Germany’s national and regional leaders have moved to ban unvaccinated people from much of public life, including live music venues.
In a bid to curb the fourth wave of Covid-19, only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid will be allowed in cultural venues, restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops.
According to outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel, vaccinations could be made mandatory by February.
The so-called 2G rule (meaning genesen for recovered in the past six months and geimpft for vaccinated) was already in operation in some German states but it will now be enforced nationwide.
The 2G policy is part of a wider set of restrictions that will see clubs close in areas where 350 cases have been recorded per 100,000 people in the past seven days (the national rate is over 400).
Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees while indoor events are restricted to 50% capacity with a maximum of 5,000 attendees. Masks are mandatory at all events.
“[THE 2G RULE] ENCOURAGES VACCINATION AND IT IS A HIGH VACCINATION RATE THAT OUR INDUSTRY NEEDS IN ORDER TO RETURN TO NORMAL”
German promoters have welcomed the nationwide implementation of the 2G rule but expressed major concerns about varying restrictions on social distancing and capacity, and emphasised the need for further financial support in 2022.
“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,” says Detlef Kornett, CEO of Berlin-based promoter and ticket agency, DEAG.
“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 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.
“However that 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.
“THAT VARIATION OF RULES MAKES TOURING AND EVEN SINGLE CONCERTS IMPOSSIBLE”
“The live industry is facing again a ban to operate and provide their service to consumers which is devastating in the end,” he concludes.
Dieter Semmelmann, CEO of Semmel Concerts, believes the new 2G rule may incentivise live music fans to get vaccinated in order to attend concerts.
According to the promoter, Semmelmann has already produced a myriad of concerts with the 2G rule and has found that the vaccination rate across their 3G events is “very high”.
However, the Semmel Concerts CEO says he’s concerned about how the new restrictions will impact demand for live music.
“The acceptance of events going on sale currently or during the pandemic remains weak. Thus governmental bridging support for the live-entertainment industry will also be necessary in 2022.
“Besides that, a solid commitment that at least vaccinated and recovered people will definitely be able to attend concerts in the future and buy tickets with a good conscience would be of crucial importance,” he adds.
Germany is treading a similar path to neighbouring country Austria, which previously imposed a lockdown on unvaccinated residents and recently became the first European country to announce mandatory Covid vaccinations.
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