Teachers to be invited for jabs, majority of over-80s vaccinated, GP Covid tests for teachers
Teachers and childcare workers in Berlin will begin to receive Covid-19 vaccines as early as next week after the federal government adjusted Germany’s vaccine timetable to give school employees quicker access to jabs. By the end of next week, the Senat is hoping to administer 45,000 vaccines a day to the city’s Kita staff, childminders and teachers working in special schools. Under the plans, primary school employees will then receive their invitations followed by high school teachers.
The vast majority of people over the age of 80 in Berlin have been vaccinated, the health senator Dilek Kalayci has announced, with the city now moving to invite the over-70s for injections. Speaking to the Abgeordnetenhaus yesterday, Kalayci said that more than 75,000 in the 70+ group will receive a vaccine notification over the coming days. “This will mean we have invited all 79-, 78- and 77-year-olds by Tuesday,” she said. Chronically ill people over the age of 65 will also be sent the necessary code in the post allowing them to book a first jab.
From today Berlin’s teachers and childcare workers will be able to get free Covid-19 tests from doctors after the Senat’s education administration came to an agreement with health insurance providers. The tests, which will initially be offered until March 11, are intended as a stopgap whilst on-site testing is rolled out in schools. Those who qualify will be entitled to as many as two tests a week at 200 approved GP surgeries in Berlin.
Police raid Islamist-linked properties, suspect charged in Neukölln violence case, bid launched to nationalise housing
Police raided multiple addresses yesterday as part of a major operation to enforce a ban on a Berlin-based Islamist group. 26 properties linked to 19 members of the “Tauhid Berlin” group were searched during the operation, though no arrests were made. Speaking at a press conference announcing the ban yesterday, Berlin interior senator Andreas Geisel said the Islamic State-aligned group sought to establish Sharia law in Germany and was “clearly antisemitic”. A total of 850 officers were deployed in the citywide raids.
One of the main suspects in an investigation into politically-motivated violence in Neukölln is to face new charges, it was reported yesterday. Sebastian T was released from custody in January after prosecutors failed to bring sufficient evidence to prove his involvement in the attacks but will now be charged for a second time in connection with right-wing extremist graffiti. The 34-year-old is suspected by police of having been involved in 72 offences against left-wing figures in Neukölln, including arson and threats of violence committed between 2016 and 2018.
A campaign for the transfer of privately-owned housing into public ownership was launched today in the first step towards a referendum on the issue. Housing group “Deutsche Wohnen und Co. enteignen” – named after one of Germany’s biggest for-profit landlords – is hoping to gain the necessary 170,000 signatures in support of its proposal to seize property from private real estate firms in order to reduce rents. If successful, a public vote could be held alongside nationwide elections this September, though so far the initiative has only gained political support from the Left Party.