A Note from Germany

I just returned from a Silvester (New Year’s Eve) concert-actually two concerts, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, as so often is the case for these Galas. It was a close call, and we weren’t 100% sure it would happen until the day before the first orchestra rehearsal. Even then we had another close call before the Dress Rehearsal (Generalprobe) on the 30th when
when the wife of a string players tested positive for Covid (Coronavirus). After some consternation and consulting the string player had to isolate and a substitute was found. This also meant that all orchestra members and soloists had to be tested every day, rather than only before the Dress. The orchestra and venue were set up for this so things went smoothly and rapid antigen
tests were given to all at no cost. Audience members had to show their ‘Covid Pass’-it’s a QR code on an app or paper. It is official and based on a government database of vaccinations. You can’t get in almost anywhere without it. Seating was socially distanced, so limited to about half capacity, and people who came together could move their seats next to each other. Strangely, once inside the hall the audience did not have to mask up. Go figure! Orchestra members were
not required to wear masks though some did.

They are quite strict about these Covid Passes. Before The regulations varied among the Bundesländer (States) but as of Dec. 7, they apply nationally, and you can’t enter restaurants, shops, concerts, public transportation-everything except supermarkets and pharmacies-without this proof of vaccination. There are a couple of apps, but the database is governmental. Not all Apotheken (Pharmacies) are set up to register people on the basis of foreign vaccinations and a residency permit may be necessary. It turned out to be very easy for me and the Pharmacist was very helpful, but check out the rules in advance.

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