Berlin Clubcommission hoping to combine clubbing and vaccinations

Arena in Treptow was a cornerstone of Berlin nightlife before it became a vaccination centre. Why not both?

Club Mate and Biontech.&nbsp;<br><br>
Club Mate and Biontech.

Markus Wächter

Berlin-Some party planners hope to couple one of the city's favourite pastimes with vaccination. Next month, the Berlin Clubcommission wants DJs to spin at Arena while the vaccination centre there continues its work for clubgoers.

"We're planning this right now with relevant managers from the club scene and the health administration," said Lutz Leichsenring from the Clubcommission.

Arena started its life as a spacious bus depot on the Spree but was reborn after reunification as a concert and event space - and now vaccination centre. The location's size means it's possible to create a club-like atmosphere and adhere to corona regulations.

The announcement comes a day after a Tagesspiegel report that health minister Dilek Kalayci (SPD) was planning a "long night of vaccination" - other "long nights" in Berlin usually focus on museums or science institutions that stay open after hours for special, one-off events. 

Trial with no masks

The report said health authorities would send special invitations to Berliners aged 18-30. They could then book an appointment for the club/vaccination evening at Arena. However, it's unlikely alcohol will be served and the invites will reportedly mention the perils of mixing alcohol and/or drugs with vaccinations. 

"It's about a different time of day and a different setting," the Clubcommission's Leichsenring said. The hope is to get as many young people vaccinated as possible. Using the open air areas of other clubs would be difficult, in part because of the refrigeration required the vaccine.

The commission is also planning a pilot project inside a club without masks or distancing. Participants would have to take a more accurate PCR test before and after their visit. The project, which will be monitored by scientists, is supposed to be a test run for allowing partying indoors again.

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