Just two weeks before the live start of the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival, organizers have tightened COVID-19 safety measures, citing “the current pandemic dynamics”: namely, the spike in omicron infections in Germany.
Among the new measures: daily COVID checks for all press access to screenings, press conferences and other press areas at the festival. This also applies to members of the press who are fully immunized and have recently recovered from COVID-19 infection, or to those who have received the so-called booster shot of a vaccine. Apply for COVID approved. Previously, the “triple vaccination” was exempt from the daily testing requirements. Berlin will make the tests at Potsdamer Platz free to all accredited news outlets and will use a wristband system that will allow those with proof of a valid negative test result.
“Enhanced” testing will not be required for public screenings and other public events.
For people who have been immunized with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a second shot will be required — given at least 14 days and no more than nine months ago — to be considered “fully vaccinated.” for Berlin. People who have received only one dose of Johnson & Johnson will be considered unvaccinated. Attendees need to present proof of a third dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine or recovery from a recent COVID-19 infection to be classified as “enhanced”.
Berlin will also limit access to gala red carpets and press conferences, with no independent access to press lines or press conferences for festival films.
New measures in response to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections in the German and new government guidelines for combating the pandemic. Official figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute recorded more than 200,000 COVID-19 infections daily on Thursday, the highest level in Germany since the start of the pandemic.
The German health minister had forecast the peak of COVID-19 infections for the omicron variant in mid-February, a day in the midst of the Berlin festival, which runs from February 10 to 20. Despite these concerns, Berlin is determined to hold a live film festival and will begin its 2022 edition on 10 February with the world premiere of Francois Ozon’s film. Peter von Kant.