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  • Daily Berlin news update: Wednesday, August 12


Daily Berlin news update: Wednesday, August 12

New jump in Covid-19 infections, seven schools report outbreaks, police officer faces charges over xenophobic attack, and the Senat tightens rules on international buses.

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Fresh jump in Covid-19 infections, seven schools report cases, airport Corona rate rises

This week has seen renewed growth in the number of daily coronavirus infections, with 125 cases reported on Wednesday following 111 new infections on Tuesday. These are some of the largest jumps in months and bring the number of active Covid-19 cases to 663. The city’s Corona traffic lights remain on green, however.

Seven Berlin schools have already reported coronavirus infections following the return of pupils for the start of term on Monday. Quarantine measures for staff and students have been introduced after outbreaks at the following schools: Heinz-Berggruen-Gymnasium in Westend, Anna-Essinger-Geminschaftsschule in Lichterfelde, Karl-Weise-Schule in Neukölln, Evangelisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in Schmargendorf and the Gustav-Freytag-Oberschule and Max-Beckmann-Oberschule in Reinickendorf.

Of the 3167 inbound passengers tested for Covid-19 at Schönefeld airport 2.2 percent tested positive, according to the Brandenburg health authorities. Previously, the rate of positive cases detected at test stations at Tegel and Schönefeld airports had been around one percent, suggesting a rise in the number of passengers arriving with Corona infections. Passengers testing positive are required to go into a two-week quarantine period.

Police officer facing charges over xenophobic attack, Mitte mayor calls for Späti booze ban

A police officer responsible for investigating right-wing extremism is facing a criminal investigation following allegations that he assulted an Afghan man three years ago in what is thought to be a xenophobic attack. The officer, who is still on duty, is accused by the Tiergarten District Court of causing bodily injury to the man at Karlshorst S-Bahn station following a football match on April 5, 2017. Investigations at the time suspected the officer of having committed “assault and insult with xenophobic cause” but enquires stopped after the victim left the country.

The district mayor of Mitte has today called for restrictions on the sale of alcohol by Spätis. Stephan von Dassel (Greens) said the measure would help to prevent the spread of Corona and pointed to a recent ban on alcohol sales in certain parts of Hamburg. “The experiences from Hamburg are very positive,” von Dassel told RBB Inforadio this morning. The Green politician believes that kiosks drive drinking away from supposedly controlled areas like restaurants and bars and onto the streets, and is also calling for a stricter approach to public drinking by the Ordnungsamt.

New restrictions on international coaches, firefighters get electric car training

Coaches arriving in Berlin from overseas will soon only be able to stop at the Central Bus Station (ZOB) to ensure that all passengers who are required to get a Corona test do so. Since last week coach passengers arriving from risk zones have been able to get tested at a Red Cross test centre at the bus station. Announcing the change yesterday, Culture Senator Klaus Lederer highlighted the need to catch infections carried by returning holidaymakers. “50 percent of new infections are brought in from abroad,” the Left Party politician said.

Brandenburg’s fire service is to introduce new equipment and training to enable crews to better tackle electric car fires after a 19-year-old Potsdam woman was burnt to death in her vehicle last month. In the first such accident in Brandenburg, the young driver crashed her Audi Q1 e-tron into a tree, causing the vehicle to burst into flames. Firefighters arrived but had difficulty extinguishing the flames due to the huge amount of heat produced by the vehicle’s damaged battery.