New Senate Ordinance on the Coronavirus Crisis from the Senate
In addition to the measures laid down in the Ordinance from March 14: “SARS-CoV-2 Containment Ordinance in Berlin”, the Senate of Berlin has passed the following measures:
- There are exceptions to the regulations for events and gatherings which concern the sessions of the federal, state and district parliaments as well as the Senate of Berlin, the Constitutional Court of Berlin and other courts, bodies and authorities of the federal and state governments as well as other bodies that perform public law tasks. For gatherings, the administrative authority may allow exceptions in important cases.
- Music schools, adult education centres, youth art schools and similar institutions are prohibited from opening to the public.
- Restaurants that meet the requirements of a smoking restaurant are prohibited from opening to the public. This now also applies to shisha bars. Other restaurants may now only be opened to the public between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., but even this is only permitted if the distance rule of 1.5 metres between tables is guaranteed. Pick-up and delivery services are still permitted. Tourist overnight stays in hotels and other similar establishments are now also prohibited.
- For retail stores, the following are excluded from the prohibition: retail shops for food and beverages, including late sale outlets, pick-up and delivery services, weekly markets, pharmacies, establishments with medical supplies and for the purchase of hearing and sight aids, drugstores, petrol stations, banks and savings banks, post offices, hairdressers, dry cleaners, laundries, newspaper and book sales, retail shops for building, horticultural and animal supplies, bicycle shops, funeral parlours, craft and artisan shops and wholesale trade. If stores in these categories open, precautions must be taken to ensure hygiene, control access and avoid queues.
- A new addition to the prohibition of swimming pools and sports facilities is that exceptions may be permitted in specially justified individual cases only by written permission from the Senate department responsible for sports.
- Personnel deployment in hospitals: To the extent it is medically justifiable, hospitals must suspend all plannable admissions, operations and interventions if this frees up personnel and other capacities for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 patients.
- Changes in visiting arrangements in hospitals and hospices: Patients in institutions providing terminal care and residents of such institutions and the dying are not subject to any restrictions on receiving visits. Persons giving birth in a hospital may be accompanied by one person of their own choice. Newborns and their mothers may be visited once a day by one person for one hour, but not by children under 16 years of age, excluding brothers and sisters of the newborn, or by persons with respiratory infections. Visits by persons in charge of pastoral care shall always be permitted, if required, conditions of necessary rules of conduct will be placed on the visit.
- The Senate also decided that state, private and denominational universities, including their institutions, are prohibited from opening to the public and from teaching in person. Libraries are prohibited from opening to the public, although online services can be offered. Studierendenwerk cafeterias are prohibited from opening. This also applies to non-university research institutions in the State of Berlin, irrespective of their legal form.
The Ordinance enters into force on March 18, 2020, and expires at the end of the day on April 19, 2020.