Berlin Film Festival organizers on Wednesday said they have further updated their Covid regulations ahead of the fest, which kicks off February 10.
The new rules include mandatory press testing for access to press screenings, press conferences, the Press Centre, press lines and interview spaces. A negative PoC antigen test will be required regardless of vaccination history including booster shots, with the fest saying that because “accredited press representatives have a wider range of movement and therefore more contacts, this regulation has been put in place to increase their own safety.”
Free testing will be available for accredited press at the fest hub in Potsdamer Platz, where daily access wristbands will be distributed on proof of negative testing to expedite access. The festival said public events like screenings will not require testing for press with a booster vaccination or recovered persons with two vaccinations. Camera team access to events like red carpets and photo calls will also be limited.
The news comes as the Berlinale two weeks ago outlined its plan for the in-person edition, with the fest reduced by four days from its original February 10-20 dates, with the awards ceremony February 16 and repeat screenings set for February 17-20. Cinemas will be reduced to 50% capacity, with masks required in theaters and audiences needing to show a Covid pass displaying full vaccination or recovery from a recent infection.
The rise of Covid cases in Germany prompted by the Omicron variant has seen the fest’s industry event, the European Film Market, shift to a virtual edition this year. In Berlin right now, nightclubs remain closed, but bars and restaurants are open with proof of a booster, or two shots of the vaccine plus daily tests.
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