Germany gets new lockdown, outdoor mask rule expanded
From Monday, November 2, Berlin will enter a new lockdown. Bars, restaurants, theatres, gyms and sports halls will close until at least the end of November, and only two seperate households can meet in public. The decision was made on a conference call between Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s 16 states. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn said the lockdown was necessary “before it is too late”, and follows a steep spike in coronavirus infections, with a new record of almost 15,000 today. Schools and nurseries will remain open when possible.
Compulsory outdoor mask use has been expanded to an extra 23 streets and locations. Mitte and Neukölln, both areas with high rates of infection, have been particularly targeted, with Alexanderplatz, Sonnenallee, Kottbusser Tor and Hermannplatz are among the locations added in the latest round. The rule only applies to pedestrians, so cyclists are exempt from wearing masks.
Events industry protests again, top Berlin rapper gets Covid and right-wing extremist’s Neukölln stunt blocked.
Hundreds of representatives from the events industry demonstrated for more financial support from the government. Under the banner #OnFire, a collection of trucks, vans and cars drove from Olympic Stadium to Brandenburger Tor to raise awareness for their field, which contributes €130 billion to the national economy. High—profile musicians like Roland Kaiser, Dieter Hallervorden and Campino gave speeches calling on the government to do more to support the live events industry.
The criminal trial of alleged criminal boss Arafat Abou-Chaker has been postponed after rapper Bushido, a plaintiff in the trial, tested positive for the coronavirus. One of Germany’s top rappers, Bushido was a joint plaintiff in a trial involving kidnap, blackmail and fraud against his former manager. “Take the matter seriously and pay attention to your fellow human beings,” Bushido wrote on Instagram when announcing the diagnosis.
On Tuesday Danish right-wing extremist Rasmus Paludan was blocked from entering Berlin, where had planned a stunt on Neukölln’s Sonnenallee. After flying into Tegel Airport, he was stopped from disembarking by immigration authorities and flew back to Copenhagen later that afternoon. Paludan has a long history of Islamophobic stunts, and has previously been barred from entering Sweden.