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Berlin Clubs To Restrict Capacity To 50 Percent From This Weekend
Christian Eede , November 24th, 2021 13:51

Under new restrictions, all clubgoers will also be required to show a negative COVID-19 test in order to gain entry

Berlin is introducing new COVID-19 guidelines affecting nightlife in the city, in an attempt to help combat rising transmission rates.

Under new restrictions, which comes into effect from this Saturday (November 27), all clubs must limit capacity to 50 percent. The new '2G Plus' rule also means that clubgoers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently recovered from the virus – who are currently the only people allowed into indoor clubs – will be required to show a negative test result in order to gain entry.

The restrictions are currently due to last until December 19, with Berlin joining a number of cities and regions across Germany in reintroducing COVID-19 restrictions as case rates once again begin to sharply increase across the nation. In Bavaria, all clubs have been ordered to close completely for three weeks as of the start of this week, while neighbouring Saxony has also been put in lockdown, initially until December 12.

As a result of the new rules in Berlin, a number of clubs have been forced to cancel or postpone events at short notice. Clubs and bars will be entitled to state support, though a number of venue owners have complained that payments in the past have come with a significant delay.

Last week, Berlin's Clubcommission, a pressure group representing the interests of Berlin's nightlife, issued a statement saying venues had been depicted in the "wrong light" after a press release sent out by the Luca app (Germany's contact tracing system) claimed that 49 percent of COVID-19 alerts in October were traced back to nightclubs. The group said this statistic was repeated by a number of media outlets in an attempt to suggest that those in the nightlife industry were not behaving responsibly.

"The reopening of the clubs after a year and a half of closure is viewed with great scepticism," the Clubcommission statement said. "Of course, the health offices also pay particular attention to tracking infections in which many people meet without a mask and distance.

"If a person tests positive after a club visit, the health office sometimes sends 2,000 warnings to all visitors. But the audience is fully vaccinated or recovered, only in this way is access to 2G [people who have been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19] club nights possible at all. Even if vaccination breakthroughs have been recorded, no mass infection can be observed under 2G."