Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide 2022
Best News Website or Mobile Service
Digital Media Awards Worldwide 2022
Hamburger Menu




Berlin nightlife shuts early as COVID-19 cases spike in Europe

Berlin nightlife shuts early as COVID-19 cases spike in Europe

A view of a closed bar in the district of Kreuzberg during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Berlin, Germany Mar 20, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

BERLIN: A coronavirus curfew closed doors early on German capital Berlin's legendary nightlife on Saturday (Oct 10) in a bid to limit surging infections, while in Latin America and the Carribean the number of cases passed 10 million.

Bars and restaurants closed at 11:00pm (2100 GMT) in Berlin under a partial curfew announced until October 31, with the capital following in the footsteps of financial hub Frankfurt where a curfew had already been imposed, but starting an hour earlier.

With more than 400 new cases daily in Berlin, the 11:00pm shutdown also covers all shops except pharmacies and petrol stations in a bid to prevent sales of alcohol late at night.

"This is not the time to party," said Berlin mayor Michael Muller in a message addressed to young people, who are driving new infections higher. "We can and we want to prevent another more severe confinement."

Chancellor Angela Merkel had already warned Friday that high-infection areas would be given 10 days to bring down cases or face tougher action, calling big cities the "arena" to keep the pandemic under control.

Police said "several thousand" people marched through Berlin on Saturday in a silent protest against restrictions. Protesters also rallied in Rome, Warsaw and London against mask-wearing requirements and virus curbs.

READ: Europe records 100,000 daily coronavirus cases for first time

READ: Spain invokes state of emergency for Madrid COVID-19 lockdown

Governments across the globe are struggling to keep up with a sharp rise in infections and manage growing public frustration over a new restrictions as the pandemic enters a second wave.

Since it emerged in China late last year, the virus has killed more than one million worldwide, infected nearly 37 million and forced millions more out of work as the pandemic batters the global economy.

Latin America and the Caribbean marked 10 million cases Saturday and with more than 360,000 deaths, the region is the worst hit in terms of fatalities, according to official figures.

Brazil's virus death toll passed 150,000 people on Saturday, according to health ministry figures, although the rate of new coronavirus infections continues to slow in the South American country.

In France, health authorities reported a record 27,000 new infections in a single day Saturday, although numbers in intensive care remained far short of peaks seen in spring.

Spiralling cases in France have led to fears that the government may need to impose local lockdowns in major cities, which are the epicentres of the diseases, which would mimic measures already announced in Spain where the government has prevented people leaving the Madrid region.

READ: French daily COVID-19 cases set new record at almost 27,000

Residents can only leave the Spanish capital for work, school or medical reasons as part of restrictions that have been denounced by the city's right-wing authorities.

"We've always placed public health above all other considerations," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said during a visit to Portugal on Saturday, adding that Madrid needed "a strong response" to rising cases.

In Poland, authorities told people to wear face masks in all public spaces after coronavirus cases hit a new record daily high of 4,280.

To the south, the Czech Republic faced the prospect of a new lockdown as the growth in COVID-19 cases set a fourth straight daily record, with the growth in infections the highest in Europe.

READ: Madrid must impose COVID-19 travel restrictions or face state of emergency, Spanish government says


EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel was the latest high-profile figure to test positive for COVID-19. She announced the news on Saturday, the first top Brussels official known to have caught the coronavirus.

British cyclist Simon Yates pulled out of the Giro d'Italia after he tested positive.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself spent time in hospital for the virus in April, is to outline a new three-tier lockdown system on Monday.

But as with the Berlin march, new restrictions have often run into opposition as public frustration grows over curbs on social life, mask requirements and business shutdowns.

Local leaders bristled at London's plans, with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham saying that "we will not surrender our residents to hardship this Christmas or our businesses to failure".

In Rome, hundreds of people gathered for two separate marches against mask-wearing orders, one organised by a far-right group, the other bringing together conspiracy theorists, "anti-vaxxers" and other protesters.

"Of course there is a virus, but from a political and philosophical point of view, they are just exaggerating," Giulio Lessi, a Rome protester, said of the government measures.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak:

Source: AFP/nh


Also worth reading