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Berlin film festival to go ahead next month under strict Covid rules

The Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, will take place in person as planned next month but with tougher rules to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Berlin, 13 January 2022 (dpa/MIA) – The Berlin International Film Festival, also known as the Berlinale, will take place in person as planned next month but with tougher rules to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Seating capacity in the cinemas will be reduced to 50 per cent and only those vaccinated against or recovered from the virus will be permitted entry. In addition, visitors will have to get tested before attending and mask-wearing will be compulsory across the venues.

All parties and receptions have been called off.

“We are aware of the challenges posed by the unpredictable course of the pandemic,” the festival management said, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant was taking in Germany.

“At the same time, we think that culture plays such an elementary role in society that we don’t want to let that aspect out of our sight,” management said in a statement.

Alongside Cannes and Venice, the Berlinale is one of the international film circuit’s most important gatherings.

It is scheduled to run from from February 10 to 16, followed by special “audience days” from February 17 to 20 to give the public a chance to view the films.

The festival adapted its coronavirus rules following the introduction of tougher regulations at state level, the statement said.

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