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Berlin police bust 16th birthday party

April 13, 2020

A 16-year-old flouted Germany's social distancing guidelines by celebrating her birthday with 31 others at an apartment in Berlin. Police ultimately broke up the festivities.

A police officer wearing a yellow police jacket
Image: picture alliance / dpa

Police in Berlin broke up a large birthday gathering in the early hours of Monday that violated Germany's social distancing restrictions.

A 16-year-old girl was celebrating with 31 other people at an apartment in the German capital's central Mitte neighborhood. The girl's mother had apparently rented the property especially for the occasion.

"If a girl together with 31 guests is celebrating her 16th birthday and her own mother has apparently rented a 2.5 room apartment in Mitte for this purpose, then unfortunately we aren't stopping by just to say congratulations," Berlin police tweeted.

The police added that all 32 party attendees were being investigated for criminal offenses and violating social distancing rules put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus. The mother who rented the apartment, along with the the landlord, will also be investigated, they said.

Germany last month implemented a range of social distancing restrictions and guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public gatherings of more than two people have been banned, except for families and those who live together.

Read more: Coronavirus: What are the lockdown measures across Europe?

Nonessential businesses, including pubs and movie theaters, have closed, while restaurants have been asked to shut unless they offer food for pick-up or delivery.

On April 1, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the restrictions would be extended until at least April 19.

dr/rc  (dpa)

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