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  • Daily Berlin Corona update: Wednesday, May 6

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Daily Berlin Corona update: Wednesday, May 6

Federal government extends contact restrictions but tones them down, restaurants might open as soon as next week, Kreuzberg veggie chef leads demonstration against anti-Corona measures and more.

Image for Daily Berlin Corona update: Wednesday, May 6

As of Wednesday night, the officially confirmed number of Corona infections in Berlin lies at 6143.

  • There are 6143 confirmed cases in Berlin.
  • So far, 5296 people have been declared recovered from Covid-19.
  • Of those infected, 3040 are male, 3095 are female. Eight did not specify their gender.
  • 495 people are currently in hospital as a result of the virus, 141 are in intensive care.
  • The total number of casualties lies at 162, 12 of them were under 60 years of age. The average age of the deceased was 81.

Lockdown latest: Opening dates for restaurants and hotels, contact ban extended

We may be exiting lockdown step-by-step, but Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has warned that we’ve only seen “the very first phase” of the pandemic. The 1.5m distance between people remains compulsory, as is wearing masks in shops and on public transport. The contact restriction will be kept in place but toned down slightly: where people were only allowed to meet one other person from another household at a time, now several members of two households can meet.

In other news, the DPA has information (they always do) that suggests Berlin and Brandenburg want to allow restaurants to reopen on May 15 – that’s right, next week! – and that this will include indoor and outdoor seating (but with a limited number of customers per table). Apparently May 25 is being discussed for hotels. Commerce Senator Ramona Pop (Greens) has not confirmed the rumours, but said the Senat was looking into facilitating procedures for restaurants, cafés and bars to get more outdoor space, perhaps on streets or car parks. She said no specifics had been agreed on so far.

Another result of today’s federal conference has to do with the already much-discussed Corona app: According to the closing report, the app is going to be open source, not compulsory and will not record movement profiles, but only store anonymized information of nearby app users of the past three weeks locally on the phone. The whole idea is called ‘contact tracing’ and is supposed to make it possible for users to get notified if they have been in touch with a confirmed Corona case.

Meanwhile, outside the Bundestag, more than 100 people gathered to protest against the anti-Corona measures. They carried banners exclaiming “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the people) and participants included fans of leftist punk band Feine Sahne Fischfilet as well as known Reichsbürger and Neo-Nazis. The initiator of this ‘diverse’ action: vegan chef Attila Hildmann! According to the Tagesspiegel he has voiced concerns about Bill Gates and Angela Merkel joining forces to fulfil an eugenics programme and said on Facebook that he will be going underground as he was fearing assassination. Has someone had one too many veggie burgers?

Real estate market relaxes, kita problems in the east and Tesla has to wait

Will the Corona crisis put an end to the city’s ever-growing real estate bubble? At least the bankers of BerlinHyp predict that the recession and unemployment will recalibrate the market, a decreasing demand will result in prices and rent growing much slower. They still think that – surprise, surprise – flats will remain one of the most stable segments in real estate.

The pandemic has put the breaks on the new Tesla electric car factory in Brandenburg’s Grünheide. A new date must be found for the public debate on the 370 complaints against construction on the site. Until then, authorities are looking into whether the foundation can be put down already. Brandenburg Commerce Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) has praised the “creative” company and said he is certain the first cars will be produced there next year. Doesn’t sound like he’s keen on hearing about those 370 complaints, does it?

Marzahn-Hellersdorf is reporting an oncoming emergency for the district’s emergency child care. “Our kitas will soon be full,” counsellor for family matters Gordon Lemm (SPD) told the Tagesspiegel. He said that kindergartens were currently only operating at 35 to 50 percent. Lemm presented the problem to the Senat, who will now have to restrict the circle of eligible families, reduce the hours of care per child or find another solution to take pressure off the kitas while trying to also help out parents. 

Berlin snapshots: Opera online, museum offline, buddhist nuns on duty

Berliners can currently enjoy more cultural offers every day: The Staatsoper Berlin is kicking off a new series of streams to show on their site every Friday night at 7pm, conductor Daniel Barenboim and intendant Matthias Schulz have announced. This week’s opening concert will be given by the Staatskapelle chamber orchestra to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2. For an offline experience, Potsdam’s Museum Barberini has reopened today with Monet.Orte, presenting works of the French impressionist. The first batch of tickets has sold out, but the museum has promised more will be available online soon.

As more Berlin institutions come back to life, Spandau’s Corona testing centre is closing down. According to Harald Matthes, the Kladow Havelhöhe clinic’s boss, this is due to a drastically decreased demand. Where they used to test 3400 Berliners per week, they now only get around 30 per day. According to a clinic spokesperson, the centre could reopen any time, should a second infection wave hit. Moreover, 49 currently unused beds with respirators will be kept for Corona patients.

More Spandau news: Not only has the district’s town hall given out 11,800 free masks since last week, they also have a battalion of Vietnamese Buddhist nuns sewing masks to give away around their temple (located next to Ikea) and local schools. So far the Linh Thuu congregation’s 20 nuns have produced 3000 Alltagsmasken!