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  • Berlin news update: Friday, December 18

Berlin

Berlin news update: Friday, December 18

Vaccinations to start December 27, anti-vaxxers plan Sunday march, robbery at Treptow shopping centre, Berlinale postponed and arrest after Berghain fire.

Image for Berlin news update: Friday, December 18

A man was arrested on Thursday night following a fire outside Berghain. Photo: Simon Tartarotti / Unsplash

Vaccines begin on December 27, homeless shelter shut following Covid outbreak, anti-vaxxers plan weekend march

Germany is to administer its first Covid-19 vaccines on December 27 as the EU prepares to approve the BioNTech/Pfizer jab. Berlin will soon invite the over 80s and care home residents to designated vaccination centres that have been set up across the city. The Senat Health Administration says those entitled to a vaccine will receive a letter allowing them to book an appointment by phone or online. Medical staff and care home workers will also be among the first to receive the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the US-German vaccine before Christmas, with an announcement due on December 21.

A Friedrichshain homeless shelter was forced to close yesterday following an outbreak of Coronavirus. At least 11 people have been infected at the 100-capacity facility, which is run by the charity Berliner Kältehilfe. An additional 45 people were identified as having had contact with the infected individuals, with testing of all service users and staff currently underway. Space in a nearby hostel has been rented to provide temporary shelter for those affected.

Anti-vaccine demonstrators are to march against the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations this weekend as Berlin prepares to administer its first jabs. Sunday’s so-called “Schweigemarsch” (“silent march”) is set to attract 2000 participants opposed to the use of vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The demonstration is billed as “against discrimination and for human rights”, with organisers demanding “ending the national pandemic – without a vaccine!” The group has yet to offer any evidence of issues with the vaccines developed for Covid.  

Robbery at Treptow shopping centre, Berlinale postponed, arrest after Berghain fire

Police searched a Treptow shopping centre yesterday after security guards were attacked in an attempted robbery. Three armed men attacked cash handlers leaving the Treptower Park Center at around 4pm Thursday, using irritant gas to overcome the guards. 250 police officers were deployed to the scene, though the attackers were able to escape on foot. It is the second such robbery in as many days. On Tuesday, three robbers fled after attacking a cash van outside Ikea in Schöneberg

Next year’s Berlinale will not take place in February, organisers announced today. The 71st edition of the film festival will be replaced by an online industry convention in March followed by a public festival likely to be held in June. 

Police arrested a man last night after a fire on the premises of Berghain. An employee of the club noticed the blaze in a courtyard next to the former power station shortly after 7pm on Thursday and alerted the fire brigade. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, with no injuries reported. A 30-year-old man who was found in the area was arrested, according to reports by police today.