From Sunday, October 10th, people who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons will be allowed into so-called ‘2G’ venues, which are usually only open to those who are vaccinated (geimpft) or recovered (genesen).
Like almost all other German states, Berlin allows the owners of bars, restaurants, cinemas and various other indoor venues to operate a strict ‘2G’ entry policy that excludes people who don’t have any immunity from Covid.
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Along with the scrapping of free rapid tests on October 11th, the rule is intended to encourage people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated to get their jabs as soon as possible.
That means that those who are unable to get vaccinated – such as young children and people with weak immunity – aren’t intended to be disadvantaged by the rules.
But although senators made exceptions for unvaccinated minors, state health minister Dilek Kalayci (SPD) originally said that people who could not get vaccinated for medical reasons would still be unable to access ‘2G’ venues.
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Since vaccinated and recovered people can still carry Covid, these venues pose a particularly high risk of infection to people who may have medical vulnerabilities, she said.
On Tuesday, however, Berlin’s senators voted on a significant U-turn to allow those who are unwillingly unvaccinated into these venues.
From Sunday, people who can’t get their jabs for medical reasons will have to bring a GP’s letter as evidence that they can’t get vaccinated, along with a negative PCR test, to enter ‘2G’ events and venues.
However, they will have to pay for the PCR test themselves, the Senate confirmed.
Expansion of ‘2G’
In addition to carve-outs for groups of unvaccinated people, Berlin also voted on Tuesday to expand the range of places that are allowed to opt for 2G.
From Sunday, hotels, holiday rentals, museums, galleries, libraries, archives and memorials will join bars, restaurants and cinemas in being able to restrict entry to the vaccinated and recovered.
Mandatory 2G will remain in place for saunas, steam rooms, brothels and clubs, while non-essential shops will have to stick with ‘3G’, meaning people can enter with a negative test instead of evidence of vaccination or recovery.
Another major change in recent weeks is that the yellow vaccine booklet is no longer sufficient as proof of vaccination. Instead, people will need their digital health pass on the CovPass app or a printed copy of their personalised vaccine QR code, which can be obtained from a local pharmacy.