After a surge in cases, Germany has decided to impose a ban on unvaccinated people from entering public spaces such as clubs and music venues. The move has been made in an attempt to curb the spread of the fourth wave of Covid-19 across the country, the knock-on effect being that only those who can prove they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus in the last six months will be allowed in venues, cinemas, restaurants, and shops.
The ruling has been labelled “2G”, with one of those G’s standing for “genesen” (recovered) and the other for “geimpft” (vaccinated). This rule differs from the previous 3G rule in that it does not accept testing as a viable means of entry. The 2G ruling will be in force nationwide.
In addition, nightclubs in areas where there are more than 350 cases per 100,000 people must close their doors. Overall, the national rate of infection is around 400. There are also limitations on the number of people that can attend events. Outdoor events are capped at 50 per cent capacity, while indoor events will be restricted to 5,000 people. Masks will of course be mandatory. All of this comes after the previous chancellor Angela Merkel said that vaccinations could be made mandatory by February.
Austria has also decided to enforce the 2G rule, but some have said that they are concerned about a lack of uniformity in regards to social distancing measures, while many venue promoters have pointed out the need for further financial support. CEO of Berlin-based promoter DEAG, Detlef Kornett, said: “We believe that setting clear rules is helpful and good for our business, as long as they are sensible and rational and therefore welcome the 2G rules.”
He went on to clarify his support of the 2G ruling: “The live industry pushed government already in the summer of this year to introduce the 2G rule for all live events. It takes away the confusion about tests, certificates and how to check and record them which overall makes operations of a live event easier. But it also encourages vaccination and it is a high vaccination rate that our industry needs in order to return to normal.”
However, Kornett also pointed out that the decision has failed to erase the grey areas that have blighted similar rulings in the past “the 2G rule is then accompanied by capacity and social distancing– rules that vary by federal state in Germany, by indoor and outdoor and these rules are subject to interpretation,” before adding: “the variation of rules makes touring and even single concerts impossible and results in uncertainties and injustices throughout Germany. The end result is that live events are in some instances made impossible or economically unsound.”