Lockdown officially extended, shops threaten to defy rules, Berlin unemployment rising again
It’s official: Germany’s nationwide lockdown has been extended until January 31, with some additional tighter regulations. After consultations between the 16 state leaders and Chancellor Angela Merkel, the entire country will implement updated rules, including limiting private meetings, new regulations for travellers arriving from high-risk areas and restricted travel from zones deemed Corona hotspots (an incident rate of 200 cases per 100,000 residents over seven days – Berlin is currently below that number). Daycares and schools will also largely remain closed until the end of the month. Read our full roundup of the updated rules here.
To open or not to open: despite the extended lockdown, some shop owners and local businesses are pushing to reopen their doors to customers on January 11. Many retailers are resentful of the extended closures after almost a year of disruption and have organised under the Twitter hashtag #WirMachenAuf (“we’re opening”). Although offenders face fines of €5,000, some argue that this would only match the financial damage of remaining shut. The angry retailers are using the chat platform Telegram, where a dedicated group already has gathered over 56,000 members.
New unemployment figures for Berlin have shown that at least 52,000 jobs have been lost since the pandemic began. Following a period of job growth between September and November, unemployment slightly rose to 10.1% in December. As Berliner Zeitung reports, there were a total 202,388 people registered as unemployed in the city in December, a figure 35% higher than the same period in 2019. Due to ongoing lockdown, workers in the tourism, hospitality and retail industries are the most affected.
Christmas tree collection days announced, Exberliner sold to Tip Berlin Media Group
Yep, the holidays are officially over. The Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) has announced the dates they will be collecting disused Christmas trees over the coming weeks. The full list is online at berlin.de, and pickups will run between Thursday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 20. The BSR requests that all trees left on the street are completely deconstructed and not wrapped in a plastic bag. They must be placed on the curb by 6am on the day of collection – or, if you’re organised, the evening before.
And finally, some news from our office. After nearly two decades sailing solo on the local publishing business, we’ll now be flying the flag of Tip Berlin Media Group, the company that’s been running city magazine tip Berlin (and previously Zitty) for over 50 years now. Read a full update from editor-in-chief Nadja Vancauwenberghe.