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LIFE @BERLIN resumed after Covid-19 Lockdown


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

After almost 2 months of Lockdown due to Covid-19, life at Berlin, Germany slowly got resumed. Happy to see kinds playing in the community parks, able to feel the fresh breeze and so delightful to see the trees colouring  themselves in green after almost 5 months. 

States across Germany are deciding how they will relax lockdown restrictions while trying to control the spread of coronavirus. Here’s what to know about Berlin’s latest regulations.

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One of the best things about the German lockdown is that there’s never been a restriction on leaving the house for some fresh air. The shops in Berlin are finally open again.  I head into the city centre and find myself stuck in a serious traffic jam. When I finally make it, there’s a feeling of euphoria on the streets. 

Face masks are going to be compulsory from on public transport from next week but there’s a shortage of the proper, medical ones, and they can’t be reused anyway, so people are advised to sew their own “everyday masks”.Some are wearing masks but many are not. But most stick to the social distancing guidelines. There are queues to get inside the shops but it’s all good-natured.

When restrictions are relaxed in the Germany, normal life will not return immediately, and the government is expected to introduce new guidelines for an indeterminate period of time.

Here are some of the changes various industries are preparing to put in place

Transport: Transport system in Berlin has introduced boarding on buses via the middle doors only in order to protect drivers. Companies may ask their employees to begin and end work at different times to avoid putting the transport network under pressure during rush hour, or to alternate days working at home.

Leopoltzplatz

Schools and universities: Schools can open in Berlin from April 27th, provided that the hygiene rules are in place. Schools will open gradually and the local authorities are putting together more information on how this will happen safely. School trips will not be allowed. The Berlin Senate is also planning to bring Kita care back in phased stages, with single parents being entitled to care for their children from Monday April 27th.

Offices: When companies reopen their workspaces, managing movement in offices will be key. The majority of companies will have to implement physical distancing, keeping workers and customers more than two metres apart from each other. Wearing face masks in certain indoor workplaces may also be compulsory.  

Retail: Supermarkets, grocers and other essential retailers that have remained open during the lockdown introduced safety measures to keep shoppers and staff apart, including plastic screens at checkouts, limiting the number of shoppers allowed inside, and floor markings to keep shoppers apart. As restrictions are lifted, similar measures are expected to be introduced in other high street stores.

Restaurants and bars closed: Restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes and clubs will remain closed for the time being – in both Berlin as well as in neighbouring state Brandenburg. Hotels are also not allowed to reopen to tourists, in line with Germany-wide recommendations. Commercial excursions and tours are not allowed. Restaurants are able to offer takeaway as is the case currently.

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Hairdressing salons: Hairdressers can reopen from May 4th, in line with Germany-wide recommendations. Strict hygiene measures must be in place. Beauty salons, tattoo studios and similar venues are not allowed to open.

Food and hospitality: All major food chains, Burger King, Mc Donalds , Dominos etc have reopened a limited number of outlets for delivery or takeaway, after introducing safety measures for their employees. Food Stores says it has given its staff masks and gloves and training on maintaining distance from each other.

Museums and libraries: Museums, memorials, non-commercial galleries and similar educational institutions in public and private ownership can reopen from May 4th, provided that hygiene rules are observed. Public libraries may be opened for lending from May 4th, also with safety measures in place.

Sport: Golf could be the first sport to return after the PGA Tour announced plans for four events to take place without spectators from 11 June.  In football, Germany’s top division, the Bundesliga, could resume behind closed doors as early as May after players there returned to training a fortnight ago, but most other leagues remain suspended indefinitely.

BerlinEvents: Events with more than 1,000 people are banned until August 31st, in line with Germany-wide restrictions. Theatres and other performance venues such as operas and concert halls remain closed until July 31st, the end of the season. Large events with more than 5,000 participants will remain prohibited until October 24th. The Berlin Marathon, which last year brought in more than 47,000 participants from around the world, will be cancelled.

Here’s an overview of the draft plan:

  • Initially after the lockdown, some retailers and restaurants could reopen
  • In certain regions, schools could also reopen
  • Major events and private parties are to remain banned for a longer period of time
  • To prevent a renewed rise in coronavirus infections, the paper recommends making it compulsory to wear protective masks in buses, trains, factories and other buildings
  • There would be rapid tracing of infection chains, with infected people having to quarantine at home or in hotels

References: lacal.de, telegram, Brussels Times & Irish Times

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

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