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COVID-19 test, then a party? Berlin clubs participate in pilot study

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By Euronews
This Saturday May 22, 2021 taken photo shows people sitting at the 'Wilde Renate' beer garden in Berlin, Germany.
This Saturday May 22, 2021 taken photo shows people sitting at the 'Wilde Renate' beer garden in Berlin, Germany.   -   Copyright  Dorothee Thiesing/AP Photo
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Six Berlin clubs will take part in a COVID-19 experiment this weekend to see if PCR testing can help to reopen nightlife during the pandemic.

The pilot event “Clubculture Reboot” was initiated by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe along with scientists from the city's Charité hospital.

Participants aged 18 and up will have to take a COVID-19 PCR test on Friday. If the result of that test is negative, they will receive an admission ticket to the nightclub event.

Six clubs are offering programmes starting from 10 and 11pm on Friday and Saturday that participants can attend.

The catch? All participants must take a second PCR test a week later on August 13 despite being vaccinated or having recently recovered from COVID-19.

Inside the clubs, it will be a full return to pre-pandemic life: no masks, no distancing and packed dance floors.

Around 20 establishments applied to take part in the project but just six were selected based on ventilation systems, city districts, and music genre, according to the club commission. The project sought locations that were diverse.

The limited tickets cost €15 (in addition to a €10 deposit that will be refunded) and sold out quickly at the clubs.

The hope behind the study is to determine how to safely reopen nightclubs. If no one gets infected during the party weekend, the testing structure could be used for similar events in the future.

"We urgently need a plan and a solution on how to find our way back into club culture life from our one-and-a-half year standstill," club commission chair Pamela Schobeß told television station rbb.