In recent months, you contributed to a significant decrease in the number of Covid-19 infections with your considerate behaviour and responsible actions. Most of you followed all the rules, and good hygiene concepts were developed and implemented in restaurants and at sport and cultural events. This meant we were able to regain some freedom and a bit of normality in the summer. For that I am very grateful to you.
But now the number of infections due to multiple contacts has risen again to an extent that worries us all: We can see this in particular in the occupancy rates in the hospitals and our intensive care beds.
Even though it was difficult for us to decide on restrictions again, we had to react quickly to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. All the federal states’ heads of government and the Chancellor have therefore agreed to restrict a large part of public life in order to at least stabilise the infection figures by the end of November.
In short, this means: Avoid contact as much as possible. After all, reducing contacts means preventing infections. In the spring, we showed that we can achieve a lot together. I’m sure we will be able to do that again.
However, we have learned a lot from the experiences of the spring for our measures in Berlin: Many shops, for example, will remain open, as will the zoo and libraries – even if some of them have stricter hygiene and distance rules.
But what was especially important to me: we will keep schools and daycare centres open. I want our children to continue learning, but above all, we must consider the social consequences. Our children need opportunities for development, they need their friends. In order to give them that, we have to limit ourselves more in other areas of life. I’m sure we will all be willing to do so. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many teachers and educators who are once again facing particular challenges in this difficult time.
Dear Berliners, respect, responsibility and solidarity should be a matter of course for us in the following autumn and winter months. Even though there is now a justified hope for a vaccine, it will likely take months until it is available for a large number of people. That is why we must continue to do everything we can to reduce the number of infections. After all, we are still talking about the lives of our loved ones, our friends and colleagues – it is about all of us!
Everyone should know by now: Masks, distance and hygiene rules save lives. Ignoring that puts us all at risk. Therefore, please help to observe these rules. Be a role model. And one more request: Always wear a mouth-and-nose covering if it is required or if you cannot keep the minimum distance. Use the Corona app, and keep a contact diary!
Your Berlin Senate will do everything possible to enable more safety and normality in everyday life wherever possible – for example by using rapid tests.
However, even these will only be available in limited numbers for the time being and we will use them first for our elderly citizens, for nursing and health care staff, or for the police and fire brigades, for example.
I can’t promise you anything. But, if we consistently avoid unnecessary contacts now, then we at least have a chance to have nice Christmas and New Year’s holidays together with our families and friends.
You, dear residents of Berlin, remain our most important allies. I know it’s a trial for all of us. It’s a tense time. November is the month of personal responsibility. We have it in our own hands to get through this crisis well.
I thank you for your solidarity and support.
With best regards,
Governing Mayor of Berlin