Berlin (dpa) – The end of most general coronavirus protection rules nationwide has forced cultural institutions to make their own decisions about individual measures. With infection values soaring and many new infections, masks should remain in many theaters, operas, museums or movie theaters. However, some institutions are completely abandoning the protections that applied previously, as evidenced by the selective inquiries made by dpa at important German cultural institutions on Wednesday.
Goethe “Faust” Gretchen asked “How do you feel about religion?” In the midst of a fundamental conflict of faith. The current mask question is answered in a similarly complex fashion: yes and no, FFP2 and medical masks, only in the lobby and also in the box, sometimes free access, sometimes proof of vaccination.
Important cultural institutions in Berlin want to stick to the mask requirement. In the three big houses of Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper, for example, there should not only be a recommendation, but an obligation to wear masks in both the halls and the square. The Deutsches Theatre, Schaubühne and Berliner Ensemble also want to act accordingly. Similar regulations are being discussed in the Volksbühne and the Philharmonie.
Mask requirements were also planned for the Humboldt Forum, and other houses such as the German Historical Museum and State Museums are still coordinated. A general recommendation is expected from Berlin’s cultural department this Thursday.
“We want to continue to enable our audience to have a safe and enjoyable visit to the theater at the Berlin Ensemble, and therefore we will adapt our precautions step by step and cautiously,” said director Oliver Reese. In order to reduce the possibility of infection, mask requirements must also be maintained in April during performances. The public is asked to keep a distance when entering and in the lobbies.
The usual pre-vaccination certificate checks are no longer necessary in most facilities. It was unanimously said that this also makes acceptance easier. The Humboldt Forum wants to continue verifying vaccination certificates at events and guided tours.
The HDF Film Society has indicated state regulations. “This framework and the spatial conditions in movie theaters on site will also lead to different ways of handling hygiene measures in movie theaters,” said board member Kristen Berg. “However, it is our perception that many cinemas will continue to recommend their guests to wear a mask in the lobby area in order to continue to ensure the highest possible level of security for guests.” In Yorck cinemas in Berlin, for example, there should be no requirement for a mask, “but we demand mutual observance and the voluntary wearing of masks up to the seat”. She added that for the time being, there will be a distance between groups of visitors in the halls.
In Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, regulations for so-called corona hotspot areas apply. This means that the mask requirement remains in “indoor spaces open to the public”, that is, also in theatres, concert halls, museums or cinemas.
In the theater and opera at the Hanover State Theater, it is no longer necessary to wear masks from Monday. A spokeswoman said the Department of Health was confident this was no longer necessary.
In the future, the University of Munich Kammerspiele will say: “We ask and advise to wear a medical mask.” This is how it is handled at the Residenztheater. Masks are still recommended because the minimum distance can no longer be maintained given the 100% room occupancy. “One more step towards a new normality. The majority of our audience will welcome it. But even if the requirements for the mask fell, the mask was always a living part of the theatre. That is why the following now applies: You are not only allowed on stage, but also in the audience wear a mask— Does it serve anyone or the cause,” said director Andreas Beck.
In Baden-Württemberg, some institutions are still waiting for the decision of their own municipality. Others are sticking to the state’s requirement, which will no longer require masks indoors or access restrictions from next Sunday. The Stuttgart Opera House wants to “highly recommend” the wearing of masks.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220330-99-730174 / 7