Reopening Europe: Ireland & Germany Roll Out Vague Plans
Kieran Frost/Redferns – Billie Eilish at Electric Picnic Music Festival 2019
This year’s edition of the Live Nation event is still scheduled to go ahead Sept. 4-6, in Stradbally, Ireland.
Europe’s countries are aiming for a gradual return to public life with Ireland and Germany among the latest to lay out their respective roadmaps that make it clear once more that there won’t be any festivals this summer.
Ireland has laid out a five-phase plan, with the first phase starting May 18, and phase five launching Aug. 10.
Phase one sees the opening of outdoor public sites and sports facilities, as long as Ireland’s social distancing orders are followed.
Public libraries are to open in phase two (June 8), which is also when “small group team sports training” will be allowed, although social distance will still need to be maintained.
Social and recreational life will only gradually recommence starting June 29, when restaurants and cafés will be permitted to open their buildings again, as long as they’re able to keep people far enough apart from each other on site.
Pubs, bars and nightclubs aren’t part of this reopening.
Phase four (July 20) sees the reopening of “museums, galleries, and other cultural outlets, where people are non-stationary” and where social distancing as well as “strict hand hygiene on entry” can be guaranteed, according to the Irish government’s own words.
Places of worship where social distancing can be maintained will also open. This phase will also mark the reopening for Ireland’s sports leagues, as long as they limit the audience in the venues to a number that allows for social distancing.
Hotels, hostels, caravan parks, holiday parks for social and tourist activities will open on a limited occupancy basis.
Hotel bars remain closed, though.
Theaters and cinemas will only open in phase five (Aug. 10), and only if the facilities allow visitors to keep an adequate distance. This phase is also when the government intends to allow close physical contact sports again, open gyms, dance studios and sports clubs under the same social distancing conditions.
Sports spectatorship, which involves mass gatherings, will only be allowed in accordance with both indoor and outdoor numbers restrictions and where social distancing can be complied with, although specifics on the numbers haven’t been given.
Indoor recreational venues like bowling alleys or bingo halls, pubs, bars, nightclubs and casinos may open again, keeping the distancing rules.
And, finally, festivals, events and other social and cultural mass gatherings will be allowed to open in accordance with both indoor and outdoor numbers to allow for the correct distance to be maintained between people. Again, no concrete capacity numbers were given.
An earlier decision by politicians to ban all events with a capacity of more than 5,000 people until Aug. 31 hasn’t been touched by the new announcements.
Germany has started to open shops again, as long as they limit the amount of people that can enter at once.
Apart from that, it’s mostly up to Germany’s 16 individual states to come up with the specific rules pertaining to outdoor sports, the gradual reopening of the gastronomic and hospitality industries as well as theaters, operas, concert halls and cinemas.
Bavaria, for instance, will open gastronomic outdoor spaces like beer gardens from May 18, one week later restaurants will be able to open their indoor spaces as well, as long as numbers are limited, distances guaranteed.
Tourism is supposed to return to Bavaria beginning May 30, although hotels and other spaces for accommodation aren’t allowed to open facilities catering to groups of people like wellness and swimming facilities.
Bars and clubs haven’t been given an opening date in Bavaria. Large scale events remain banned until at least Aug. 31 in all of Germany.