children under the age of twelve are not included in the total number of people. Spouses, civil partners and partners in a cohabiting relationship would be considered as one household, even if they did not have a common place of residence.
The speed of vaccination should be increased
In addition, clubs and discos are to be closed, according to further demands of the country leaders, which could be decided on Thursday at the new Prime Minister’s Conference. At major events, the capacity should only be used to a third. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) announced that there will be ghost games in the Bundesliga again nationwide. Likewise, recreational facilities should be given an upper limit of people or possibly close completely. Furthermore, it will be discussed how to speed up vaccinations. The goal should therefore be to enable around 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year. Some federal states are demanding that pharmacists and dentists may also vaccinate in the future.