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So far, chaos has not descended on Berlin. Fears that efforts by the 72nd Berlinale to hold an in-person film festival in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic would result in endless lines, stress and frustration for those attending, didn’t pan out on day 1 of the 2022 edition.
Berlin’s strict COVID safety and security measures — online booking, masking and social distancing inside theaters — will already be familiar to those who attended Cannes or Venice last year and have also been similarly easy to maneuver.
The high rate of COVID-19 infection in Germany has led Berlin to add an extra layer of protection, requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated, or recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection, and to also show proof of a daily negative COVID test. But testing centers around the Berlinale Palast, and at select hotels, appeared to be running smoothly, with short lines and little grumbling from those waiting.
Berlin’s wristband system, whereby guests present their negative test to receive a dated wristband to expedite passage through security points, also seemed to be working as planned.
There were some complaints from journalists and critics about Berlin’s (and Germany’s) policy of requiring everyone to wear tight-fitting FFP2 masks and not cloth or surgical masks, but most seemed to be adjusting to the regime.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID, or is in close contact with someone who does, should immediately contact the Berlinale COVID hotline at email@example.com or on +4930 25920-920 for instructions on how to proceed, which could include re-retesting, warning your contacts or temporarily being banned from Berlinale events.
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