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Concert restrictions tightened over Omicron fears

Ireland limits live events to 50% capacity and Scotland expands vaccine passport scheme, while the Netherlands defers 2G implementation

By James Hanley on 06 Dec 2021

Ed Sheeran fans, Croke Park, State of stadia

More European countries have tightened restrictions on concerts in a bid to combat the spread of the Omicron variant.

Germany last week extended its so-called 2G rule to cover the whole country – meaning only those who have been vaccinated or recently recovered from Covid can attend live music venues and other cultural events.

Outdoor events are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees, while indoor gatherings are limited to 50% capacity with a maximum crowd of 5,000. Masks are mandatory at all events.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, indoor events are now limited to 50% capacity, whereas evidence of a negative Covid test – from either a lateral flow test or PCR – has been added to Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme from today (6 December). Previously, attendees were required to show proof of full vaccination.

It is really good if the new restrictions can help curb the infection and keep the doors open for our members

However, in the Netherlands, the government has put plans to implement a 2G system on hold until the new year, saying there is not currently enough time to draw up the legislation. A temporary capacity limit of 1,250 was imposed on venues last month.

In Denmark, Covid passes are now required for indoor gatherings of at least 100 people (previously 200) and outdoor gatherings of 1,000 upwards (previously 2,000). The measures came into effect on 29 November.

Esben Marcher, secretary of national trade body Dansk Live, has welcomed the efforts to allow the sector to continue operating.

“It is really good if the new restrictions can help curb the infection and keep the doors open for our members,” he says. “Our members are experts in dealing with large crowds, and we have always believed that you can go to a concert safely, but we also welcome the fact that those who should need it can now feel completely safe when they go to concerts.”

Elsewhere, Austria is in the midst of a national lockdown Austria and is set to become the first European country to make Covid vaccinations compulsory from February 2022.


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