Berlin clubs return with a vengeance

The Berlin local government had gladly provided the roughly 40,000 euros to cover the costs of all PCR tests for this experiment, said Kl...


The Berlin local government had gladly provided the roughly 40,000 euros to cover the costs of all PCR tests for this experiment, said Klaus Lederer, a politician from the left-wing Die Linke party and current Minister of State for Culture of Berlin, because “club culture is a part of Berlin culture.

Speaking to reporters crammed into a door outside the Metropol nightclub to protect themselves from a downpour on the pilot’s first night, Mr Lederer also noted that keeping the clubs afloat was costing taxpayers a considerable sum.

Dr Frank Heppner, professor and researcher at Charity who was with Mr Lederer, said PCR tests were needed for the study because rapid antigen tests are “leaky and not ideal.”

“You have to use the best, most sensitive tool to filter out potential positives,” he said.

The pilot project reflected other recent experiences in Germany, including testing protocols in Berlin classic concert last spring and an out-of-town electronic music festival in the summer.

“We know after a very long period of containment that we have serious side effects on society that you must also integrate. You cannot just focus on the virus and its direct consequences,” said Dr Heppner. “The indirect social, psychological and economic consequences are also things to be weighed.”

For the time being, the study of the club has been swept away by the reopening of clubs. But Lutz Leichsenring, spokesman for the Clubs Commission, said the PCR testing strategy remains a potential option in place of further shutdowns or tighter restrictions if infections increase this fall. Clubs in Berlin had lined up lab partners in August to offer clubs special PCR tests for 15 euros – a substantial sum in a city where door costs rarely exceed 20 euros, but with guaranteed results within four time.

Another foreclosure would be a “worst case that kills a lot of jobs,” Leichsenring said. But studying rapid PCR tests could lead to alternatives “so that we can at least make sure that people who go to clubs are safe,” he said.

Alex marshall contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Berlin clubs return with a vengeance
Berlin clubs return with a vengeance
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