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Berlin clubs to reopen for vaccinated revellers

2021-09-01 HKT 00:33
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  • Ritter Butzke, a Berling nightclub, is preparing to reopen after Covid rules were eased. Photo: AFP
    Ritter Butzke, a Berling nightclub, is preparing to reopen after Covid rules were eased. Photo: AFP
Berlin's legendary dance clubs, a pillar of the German capital's nightlife and economy, can fully reopen to the vaccinated and those who have recovered from a Covid-19 infection, the city government said on Tuesday.

As one of the last sectors to return to full operation, clubs should be able to benefit from the new policy from this weekend, the Berlin government said in a statement, with a mask requirement also falling away and no capacity cap.

Some venues began welcoming guests in outdoor space this summer while requiring proof of vaccination, recovery or a current negative Covid-19 test as well as mask wearing.

By allowing clubs to open doors to their indoor spaces as well as open-air areas, the Berlin government is complying with a judge's order, said the city's top health official, Dilek Kalayci.

The administrative court had ruled on August 20 that the city's previous ban on public dance events in response to the pandemic could not stand for the vaccinated and recovered.

The reopening, which comes as infection rates rise again in a fourth wave of the outbreak, will also apply to the city's popular saunas, hammams and thermal baths.

However the interior dining rooms of restaurants and cafeterias will now require managers to "review proof of testing, vaccination or recovery and bar those without such proof from entering".

The number of infections in Germany has climbed steadily since early July to reach 74.8 per 100,000 people over the last seven days, with just over 60 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.

Berlin's infection rate is slightly lower at 72.2 per 100,000 with 60 percent of the population vaccinated. (AFP)