• Berlin
  • Daily Berlin news update: Wednesday, September 30

Berlin

Daily Berlin news update: Wednesday, September 30

New restrictions on private gatherings, masks become compulsory in offices, price increase for public transport, fire department tests electric vehicle and Tegel reopens observation deck for final goodbye.

Image for Daily Berlin news update: Wednesday, September 30

New restrictions on private gatherings, masks become compulsory in offices

The Senat has announced a new set of rules aimed at curbing the new wave of coronavirus infections in Berlin. From this Saturday, October 3, Indoor private gatherings may only host up to 25 guests, while outdoor gatherings have a limit of 50 attendees. The steps go beyond the regulations announced by the federal government, which only imposed restrictions on areas that register more than 35 infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. As of Tuesday, Berlin had 28.9. “We are reacting earlier than the federal government,” Senator Ramona Pop (Greens) said. “We think it’s essential to do it now and not to wait a few more days to see how things develop”.    

From Saturday, October 3, masks will be compulsory in office spaces, the Senat has decided. Senator Ramona Pop (Greens) said masks must be worn in corridors, on walkways between workstations or in elevators, but not when workers are seated at their desks. The new rule has been criticised by a number of politicians, including Wolfgang Albers (Left), who warned against panic.

Price increase for public transport, fire department tests electric vehicle, Tegel reopens observation deck for final goodbye

A price hike for public transport has been confirmed for 2021. The Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB) announced that single and day tickets will be the most affected, increasing from €2.9 to €3 and €8.60 to €8.80, respectively. It’s not all bad news, though. Day tickets will be valid for a full 24 hours, rather than ending at 3am the next day.

The Berlin Fire Department is testing one of the world’s first electric fire engines. Rosenbauer, the Austrian company behind the new truck, says the project has been over two years in the making, and is powered by a Volvo Penta engine. The new vehicle will be tested at several fire stations throughout Berlin over the coming year, and if successful, could be fully integrated in 2022. “We are entering new territory,” says state fire director Karsten Homrighausen.  

Plane spotters have one last chance to visit Tegel’s observation deck. With the airport set to close on November 8, authorities are reopening the deck from October 3, so plane geeks can once again catch take-offs and landings up close. There will be space for a total of 900 people each day, and those interested must register online at www.danketegel.berlin. Each visit will last one hour.