Letter from... Berlin
By Isabelle Zirden, Kohl PR (Part of SEC Newgate)
Summer has arrived in Germany and we have quickly become used to the new normality. People are now in the habit of leaving their contact details whenever they sit down in cafes and restaurants, booking time slots for outside swimming pools and wearing masks in supermarkets and on public transport.
The streets are still not crowded with tourists and even the Berliners have made peace with getting some sleep at night instead of spending it in bars, clubs and at concerts – all of which will have to stay closed for a little longer. The new Corona Warn App, provided by the German government, has already had more than 10 million downloads in its first week after launch.
Part of the reason behind this positive atmosphere in Germany is the announcement that schools will open again as usual after the summer holidays, as well as a major economic recovery package by the federal government which, among other things, includes a reduction in value-added tax for the next six months.
Despite all these steps towards normalisation, there are always also small reminders that the pandemic is by no means over. In localised hotspots, such as in a residential building in Göttingen and in a meat factory near Gütersloh, the virus has broken out again and is still causing high reproduction rates. Thanks to the various precautionary measures, however, it seems at least that these are controllable.