Talks about stricter Coronavirus rules for the restaurant industry
Berlin's new health senator Ulrike Gote has opened up discussions about stricter access regulations for restaurants ahead of federal-state meetings on the Coronavirus situation.
Further information: Coronavirus measures
Publication date: January 05, 2022
Last updated: January 05, 2022
"We are seeing the numbers of people infected with the Omicron variant are increasing very, very strongly," the Green Party politician said on Wednesday (Jan. 05, 2022) on national television. "And I think we have to carefully reevaluate our safety measures again." Gote cited a possible tightening of the face mask mandate
on public transport and in retail stores as an example. "We also need to talk about how to move forward in the restaurant industry in general, whether to allow entry only for people with a booster vaccinaition or with testing," Gote said. "We need to know: You're really only fully vaccinated against Omicron with a booster shot."
General lockdown not considered at the moment
The federal and state governments plan to discuss possible consequences of the pandemic development on Friday. On the question of whether to expect a lockdown in Berlin, Gote said: "No one will be able to offer you a guarantee, but a general lockdown is not what we're thinking about at the moment." Gote was doubtful that a new lockdown would be the right approach. "I don't think it would change the situation that much either," the health senator said. "The bigger problem is that a lot of people are going to get sick and we're going to have to look at how we can maintain our daily lives."
Omicron probably already predominant variant
After Tuesday's Senate meeting, Gote had stated that she believed Omicron had now replaced Delta as the predominant viral variant in Berlin. According to lab reports, the variant, which was first discovered in South Africa, accounted for 43.5 percent of Coronavirus infections last week. Gote spoke of a "disturbing figure."