The Berlin Film Festival, whose scaled-down edition kicked off on Thursday evening with strict COVID measures, has recorded only eight positive cases among the film teams, the festival spokesperson confirmed to Variety.
Unlike at Cannes or Venice, the Berlinale is requiring guests and audience members to take a daily test if they’ve only been vaccinated twice in order to access screenings. Testing stations can be found in buses around the festival’s main theater and inside select hotels with results back in roughly 20 minutes.
“The Berlinale’s test buses, available for both accredited and audience, did approximately 2,700 tests and had only 54 positive tests,” said the festival’s spokesperson.
This means that the tests are being conducted on press and film delegations as well as audience members who are not boosted. She pointed out there is 2% of positive tests which is “less than the average percentage of positive tests around Berlin.”
“In order to stop possible chains of infections, we are evaluating every case and situation thoroughly, tracking all contacts and identifying possible risk situations. We are still in pandemic times and obviously positive tests are still a reality in our daily lives. It is good to hear that the figures of positive tests are really low.”
As of Feb. 11, Germany reported 240,172 new COVID cases, with a seven-day average of 1,472 cases per 100,000 population, according the Robert Koch Institute. Only 55.2 % of the German population has received a booster vaccination.
Besides the daily testing and mandatory masks indoors, other COVID measures put in place at the Berlinale include the reduction of seating capacity inside theaters by half. Although the European Film Market is being held online, a number of industry folks made the trek to the festival to take meetings and attend screenings.
Deadline first reported the Berlinale’s COVID figures.