Berliners without vaccination protection will soon have to prepare for further restrictions. According to information from the German Press Agency, the Senate agreed on an extensive expansion of the 2G rule during a telephone conference on Monday evening - but has not yet made a decision on the matter.
In view of the pandemic development and the significantly increased incidence figures nationwide and also in Berlin, access to restaurants, cinemas, and theaters, for example, will in the future only be possible for vaccinated and recovered persons (2G) - not also for tested persons (3G).
The health administration is to draw up a corresponding bill shortly, which could then be decided on in the next few days. According to the outgoing governing mayor Michael Müller (SPD), the regulation could already apply from the weekend or from the beginning of next week.
"We have decided yes, in which direction it should go, and that is now formulated," he said Tuesday in the RBB-Inforadio. The Senate wants to decide the new requirements in a special session in the middle of the week, "so that if necessary it can even be implemented by the weekend, but at the latest at the beginning of the week, and that's faster than many other states that are still watching to see if anything comes from the federal level," said Müller - a side blow to Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), who had called for a nationwide 2G regulation.
No 2G Plus regulation planned for the time being
Müller still left it largely open in which areas the 2G rule will then apply in concrete terms. "It will apply in the catering industry, it will apply where many people come together, at events, culture, sports, that's where something like this will also play a role." However, he said, a distinction must be made between outside and inside. A 2G-plus rule, according to which vaccinated or recovered people, for example, for club visits or at major events must also show a test, the Senate is not striving, at least in the first step initially.
With regard to controls, Müller announced that the police and regulatory authorities would "once again take a closer look and carry out more stringent checks. However, he also relied on the restaurateurs' own responsibility: "We must all have an interest in making the next few months as safe as possible," said Müller.
The districts of Neukölln and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg had already announced on Monday increased controls, partly also in larger operations with the police. The experience shows that so far the regulations in restaurants are implemented very differently. Not all check the vaccination certificates of their guests.
In Berlin, for example, event organizers and restaurant operators currently have the choice of allowing only vaccinated and recovered persons to enter their premises, or also those who have been tested. In the case of 2G, masks are not mandatory.
Demands to extend the 2G rule in Berlin had recently become louder. Over the weekend, both SPD state leader Franziska Giffey and Green Party parliamentary group leader Bettina Jarasch had spoken out in favor of it.
Shortly before the Senate's conference call, Müller also expressed a positive view of the regulation - he believes the introduction of 2G in Berlin is quite possible. The rising Corona infection figures are a sign that the pandemic has never stopped, he told the Phoenix television station late this afternoon.
It is important now to consider what measures need to be taken to further contain the pandemic again, Müller said. In addition to the discussion about 2G, this also includes maintaining mandatory masking, as well as more vaccinations and also booster vaccinations, he said.
Even if many people are already vaccinated, the vaccination rate must be higher. The introduction of a 2G regulation could also help with this, he said. "2G makes it clear: It becomes more uncomfortable and complicated not to be vaccinated or recovered," he said. Low-threshold vaccination offers should continue to be made to motivate the previously unvaccinated to get vaccinated. However, he does not believe that a ninety percent vaccination rate will be achieved. "We will not be able to achieve 10 to 15 percent in the end."
Müller believes that compulsory vaccination would be difficult to implement - both in terms of political discussion and social acceptance. In many sectors that are close to people, the vaccination rate is already very high. Müller is not convinced that even the last unvaccinated people can be reached with compulsory vaccination. "In the weighing, I am still of the opinion: a vaccination obligation would not help much in these areas."
In addition, Michael Müller commented on a possible lockdown over Christmas. "I don't think another lockdown over Christmas would be accepted."
The cabinet in Brandenburg will also deal with a tightening of the Corona rules on Tuesday. Among other things, this involves the reintroduction of the mask requirement in elementary schools, which Berlin had already decided on Monday and the question of regional tightening. The aim is to avoid overloading hospitals and keep schools open.
Minister-President Dietmar Woidke (SPD) pointed out that regions in the south are getting close to the alert values of the state's warning lights. Nationwide, the warning values for hospital admissions and occupancy of intensive care beds with Covid-19 patients have not yet been reached.
SPD parliamentary group leader Daniel Keller had proposed a mandatory 2G rule for Brandenburg for areas outside the basic service. CDU parliamentary group leader Jan Redmann, however, warned against hysteria.