A Covid test and a pint, please: the new normal in Berlin

By María Alonso Martos

Berlin, Jun 2 (EFE).- For the past few weeks, Andi has made a habit of visiting a testing centre to get a rapid antigen Covid-19 test in the Charlottenburg neighbourhood of Berlin.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in the city, David is dragging his bar’s tables and chairs out to the terrace.

Rapid tests are now business as usual for Andi, a Spanish expat who has been living in Germany for five years.

In Berlin, bars and restaurants reopened their outdoor terraces on May 21, but only those fully vaccinated or carrying proof of a same-day negative test result can have a seat.

Some, like Andi, simply accept the measure, but others find it nonsensical, claiming that it is a plot to control Berliners and push them to get vaccinated.

The German capital’s weekly infection rate continued its downward trend, with 33 new infections per 100,000 people, prompting the city-state’s government to announce a new easing of restrictions.

The negative test requirement has paved the way for Berlin’s return to normality, which has allowed some relief after months-long restrictions.

David owns the Spanish bar Alaska, in the Neukölin quarter, known for its diversity and bustling boulevards full of restaurants that are slowly picking back up.

After six months hiding behind the shutters, the Alaska bar was allowed a breath of fresh air, much appreciated despite restrictions, said David.

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