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No new infections from Clubculture Reboot Berlin

The pilot events – among the first to make use of more accurate PCR tests – were a success, with no infections among the over 2,000 people who attended

By IQ on 18 Aug 2021

People queueing to take part in the experiment

People queueing to take part in the experiment

image © Jascha Müller-Guthof

The organisers of Berlin’s Clubculture Reboot have welcomed what they describe as positive interim results from the recent pilot event series, which saw around 2,000 people attend indoor club nights at six venues after taking PCR tests for Covid-19.

According to Clubcomission, the association which organised the event alongside the Berlin Senate’s department for culture and the Charité hospital, there were zero new infections as a result of the event, proving once again that “dance [music] events may be held safely even under pandemic conditions”.

Participants in Clubculture Reboot, which took place from 6–8 August across six Berlin clubs, needed to produce a negative PCR test to gain entry, as opposed to the rapid lateral-flow/antigen tests more commonly used for concerts and festivals.

All clubgoers, regardless of their vaccination status, had to go undergo a PCR test – the ‘swab test’ which is more accurate than a rapid test, but which takes at least 24 hours to return its results – at one of three designated test centres in the 48 hours leading up to the weekend’s events.

“The project offers real [guidelines] for the opening of clubs, even if infections and hospitalisations rise sharply in autumn”

Of the 2,110 people who were tested pre-event, seven were turned away after testing positive, and all attendees who submitted to follow-up PCR test (1,447 people, or almost 70%) tested negative for the virus. While the full results are expected at the end of the month, the interim findings are welcome, says Clubcommissionc chair Pamela Schobeß: “The project offers real perspective for the opening of clubs, even if incidences [of Covid-19] and hospitalisations rise sharply in autumn.

“It proves that with this method, safe spaces can be created that make it possible to bring club culture to life even in a pandemic.”

Dr Florian Kainzinger, who designed the testing process, adds: “With this project we were able to show that PCR tests can also be implemented in a very short period of time from sampling to transmission of results. This enables new perspectives for a safe reopening even in high-risk areas.”


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