Berlin News

Berlin news update: Wednesday, November 18

Thousands protest lockdown laws, locations of vaccination centres revealed, police raid celebrity chef’s apartment, Mask become compulsory in secondary schools and DHL tests mobile packstations.

Article image for Berlin news update: Wednesday, November 18

Thousands protest lockdown laws, locations of vaccination centres revealed, police raid celebrity chef’s apartment 

An estimated 8,000 people demonstrated across Berlin against the government’s plan to strengthen the current coronavirus restrictions. Around 190 protestors were arrested near Brandenburger Tor, while politicians at the nearby Bundestag passed the first stage of proposed changes to Germany’s Infection Protection Act. Throughout the day, police used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse protestors, who banged on pots and pans and allegedly attacked police with bottles, stones and firecrackers. 

The locations of Berlin’s six planned vaccination centres have been announced. By mid-December, centres at Messe, Tegel Airport, Tempelhof, Velodrom and Arena should be ready for use. Each location will also run its own mobile vaccine unit for patients unable to travel to their closest centre. Health Senator Dilek Kolat (SPD) has said that up to 400,000 people will be injected during the first wave of vaccinations in Berlin. So far, no vaccine has been approved.  

The apartment of celebrity chef and right-wing figurehead Attila Hildmann was searched by police on Monday, as Berliner Zeitung reports. His Cottbus, Brandenburg flat was targeted “for the purpose of averting danger”, no doubt partly thanks to his regular voicing of right-wing conspiracy theories, which he sent to his more than 117,000 Telegram followers ahead of today’s protests. Hildmann later claimed that the search made him a “politically persecuted person”. Police say they confiscated laptops and mobile phones.

Mask become compulsory in secondary schools, DHL tests mobile packstations

From today, all secondary school students will be required to wear masks in class and on school grounds. Until now, only schools in risk regions were required to enforce masks in the classroom. Additionally, the start of the first classes will be spread over two hours to reduce the amount of students on public transport in the mornings. “The number of infections has continued to rise, especially in the 15 to 19-year-old age group,” a statement from the Senat read. In the past week, almost 500,000 masks have been delivered to schools by authorities.

Over the coming months, DHL will experiment with mobile parcel collection depots. The Germany-wide project will use a fleet of “Packet Buses” to help with the increased demand expected over Christmas, and will allow customers to drop off and collect parcels in open-air settings, reducing the risk of coronavirus infections. The Federal Association of Parcel and Express Logistics predicts that at least 420 million parcels will be delivered across November and December.