The city's latest Covid-19 regulations will also require vaccinated and recovered ravers to show a negative test at the door.
Berlin is introducing new Covid-19 regulations affecting venues and nightclubs.
The restrictions, which come into effect this Saturday, November 27th, and are currently due to last until December 19th, will force clubs to limit capacity to 50 percent. In line with the new "2G Plus" rule, attendees who have been vaccinated or who have recently recovered from Covid-19 will also have to show a negative test result.
Rémi Letournelle, owner of Mitte clubs Fitzroy and Marie-Antoinette, received the news yesterday, November 23rd, at the same time as everyone else. He's been chatting to other club owners and managers in a WhatsApp group set up by the Berlin Clubcommission.
"In the context of my two clubs, it makes it super tough," he told Resident Advisor, "because they're actually quite small and 50-percent capacity just isn't sustainable financially for parties."
Letournelle has postponed this weekend's club nights, but is still hoping to host concert-style events next week—if the new rules allow it.
"It's not fully clear if we have to keep masks for concerts or limited capacity or minimum distance between people, which pretty much equals half capacity," he said. "It's still up in the air."
Clubs like Fitzroy and Marie-Antoinette will be entitled to some state support, though Letournelle said the last payments came with "so many months delay" that the clubs nearly didn't make it through. Some of his staff will go on the German support scheme Kurzarbeit, while others will have to make do on their own. He finds the whole thing very frustrating.
"We've been complying very well, doing all the testing and all the checking at the door for the CovPass," he said. "And now we're back at it again, simply because it was election year and [the politicians] weren't focused enough on preparing the winter and saving Christmas."
The new restrictions also impact shops, hotels, adult education centres, driving schools and Christmas markets, where the "2G" rule, plus masks, is now applicable.
Last week, Bavaria became the first state in Germany to close clubs as part of the fourth wave of Covid-19, issuing a three-week lockdown starting on Monday, November 22nd.
Photo: Daniel Lonn