Hamburg venues allowed to ban unvaccinated fans
Promoters and venues in Hamburg can soon ban unvaccinated people from attending events, in order to do away with social distancing and increase capacity limits.
Germany on Monday (23 August) moved to a uniform Covid health pass system which allows entry to many public spaces only to people who’ve been vaccinated (geimpft), have recovered from Covid (gensesen) or have been tested against Covid (getestet) – otherwise known as the 3G model.
But on Tuesday (24 August), the Hamburg senate announced that, from Saturday 28 August, it will introduce a ‘2G-option model’ for event organisers and business owners in the federal state.
This means they can allow entry exclusively to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid within the last six months. The employees of the cultural institutions also have to be vaccinated at 2G events.
Organisers who implement the 2G model will be allowed to increase the number of attendees to 1,300 for indoor events and 2,000 for outdoor.
In addition, organisers and attendees of 2G events will not need to adhere to certain Covid regulations such as social distancing. However, masks will remain compulsory in all indoor settings.
Organisers who implement the 2G model will be allowed to increase the number of attendees to 1,300 indoorand 2,000 outdoor
The senate says operators will face fines of up to €20,000 if they do not check for proof of vaccination or recovery (or a negative test if it’s a 3G event), in conjunction with photo ID.
Organisers can also opt for the 3G model but if they do, they will have to follow previous Covid restrictions, such as capacity restrictions.
The 2G or 3G option is aimed at music venues, theatres, cinemas, trade fair operators, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and fitness studios, among other businesses.
Organisers of sporting events with visitors, public festivals or educational courses should also be able to exclude unvaccinated people if they want to, says the Hamburg senate.
The only exceptions to the 2G rule will apply to children and young people. All under-18s will be allowed to attend 2G events without full vaccination for a grace period.
“Restrictions must be proportionate and may only apply for as long as they are necessary to combat the pandemic”
For 12 to 18-year-olds, who have been urged to get vaccinated, the transitional period will expire in six weeks. For children under 12, for whom no vaccine has been approved, it will continue to apply.
A spokesperson for the Hamburg senate says there are no exceptions for people who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons because they “are generally at high risk of infection and should avoid crowds”.
Hamburg’s first mayor, Peter Tschentscher, says: “Restrictions must be proportionate and may only apply for as long as they are necessary to combat the pandemic.”
However, the Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV) argues that the 2G model alone is not a “viable solution” as the industry cannot afford to “do without almost half of its clientele”.
The association has proposed a variation of the model – ‘2G+PCR’ – which would also allow entry to those who show a negative PCR test – a more reliable, but expensive and time-consuming, option than rapid testing.
BDKV is now urging the government to implement its suggested model in order to do away with capacity restrictions nationwide.
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