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#6: 3G vs 2G, scooter chaos, healthcare strike, Berlin stays lefty?
A battle over whether kids were included in the new 2G/3G rules forced Berlin politicians back to work this week. Kids are excluded, if they test negative.
Well, say good-bye to the sun until, like, April. Not the best summer, but not the worst either.
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See you Tuesday,
Andrew & Maurice
Berlin corona stats for Friday, September 17
Fully vaccinated: 62.6% (62.2% Tuesday)
New cases in one day: 492 (761 Tuesday)
Total deaths: 3,615 (+8 over Tuesday)
🟡 7-day Covid-19 incidence (cases per 100,00): 83.4 (85.2 Tuesday)
🟢 7-day hospitalization incidence (also per 100,000): 1.9 (1.4 Tuesday)
🟡 Covid-19 ICU patient occupancy: 7.6% (7.4% Tuesday)
Berlin’s corona information page
Entry rules so complicated you have to be German to understand them
After a court earlier this month ruled that Berlin’s clubs have to open but only to those vaccinated or recovered from a corona infection (known as 2G), politicians this week added brothels and steam saunas in the nation’s capital to that 2G list. No masks or social distancing required. Meanwhile, dry saunas, bars and restaurants, hotels, museums and gyms can decide whether to adhere to 2G rules or allow tested customers as well (3G). Grooming services can also decide between 2G and 3G. Businesses can opt to vary - Monday 3G, Tuesday 2G, for example - but can’t just offer one area for 2G and another for 3G. The new regulatory gridwork goes into effect Saturday.
Healthcare strike widens
Workers at a medical laboratory run by the Berlin-owned Vivantes and Charité hospitals joined an eight-day old strike of care and service personnel at the hospitals for one day Friday, according to the Tagesspiegel. The lab workers, who perform 60 million tests each year, want management to follow national labor agreeements. Hospital brass said they can’t afford to. The care and service personnel want a new emergency shift agreement and Berlin politicians this week sided with the workers but also noted that pay is set nationally. Local politicians have little influence though they oversee hospital operations.
And that other strike?
The GDL train driver union and Deutsche Bahn Thursday reached an agreement, eliminating the possibility of further strikes hitting the Ringbahn - for now. For those keeping score, the GDL got a 3.3% wage increase through March 2023 and a €1,000 corona bonus.
The answer to scooter chaos?
The city-state Thursday passed a new law identifying electric scooters, cars and e-kick-scooters provided for short-term rentals as a “special use”, giving agencies the authority to license providers. Officials can now deny licenses, levvy fees and place special requirements - such as where to park vehicles - on licenses. Electric kick scooters have increasingly become the target of criticism as they often clog sidewalks and riders are sometimes … inconsiderate. Newswire dpa said Berlin last year had 6,000 cars, 16,000 kick scooters and 14,000 bikes for short-term rent on its streets.
The local election - Berlin stays red-red-green?
The latest poll on the election of Berlin’s parliament - the Abgeordnetenhaus - shows little may change. The current coalition of the left-leaning SPD, leftist Die Linke and environmentalist Die Grüne would have a 53% majority. The more-right coalition preferred by Franziska Giffey (SPD) - likely Berlin’s next mayor - of the business-friendly FDP, conservative CDU and SPD would have just a 46% minority and be unable to govern.
One-third (1.3 million) of Berlin’s 3.7 million residents can’t vote in the September 26 state and national elections including 789,000 without German passports (the 20%!), followed by kids and people who have had their right to vote rescinded, such as convicted felons.
Hoch die Hände Wochenende!