Berlin’s Clubs Want Lock Out Instead Of Lockdown

Pamela Schobeß, operator of club
Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images
– Pamela Schobeß, operator of club “Gretchen” and chairwoman of the board of Berin
Schobeß is pictured in the currently closed club in Obentrautstraße in Berlin Kreuzberg. Many clubs in the capital are fighting for survival.

Berlin’s Clubcommission has criticized the most recent plans by the German government to further restrict people to their own four walls, seeing that the scientific evidence shows how any risk of infection is reduced outdoors.
Outdoor events that are held responsibly in parks or other open-air spaces aren’t driving infections, the Clubcommission, which counts 250 clubs amongst its members, stated.
People queue for a swab test outside the KitKatClub night club in Berlin, Dec. 4, 2020.
– People queue for a swab test outside the KitKatClub night club in Berlin, Dec. 4, 2020.
The legendary fetish nightclub has remained closed since March 2020, and was transformed into a Covid-19 testing centre.

It refers to both a study from Ireland’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre, which stated that “outdoor transmission accounts for 0.1% of [the] state’s Covid-19 cases,” as well as to Germany’s Association for Aerosol Research, which published an open letter to government, criticizing its current lockdown stance.

The letter states that outdoor transmission was “extremely rare” and never led to “cluster infections.” While the current state of science, in particular aerosol research, should offer reasons for hope, findings are rarely being put into practice, the letter continues.
The Clubcommission therefore heavily criticized the way the German government is handling the situation.
Since March 2020, the clubs in the capital have been going along with the mandated closures. A number of promoters managed to maintain a modicum of business by responsibly organizing outdoor events. 
Now that people can take rapid tests, it should be all the more reason to encourage open air events, in particular to keep people from hosting what Clubcommission describes as “illegal meetings in private indoor spaces.”
In Berlin, not more than five people are currently allowed to gather in public during the day, after 9 p.m. that number is reduced to two, inevitably pushing people indoors.
Lutz Leichsenring, member of Clubcommission’s executive board, said “events under open skies are the solution not the problem.”
Pamela Schobeß, Clubcommission’s chairwoman, said promoting outdoor events should be encouraged in order to reduce the amount of indoor gatherings as well as give back some quality of life to the people of Berlin.