2022 Berlin Film Festival steps up COVID measures – The Hollywood Reporter

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Just two weeks before the start of the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival in person, organizers have tightened COVID-19 safety measures, citing “current pandemic dynamics”: namely a spike in infections caused by omicron in Germany.

Among the new measures: daily COVID tests for all the press to access screenings, press conferences and other press areas of the festival. This also applies to members of the press who are fully vaccinated and have recently recovered from COVID-19 infection, or those who have received a so-called booster shot of an approved COVID vaccine. Previously, the “triple vaccinated” were exempt from daily tests. Berlin will provide free testing at Potsdamer Platz for all accredited press and will use a wristband system giving all-day access to those who present proof of a valid negative test result.

Testing for “reinforced” will not be required for public screenings and other public events.

For those who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a second vaccine will be required – received at least 14 days ago and no more than nine months – to be considered “fully vaccinated” for Berlin. Those who received only one injection from Johnson & Johnson will be considered unvaccinated. Participants must present evidence of a third dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or recovery from a recent COVID-19 infection to be classified as “strengthened”.

Berlin will also limit access to gala red carpets and press conferences, with no independent access to the press line or press conferences for festival films.

The new measures respond to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections in Germany and new government guidelines to combat the pandemic. Official figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute recorded more than 200,000 daily COVID-19 infections on Thursday, the highest level in Germany since the start of the pandemic.

Germany’s health minister predicted a peak in COVID-19 infections for the omicron variant in mid-February, a date that would put it right in the middle of the Berlin festival, which runs from February 10-20. Despite these concerns, Berlin is determined to hold an in-person film festival and will kick off the 2022 edition on February 10 with the world premiere of François Ozon. Kant’s stone.

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