Berlin Film Festival 2022 Tightens COVID Measures – The Hollywood Reporter
Just two weeks before the start of the in-person 2022 Berlin International Film Festival, organizers have tightened COVID-19 safety measures, citing “current pandemic dynamics”: namely a spike in omicron-driven infections in Germany.
Among the new measures: daily COVID testing for all press to access screenings, press conferences and other press areas at the festival. This also applies to press members who are fully vaccinated and recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection, or for those who have received a so-called booster shot of an approved COVID vaccine. Previously, the “triple vaccinated” were exempted from daily testing requirements. Berlin will supply free tests at Potsdamer Platz for all accredited press and will use a wristband system giving full-day access to those who show proof of a valid negative test result.
Testing for the “boostered” will not be required for public screenings and other public events.
For those who were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a second shot will be required —received at least 14 days and not more than nine months ago — to be considered “fully vaccinated” for Berlin. Those who have only received one shot of Johnson & Johnson will be considered unvaccinated. Attendees need to show proof of a third Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose or recovery from a recent COVID-19 infection to classify as “boostered.”
Berlin will also restrict access to the gala red carpets and press conferences, with no independent access to the press line or press conferences for festival films.
The new measures are in response to a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in German and new government guidelines in fighting 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 has forecast a peak of 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 Feb. 10-20. Despite these concerns, Berlin is determined to hold an in-person film festival and will kick off the 2022 edition on Feb.10 with the world premiere of Francois Ozon’s Peter von Kant.