July 7, 2022

The latest edition of Berlin Film Festival will be an in-person event, scheduled next month. But the organizers have announced to make use of only half the available seating capacity and require attendees to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols.

According to reports, with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreading fast in Germany, the organisers of the Berlinale have been having difficulties to make the festival happen in a safe environment after it went online last year.

The film festival will begin on Feb. 10, and ending in an awards ceremony on Feb. 16 where the Golden and Silver Bears will be handed out. The festival this year will be slightly shorter than planned, although normally runs for 10 about days.

Four days after the festival, its films will be showcased in cinemas around the capital in public screenings.

According to the organisers, in order to allow social distancing, seating capacity in festival cinemas will be reduced by 50%. There will be no public events or parties, although there will be a cut back version of the red carpet at premiere cinemas.

The audiences in order to attend the showcase and event will have to be vaccinated or recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection, show a recent negative test, and wear a mask.

German minister for culture and media, Claudia Roth commented that they want the festival to send a signal to the entire film industry, to cinemas and moviegoers, and to culture as a whole.

According to German health authorities, on Wednesday it reported 80,430 new coronavirus infections, the highest recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic, and over 114,000 people have died with the same.

The Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases last week had mentioned that Omicron accounted for 44% of coronavirus infections in the country, where rules were constricted for restaurant and bar visits.