Shortly before most of the shops close for several weeks, many Berliners quickly run errands and do Christmas shopping. There was a lot of activity on Alexanderplatz and Schlossstrasse in Steglitz. In some places, queues formed in front of the shops, because only a limited number of customers are allowed in to protect against corona infections. Many hairdressers open longer on Monday and also want to provide holiday hairstyles with longer opening times on Tuesday.
The federal and state governments agreed on strict restrictions on Sunday in order to reduce the number of corona infections. The retail trade has to close largely from Wednesday. Exceptions apply to grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores, among others.
Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) warned: “Please don’t run off and buy gifts now.” Consumers should “take it easy” at Christmas and not have a party on New Year’s Eve, she said, according to the Senate Department on Berlin radio. It remains to be seen whether easing will be possible again from January 10, she said. That also depends on the number of patients in the hospitals.
On Saturday as well as on the first weekend in Advent, numerous people were out and about on shopping streets such as the Tauentzien. The sidewalks are also full because significantly fewer people are allowed into the shops: one customer for every ten square meters and, for sales areas of more than 800 square meters, one customer for every 20 square meters that exceed 800 square meters.
Many Berliners will spend the holidays without a fresh hairstyle – the hairdressers were surprised by the closure from Wednesday. “You now have almost no opportunity to react,” said Markus Feix, managing director of the Berlin hairdressing guild on Monday. Customers could only have been served by appointment anyway. To change that is now difficult. “Some companies have now opened at short notice on Monday, while others are extending their opening times as much as possible,” said Feix. The situation is a heavy burden for the companies.