Berlin goes beyond federal-state agreements: those who want to ride buses and trains need an FFP2 mask, 2G-Plus is coming not only in the catering industry.
In view of the sharp rise in the number of infections due to the Omikron variant, the Berlin Senate decided on Tuesday to tighten the Corona rules. As of Saturday, 15. January, mandatory FFP2 mask to be worn in buses and trains. In addition, a 2G-Plus regulation will be introduced for restaurants, cultural and sporting events.
"We want restaurants to be able to stay open. We have a lot of people sitting there together. We have therefore taken this step today for protection", said the Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) in the usual press conference after the Senate meeting.
Berlin is thus implementing the decisions of the Minister Presidents’ Conference (MPK) last Friday. In some cases, however, the Senate is going above and beyond what the federal and state governments have agreed to.
In Berlin, the seven-day incidence had climbed to a new high of 737.2 on Tuesday. After Bremen, the capital is thus the state with the second highest value in Germany.
FFP2 mask obligation in local transport
Who in Berlin public transport who wants to use the "Berlinpass", must from Saturday no longer only a simple medical mask, but a FFP2 mask carry better protection. Federal and state governments had not decided on FFP2 obligation. They merely agreed on an urgent recommendation to wear only such masks when shopping or in means of transport.
To those in need, the country plans to distribute in the next few days 1.4 million FFP2 masks free of charge issue. According to the social administration, they are to be distributed through the districts, the homeless assistance and refugee shelters. Berliners with a "Berlinpass" will be entitled to the following, recipients of social welfare and basic income support, have. Bafog recipients as well as trainees, who receive training assistance, can pick up themselves accordingly free FFP2-Masken. All this is to be done without bureaucracy.
2G-Plus in restaurants and at events
Also the 2G-Plus regulation The 2G regulation goes further than the federal and state governments have decided Visiting restaurants, pubs and other catering establishments also the attendance of cultural, recreational and sporting events as well as any other Events in closed rooms a.
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2G plus applies from ten participants. Access will only be granted to those who can show a daily test result in addition to vaccination or recovery (2G). Those who have received a booster vaccination do not need to take a test. Exempt from the regulation are Children under 14. Also not affected is private sports practice in clubs or fitness studios, as Health Senator Ulrike Gote (Greens) emphasized.
In the area of culture, all events with 200 or more visitors have already been subject to compulsory testing in addition to the 2G regulation. So here the picture is mixed: It now applies to ten or more people, which is a tightening – but boostered people will be exempt in the future, so that means a loosening for them.
Another resolution: In the area of vocational training a negative test result will henceforth be required at every point-of-sale event.
Giffey does not rule out FFP2 obligation for retail trade
A Relief the senate decided for small retail shops. This affects stores up to 100 square meters. In future, they will no longer have to check the 2G certificate directly at the entrance, but only "without delay after entering the store. Giffey explained this is to spare shopkeepers who are alone in the store from always having to stand at the entrance.
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Overall, the retail sector remains exempt from both the 2G-plus regulation and an FFP2 mask requirement. Giffey did not exclude, however, to extend the FFP2 mask obligation also to the retail trade, if the pandemic situation should worsen further. Until now, a simple medical mask has been sufficient in stores.
More on the pandemic in Berlin at Tagesspiegel Plus:
- "It’s because of assholes like you that I had myself vaccinated!":13 Scenes from the daily mask theater on buses and trains in Berlin
- Governing mayor interview:Have the situation under control, Ms. Giffey?
- Berlin’s health senator in an interview:"Compulsory vaccination can also pacify a heated debate"
Quarantine shortening: first the Bundesrat decides
The Senate has not yet decided on the Shortening of quarantine periods, which the MPK had agreed upon in its resolution. These are intended to help ensure that the critical infrastructure can continue to work, even in the event of high numbers of infections. These might include health care, police and fire departments, energy or water providers.
Plans are to exempt contacts of Corona-infected people from quarantine in the future if they are boostered, newly double-vaccinated, vaccinated and recovered or newly recovered. A period of up to three months is considered "recent". For all others, isolation or quarantine should generally end after ten days unless they "freite" before then. That goes after seven days.
Gote explained, however, that a federal regulation must first be created. The Federal Council is to decide on Friday. The Senate could then pass a resolution next Tuesday, so that the reduction from Saturday, 22. January, could come into effect.
Resolutions at federal-state summit 2G Plus in catering and shorter quarantine coming
However, the Senate has already reached an agreement that health departments should in individual cases can nevertheless make decisions for quarantine and isolation that differ from the current regulation.