Hundreds of empty chairs were set out in front of Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday, as local restaurateurs called for government aid amid the coronavirus lockdown.
Footage shows chairs distributed throughout the square, many bearing labels reading #emptychairs, while passers-by took photos of the display.
Similar protests have been taking place throughout Germany under the banner of the ‘Empty Chairs’ initiative, as restaurateurs and other members of the hospitality sector attempt to highlight the economic struggle they are facing due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
“We will lose 30 to 40 percent of restaurant proprietors in Germany,” said one of the event’s organisers, Rene Kaplick, who warned that “there will be no tourism and the sector will die,” if “we don’t have restaurants in Berlin anymore.”
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Germany has reported over 153,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 5,500 people dying with the virus.