The city of Berlin in Germany, conditioned the entry of customers to non-essential shops to a negative test for coronavirus, after the weekly incidence will exceed 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants for three consecutive times in the German capital.
The measure will come into effect on March 31 and the government of the capital has resorted to it to prevent the closure of non-essential shops and cultural institutions.
Regional governments had pledged to apply an emergency brake when the weekly incidence exceeds 100 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, which may imply reversing reopening measures or taking new preventive measures.
Negative tests will also be necessary to go to the hairdresser. Supermarkets and pharmacies, as well as other businesses that cover basic needs, are exempted from requiring their customers to take a negative test.
Department stores and shopping malls will need to set up their own places to run rapid tests, but customers can submit a test carried out elsewhere.
The Berlin and Brandenburg Trade Federation (HBB) reacted positively to the move. “The question is, what alternative was there?” Said the manager of HBB, Nils Busch-Petersen, who indicated that he had intensively dialogued with the head of Health, Dilek Kalayci, in search of solutions to avoid a total closure of shops .
“We are satisfied to have avoided the pure emergency brake,” he said.
Apart from access to shops, the Berlin Government has called on citizens to undergo a test once a week for their own safety and the safety of others.
In Berlin there are three large centers where citizens can take rapid tests without an appointment. In other smaller centers and with fewer capacities it is necessary to request it.
The German authorities allow a free test per week for each citizen and in Berlin employers have to offer their workers the possibility of taking a test twice a week.
On the other hand, surgical masks will no longer be sufficient in public transport and non-essential shops, but FFP2 masks will be required.