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#26: New corona rules, Grüne Woche, cannibal case, Tempelhof cinema
and kids can soon get vaxxed at Tegel plus a bit on marzipan because it's almost Christmas.
Happy Black Friday!
I never liked the consumerist Black Friday when I lived in the US and was disappointed to see it cross the pond but this morning realized that makes me a hypocrite. For over a decade I’ve been whining about how Germany won’t let me have dual citizenship without some linguistic gymnastics (ergo: lying) or by benefiting from the surprising capriciousness of German bureaucrats. After decades here, Germany has become as much my home as the US - and I feel entitled to the right to vote and to use the short line at airport immigration every time I fly back.
The argument I most often use to bolster my dual citizenship claim is that the world is changing, and many of us feel allegiances to more than one country. Dual citizenship is a sign of the times. And Germany’s incoming coalition seems to agree, promising to make dual citizenship - and German citizenship in general - easier to get.
But those world changes also include things like German retailers wanting in on the hype of Black Friday even though the country doesn’t have the Thanksgiving that necessarily precedes it. So I guess if I can have my dual citizenship, Saturn, Snipes and Lidl can have their Black Friday.
But I’m still going to complain about it.
Have a good weekend,
The Berlin corona stats for Friday, November 26
Fully vaccinated: 68.9% (68.6% Tuesday)
New cases in one day: +2,843 (3,262 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 3,814 (+30 over Tuesday)
🔴 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,000): 357 (349 Tuesday)
🟢 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 4.0 (3.8 Tuesday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 19.4% (18.7% Tuesday)
* Friday’s figures do not include Neukölln because of changes to the borough’s reporting.
Source: Berlin’s corona information page
New corona rules starting tomorrow
Only the vaccinated or recently recovered - known as 2G - will have access to most areas of public life starting Saturday with unvaccinated people barred from nearly everything except public transport, medical care, grocery stores and pharmacies.
Public transport: 3G and the unvaccinated must have a test no older than 24 hours (effective since Wednesday).
Retail: 2G plus masks with the exception of grocery stores and pharmacies, which are open to all.
Clubs: 2G plus a test and can only operate at 50 percent capacity.
Gyms: 2G plus social distancing or a test (up to management).
Bars/restaurants: 2G plus masks except when seated.
Personal services (salons, massage, brothels): 2G and either a mask or a test (decision made by management).
Hotels: 2G plus masks.
Our coalition is ready too
With Germany’s future coalition now in writing, Berlin’s new left-leaning SPD-Grüne-Linke coalition wants to present its own contract Monday. They’ve already said they want to make teachers tenured government employees starting in 2023 (a key problem in recruiting educators), buy up to 60 new speed cameras (it currently has 58, according to Berliner Zeitung), not build at Tempelhof airport for the next five years and appoint a year-long commission to determine how to best implement a citizen referendum to force big landlords to sell significant portions of their portfolios to the city (Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen).
Preparations for kids’ vaccinations underway
Berlin is preparing a vaccination area for children at the former Tegel airport amid expectations the country’s vaccination commission will recommend jabs for young minors by the end of the year, the Morgenpost reported. The European Medicines Agency Thursday approved Biontech/Pfizer for kids over five, opening the door to getting the little ones vaccinated and offering potential relief to parents who’ve been shielding their kids as much as possible for nearly two years.
Cannibal case to end in December
A judge is expected to rule on the murder trial of Stefan R. Dec. 22 after a Berlin court extended the case by three days - it was supposed to be complete in November. The 42-year-old teacher is accused of killing and dismembering a 43-year-old man last September after meeting online. The case caught international media attention because of a similar murder that led to the conviction of Armin W by a central German court in 2004. In the current case, the suspect said the victim died unexpectedly on his couch. He then panicked, dismembered the body and spread it around town, according to the Morgenpost. A leg bone was first discovered by people walking their dog in a Pankow park. A Charité pathologist reportedly countered the claim, saying the victim died of a wound to a key artery and may have been knocked unconscious by the drug GHB.
Election hiccups may lead to new elections
Voters in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Marzahn-Hellersdorf may have to revote in the spring after mistakes in September’s elections may have affected the distribution of seats in Berlin’s parliament. Local officials last week asked the city-state’s highest court to determine if the troubles, which include the distribution of the wrong ballots as well as unreliable opening hours, led to the election of the wrong politicians for Berlin’s Abgeordnetenhaus. Federal officials have also asked the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, to review the issues in Berlin’s polling places but local officials say that while the problems were serious, replacement federal elections aren’t necessary because they didn’t ultimately affect who was elected.
Check in for flicks at Tempelhof
Everyone’s favourite former airport has reinvented itself yet again. Through December, Flughafen Tempelhof’s main hall will serve as a 300-seat cinema. The program ranges from Berlin classics Himmel über Berlin and Die Legende von Paul und Paula to more mainstream movies like Die Hard and The Breakfast Club. Most films are in German though many English-language offerings are OmU (original language with subtitles). Each week is themed - from First Love to Life on Earth to Season’s Greetings. You can book tickets here and, who knows, this may just become more than a pop-up (it’s 2G, btw).
Bands, DJs, latkes
Collage Collective's annual Hanukkah party returns November 28 at Marie Antoinette (2G+!). The party is focused on Berlin songs and will include live performances from a number of acts including Slipper (photo), Adventure Team, Drunk at Your Wedding and Matching. Tickets €8 to €12 with profits going to Drogennotdienst. Details!