Berlin – A new infection protection ordinance will come into force in Berlin next Wednesday. The Senate agreed on Saturday to further tighten the corona rules. As the Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) announced on Twitter, in future it will be mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask in closed rooms. This also applies to local public transport. That would mean: Simple medical masks would then no longer be permitted.
Even for the hairdresser you have to get tested from Wednesday. According to Müller, a daily negative test for a Sars-CoV-2 infection is then required for services close to the body.
The same goes for a visit to the retail trade. This does not apply to shops that offer everyday products.
A daily negative test is also required for indoor events and gatherings. This excludes demonstrations and events by religious communities.
As reported, employers will in future have to enable their employees to have a corona test twice a week. Employers are also required to work from home. They are only allowed to occupy a maximum of 50 percent of their office workplaces.
Müller appealed to Berliners to do a quick test before private meetings and to protect themselves and others by wearing a mask.
Entrepreneurs fear more bureaucracy
The employers’ association Berlin-Brandenburg (UVB) stated that the Senate resolutions acted like a vote of no confidence in politics towards the economy. With the obligation of companies to work from home, politicians apparently want to distract from their own mistakes in crisis management. “Most of the employees have long been working in their own four walls wherever possible,” says UVB Deputy Managing Director Alexander Schirp.
“When it comes to responsibility for employees, companies do not need any tutoring from politicians. The data basis for the Senate resolution is also thin. Those who still work in the office today are either absolutely indispensable for the core area of a company or do not have the opportunity to work adequately at home. At least every second workstation cannot work from home at all. ”The new regulation will create even more bureaucracy.
Trade association welcomes the regulations
The Berlin-Brandenburg Trade Association (HBB), on the other hand, sees the regulations as positive. “The question is: What alternative did we have?” Said HBB managing director Nils Busch-Petersen, who spoke to Health Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD) on the phone on Sunday. One had discussed intensively with the Senate in the last week in order not to fall behind in Click & Collect or the complete closure of the shops. “We welcome the fact that we are getting away from the pure emergency brake,” he told the Berliner Zeitung. “That sparrow in hand has the potential to get bigger.”
In an internal survey of shopping centers and department stores in Berlin, there is a great willingness to create space for test centers on site, on parking decks or in empty shops. “Smaller shops in the area that do not have test capacities also benefit from this,” says Busch-Petersen. His association interprets the rule in such a way that with a negative test you can shop for 24 hours without an appointment, unlike in Potsdam, for example. “Assigning appointments was extremely inhibiting for customers, so there is a bit of a shopping experience again.”
IHK demands help for companies and doubts whether it can be checked
On the other hand, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) is critical of the decisions of the Senate. They caused “additional stress and uncertainty for the companies and also for the employees”, complains IHK President Beatrice Kramm, who also asked the question of the practical verifiability of the new regulations and the feasibility of the 50 percent rule, for example when in In a company, more than half of the employees reject the home office offer.
The IHK also calls on companies to provide logistical and financial support for the procurement of the tests. “Small businesses in particular, particularly those affected by the pandemic, must not be left alone by politics,” said Kramm. Those who can let their employees work from their home office usually do so too. Extensive hygiene concepts are already in place where home office is not possible.