Berlin updates Covid rules on who can visit public places

The German capital will ban people who have yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 from a host of indoor public venues in an effort to slow a surge in infections as the winter draws near.

In a press release on Wednesday evening, the Berlin senate said it would be introducing a system known as “2G” – a protocol that makes it mandatory for people to be vaccinated, have recovered from the virus, or have tested negative in the past 24 hours, before entering certain venues. 

The edict will apply to indoor dining, bars, gyms and hairdressers, as well as leisure facilities across the city-state. Theaters, museums and outdoor events with more than 2,000 visitors such as football games will also become off-limits.

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© AFP / Leonid Shcheglov
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The 2G rules will not apply to those under the age of 18 or those who cannot be vaccinated. However, the latter must provide a negative test and provide proof that they cannot be inoculated. 

The new rules are in response to “the rising number of coronavirus cases and the increasing pressure on intensive care units,” the Berlin senate said in a statement.

Firms are also encouraged to make employees work from home and suggest workplaces should not operate above 50% capacity. The statement also adds that hospital staff working close to patients must be vaccinated, recovered, or tested daily.

The 2G rules will be in place for an initial two weeks, running until November 28.

Germany recorded more than 50,000 cases on Thursday, the highest the country has registered in a single day, according to the Robert Koch Institute. 

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