Outdoor dining to return 21 May, summer Berlinale is a go

Kitas to open fully Monday; public beaches, outdoor pools and team sports will also be allowed to resume.

Return to (sorta) normalcy?
Return to (sorta) normalcy?imago

Berlin-Outdoor dining and beer gardens in the capital can reopen 21 May if the incidence remains below 100 from 15 to 21 May, the Berlin government agreed Tuesday, just a day after the city's annual film festival announced an abbreviated open air festival would go ahead as planned.

The city's daycares, or Kitas, will also return to regular operation Monday as part of the apparent re-opening plans, which will also allow outdoor swimming pools and beaches to open 21 May.  Adult outdoor team sports would also the be allowed.

The government had hoped to meet Tuesday to decide on re-opening this Friday but had to delay the plans by a week after the incidence - the number of new corona cases per 100,000 residents over the past week - snuck up to 100.8 Monday. It dropped to 93.7 Tuesday and is expected to remain low as the warm weather allows for more ventilation and outdoor interactions.

Outdoor diners will be required to present either a negative test no older than 24 hours or a vaccine passport showing they have been fully vaccinated. Anyone who has had Covid-19 in the past six months is exempt from the vaccination and test requirements - but must show proof.

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The Berlinale, Berlin's annual film fest, Monday said it had reached an agreement with city officials to allow the traditional winter festival, all but cancelled earlier this year, to proceed this summer.

Outdoor awards

An open-air fest and awards ceremony are currently being planned with the necessary hygiene and security concepts, the festival said. The summer event will open officially on Museum Island 9 June with an awards ceremony 13 June - the winners were already announced in March.

The children's and youth juries of the Generation section, which could not compete in March due to the pandemic, will screen the competition entries in June and award the Crystal Bears to the winning films at their respective premieres.

The schedule for the Berlinale Summer Special will be announced 20 May at www.berlinale.de with tickets on sale a week later. A number of open-air cinemas as well as neighbourhood cinemas are expected to participate. 

Both the re-opening steps voted on by the government as well as the Berlinale announcement hint that the summer could be a repeat of the first corona summer when incidence figures dropped significantly and life returned to semi-normalcy.

In addition to the Kitas re-opening Monday, the 10pm to 5am curfew is expected to disappear next week and retailers will be allowed to have more shoppers per square metre. 

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