Berlin tightens restrictions for homeless amid Covid spread — Analysis

Berlin has extended the Covid-19 Health Pass rules to rail and metro platforms. This latest decision effectively bans the homeless who frequently seek refuge from the cold in Berlin.

New rules are in effect starting Wednesday. They say only those who have been vaccinated or recently tested can use metro stations and railway platforms. The rules previously only applied to public transport, such as buses and trains.

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Passenger without health insurance will not be allowed to enter the platforms. Security personnel and other staff members are also prohibited from accessing them. “specially trained inspectors”The city government stated in a statement that it will enforce regulations and conduct checks. All “other parts”They added that all train stations would still be available to everyone.

This will affect not only passengers but also homeless people, who rely on metro stations and rail platforms for warmth during winter. However, the social services division of the city acknowledged that there was an issue. “for the reasons of infection protection, an exception is not desired”And so it is not “possible”Für die Homeless.

The Berlin authorities will instead increase efforts to make vaccinations and testing easier for homeless people to comply with regulations. A social service department provides homeless with free access to public testing facilities, which allow them to get tested every day.

Also, the city stated that they were awaiting a response. “daytime meeting place”A large, centrally located restaurant known as Hofbrauhaus that serves around 200 people who are homeless will soon be opened. “A good alternative, including a testing option, will be created for all those who would otherwise only have access to the train stations,”Local media were informed by a representative of the social services department.

There are currently around 1,150 homeless shelters in the city.

The restrictions were tightened once more in the German capital amid an increase of Covid-19 cases. The rules limit the number of people taking part in large-scale events – 5,000 for outdoor venues, and half that number for indoor gatherings. Although dancing is forbidden, restaurants and pubs as well as bars and clubs have been allowed to continue operating.



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