Germany

  1. Video content

    Video caption: Christmas: Drive-thru market saves festive German tradition

    Nearly all of the country's famous markets have been cancelled due to lockdown measures meant to stem the virus in Germany.

  2. What's happening around Europe?

    Face masks are on sale at Wilmersdorfer Strasse shopping street, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Berlin
    Image caption: Germany's "lockdown light" has been extended to at least 20 December

    The number of infections in Germany during the pandemic has passed one million - with 22,806 new cases in 24 hours and a record 426 deaths. Russia has also reported record figures this morning with 27,543 daily cases and 496 deaths.

    Belgium's prime minister will meet experts at 12:00 GMT to decide whether to reopen non-essential businesses, which have been shut since 2 November. France is making that move tomorrow, and fewer than 5,000 people are being treated in hospital in Belgium. But PM Alexander De Croo says Belgians will pay the consequences if the wrong decisions are made.

    Latest figures from Sweden's health and welfare board reportedly show 73% of all Covid deaths involved people in nursing homes. Of the 3,002 deaths from 1 March to 23 November, 1,696 were in nursing homes, public broadcaster SVT reports.

    Italy has seen another 822 deaths in 24 hours but the number of patients in hospitals is falling. Virologist Andrea Crisanti says infection rates in Italy have passed the peak and that fatalities reflect the level of infection two to three weeks ago.

    France will allow people to go cross-country skiing individually from tomorrow, as long as it doesn't prompt big gatherings of people. Ski lifts have been shut for downhill skiing but cross-country skiing will be permitted, for example for people who live in mountainous areas.

  3. Berlin to name street after Tanzanian independence activist

    View of Wissmannstraße
    Image caption: Wissmannstraße is set to be renamed next year

    Councillors in the German capital, Berlin, have voted to replace a street name honouring a colonial governor in East Africa accused of having ordered massacres with one of a leading female Tanzanian independence activist.

    Wissmannstraße, named after Hermann von Wissmann, is set to become Lucy-Lameck-Straße.

    She was Tanzania's first female cabinet minister as well as a leading figure in the country's independence movement.

    Von Wissman was governor of German East Africa (now Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda) in the late 19th Century and is believed to have behind the mass killings of local people, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reports.

    Berlin Postkolonial, one of the groups behind the call for the name change, welcomed the local authority's decision.

    In a statement it said that the campaign had prevented "the further honouring" of Von Wissmann and in its place put "a Tanzanian woman who actively opposed colonialism and racism".

    "Wissmann was a racist war criminal. Lucy Lameck stands for the undervalued contribution of Tanzania's women to the fight for our independence," Tanzanian activist Mnyaka Sururu Mboro said.

    Read more about the legacy of Germany's colonial history:

  4. German leaders to decide Christmas rules: Europe round-up

    Bonn shopping street shows a Father Christmas
    Image caption: Under the plan, hotels and restaurants stay shut until 20 December

    Germany's 16 state leaders are set to agree with Chancellor Angela Merkel an extension of the "lockdown light" until 20 December, with plans to allow two households with a maximum of five people aged over 14 to celebrate Christmas together. But Germany's daily death toll has hit a new high of 410 in the past 24 hours, almost 100 more than the peak in April.

    Italy has reported its highest daily death rate - 853 - since the end of March. But senior health official Franco Locatelli says things are finally moving in the right direction - hospital admissions and intensive care cases are down on last week.

    Sweden's health care inspectorate has found "serious shortcomings" in the care of the elderly in nursing homes in recent months. It found that one in five people received no medical examination and one Swedish region prescribed end-of-life treatment for any resident who had Covid symptoms.

    There’s good news from Belgium where the number of Covid hospital cases has fallen below 5,000 - and new admissions and new cases have fallen by almost a third in a week.

    Spain has seen its first decline in the number of pensioners for 15 years - with 8.8 million people currently registered. The slight fall is down to Covid mortality and an administrative logjam, according to Spanish reports.

  5. Christmas plans and more bans: Europe round-up

    A view of Christmas illuminations in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church in Berlin, Germany, 23 November 2020
    Image caption: Berlin's Christmas lights are up and now German leaders have to agree what families can and cannot do for the holiday

    It's not just in the UK that rules for the Christmas break are being finalised. Germany's 16 federal states plan to allow gatherings of up to 10 people (that number doesn't include under 14s) for Christmas and New Year festivities, according to a draft proposal to be decided on on Wednesday. The partial lockdown would continue until 20 December and schools would shut the day before.

    In France President Emmanuel Macron is set to announce a loosening of restrictions in a TV address this evening, after a meeting of the country's defence council. An easing of lockdown could start with non-essential businesses such as bookshops and clothing stores reopening on 1 December, along with places of worship and sport clubs, then there might be a greater easing ahead of Christmas and again in January.

    Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova has warned that hospital capacity in six regions has become critical and the general situation is getting worse. Another 24,326 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours with a record 491 deaths. Golikova says Russia's Sputnik V vaccine has now been circulated to 117,000 people and mass vaccinations could start in the new year.

    A ban on public events of more than eight people has come into force in Sweden, to try to slow the spread of Covid-19. Last week a ban on serving alcohol after 22:00 was imposed. Private gatherings of more than eight people are still allowed. But Sweden has the highest infection rate among the Nordic countries.

    Back to Germany where the anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein has accused Covid-denying movement Querdenken ("outside the box thinkers") of mocking Holocaust victims by likening restrictions to persecution of Jews. On Saturday a woman calling herself Jana was widely condemned for telling a rally she felt like executed anti-Hitler Resistance hero Sophie Scholl because she was challenging Covid measures.

    Spain's King Felipe VI has gone into self-isolation for 10 days after having close contact on Sunday with someone who tested positive. He will spend the time in private at Zarzuela palace in Madrid while the Queen and their daughters will continue their official activities.

  6. Catalans venture out to eat again

    Barcelona cafe, 23 Nov 20
    Image caption: Most of Barcelona's cafes and restaurants have reopened

    Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region is easing restrictions, with bars, cafes, restaurants and gyms reopening, having been closed for five weeks.

    But night life is still banned because of a curfew from 10pm, which also applies throughout Spain.

    Catalonia's eating places can only accept 30% of their normal clientele indoors. Cinemas and concert halls are also reopening, but they can only operate half-full.

    Spanish airports now require visitors arriving from “high-risk” countries – including the UK – to present a negative test certificate no more than 72 hours old. If they don't have one they can be fined, and must take an antigen test, which delivers results in about one hour.

    Elsewhere in Europe:

    • In Serbia, the rules are being tightened because of rising infections. All shops and catering outlets now have to close by 6pm. Face masks must be worn indoors and in crowded outdoor areas
    • Neighbouring Croatia is closing nightclubs and banning the sale of alcohol after 10pm
    • Leaders in the 16 German federal states favour extending the current “lockdown light” until 20 December, because they remain worried about the infection rate. Currently eating places and hotels are shut, and social contacts are severely restricted for households.
  7. Video content

    Video caption: Berlin police use water cannon to disperse Covid protest

    Police used water cannon to end a rally near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate because protesters did not observe Covid rules.

  8. Berlin police use water cannon on Covid protest

    Video content

    Video caption: Berlin police use water cannon to disperse Covid protest

    Police used water cannon to end a rally near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate because protesters did not observe Covid rules.