No more dancing will be allowed in the German capital’s nightclubs starting next Wednesday, as the city’s authorities tighten the screws over the rise in Covid-19 cases.
The decision was made during a special session of the Senate of Berlin on Friday. Clubs and discos, however, will remain open, though largely due to legal technicalities that are so far preventing the powers that be from shutting such venues down completely. German regional and federal authorities, however, agreed on Thursday that in the near future clubs would have to cease operation once the seven-day infection rate exceeds 350 per 100,000 residents in a given region. Berlin currently stands at roughly 360.
Restaurants and pubs have also been allowed to keep their doors open for now, though new guidelines on social distancing have been put in place, calling for less tables, among other measures. Needless to say, all those public spaces are open only to those who have either been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid, as per the rules introduced in mid-November.
The new regulations taking effect next week will also further limit the number of people taking part in large-scale events, with the ceiling for outdoor venues being set at 5,000 and half that number for indoor gatherings. That applies to professional football matches as well.
For private meetings, in cases where there is at least one unvaccinated person taking part, the limit will stand at one household plus two additional individuals. Commenting on the measures, Berlin’s acting mayor, Michael Müller, said that those “inoculated and recovered have clearly more freedoms.” However, even if all the participants belong to either of these two categories, they are still not allowed to gather in groups exceeding 1,000 people in the open air, and 500 indoors.
On Berlin’s public transport, on top of having to be vaccinated or recovered, a mask is also a must for all passengers, and come next week Berliners will have to be wearing one not only while on board a train but also while waiting on a platform.