How did Hamburg’s first ‘vaccine only’ weekend go?

Some bars on Hamburg’s famed Reeperbahn were packed like in the days before the pandemic on the first weekend of new rules that allow nightlife locations to bar entry to the unvaccinated. Others chose not to make use of the option.

How did Hamburg’s first ‘vaccine only’ weekend go?
A sign in front of a Hamburg bar indicating 2G rules. Photo: dpa | Axel Heimken

The port city’s controversial decision to allow event organizers to only allow in people who have been vaccinated or recovered from a coronavirus infection came into force on Saturday.

Hamburg is the only German state to have created a so-called ‘2G’ rule – meaning entry for Geimpfte (vaccinated), Genesene (recovered) – as opposed to the standard 3G model, which includes entrance for people who can show a negative test (Getestete).

Event locations which register with the city as 2G locations can impose much looser restrictions, which allows bars with dancefloors to let in up to 150 people. They also no longer need to close at 11pm, meaning Hamburg’s endless nights can restart again.

The concept has faced criticism though due to the fact that it excludes people who have either chosen not to be vaccinated or have not been able to receive a vaccination due to health concerns.

Packed-out bars 

According to public broadcaster NDR, some bars on the Reeperbahn already made use of the new rules at the stroke of midnight from on Saturday. Within hours though police had closed one club on the Große Freiheit and a bar in the vicinity down due to the fact that people were found inside who could not prove vaccination or recovery from the virus.

Some of the pubs were packed like in the days before the pandemic, the broadcaster reports.

Close to 300 venues have already registered for the 2G rules.

SEE ALSO: Hamburg venues can allow entry for Covid-vaccinated and recovered people only

Some venues haven’t yet made use of the rules but intend to.

“Most of my guests have been vaccinated and are just waiting to be able to sit inside again,” Andreas Neumann, manager of Hardy’s bar told DPA. 

Neumann intends to switch to 2G from October, when all his employees have been vaccinated. He says he will then be able to seat more than double as many people inside for football matches.

Content with 3G

Not everyone plans to implement the 2G rules though.

Celebrity chef Tim Mälzer, who owns the Bullerei restaurant near the Sternschanze, has said that he will keep offering entry to people who have a negative test result.

“The unvaccinated, those not yet completely vaccinated, pregnant women, some people with allergies and others would be denied entry” under the 2G model, Mälzer wrote on Facebook, adding that “we look forward to seeing you all!”

Mälzer said that the 3G system had worked well for his restaurant and that there had not been any cases of infection reported.

More states to follow? 

While Hamburg is the first state to introduce the 2G rule, it may not be the last. 

On Sunday, Bild am Sonntag reported that the southwestern state of Baden-Württemburg was also considering permitting entry to certain venues only for those who can prove that they’ve been vaccinated against or recovered from Covid. 

Member comments

  1. Good! Private businesses should be able to make their own rules. And, the whole country should not continue to be penalized because a portion of the population refuses to get immunized. Get the shot or stay home.

  2. Has to be 2G so as to encourage as many as possble to get vaccinated. Entrance to venues has always been based on a set of rules and conditions to protect the health and safety of guests. There is usually some reference to these on the ticket.

    1. we already know today that even if you are vaccinated you can get infected with covid and thus infect others, so why do we think 2g is safer than 3g? And if you think that health pass is reasonable why not to include all infectious diseases there?you know..for people safety..

  3. Amazing the amount of people agreeing with these Fascist measures. The MRNA jabs were rushed , insufficiently tested and are proving to be harmful. Just take a look at the UK Yellow card for evidence of this. The jabs do not even prevent infection or transmission. They are even coming for the children now. Well you can stick the jabs, the pubs, the clubs, the cinemas. Im staying at home away from this lunacy.

  4. So often I hear the pro covid vaccination people accuse the people who do not want this covid vaccination of being asocial. Yet, it seems to me, that by taking tests before activities and going places, those test takers are being far more protective of others than, say, 150 people, untested, packed into a bar, dancing their fool heads off. Obviously, people who are double vaccinated can contract Covid and infect others. This has been shown over and over. To my mind, everyone should be taking tests before they go places, vaccinated or not. Being double vaccinated is not a get out of jail free card.

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End of the pandemic? What the expiry of Sweden’s Covid laws really means

With the expiry of Sweden's two temporary Covid-19 laws, the downgrading of the virus's threat classification, and the end of the last travel restrictions, April, officially at least, marks the end of the pandemic. We explain what it means.

End of the pandemic? What the expiry of Sweden's Covid laws really means

What are the two laws which expire on April 1st? 

Sweden’s parliament voted last week to let the two temporary laws put in place to battle the Covid-19 pandemic expire on April 1st.

The first law is the so-called Covid-19 law, or “the law on special restrictions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 illness”, which was used during the pandemic to temporarily empower the authorities to limit the number of visitors to shops, gyms, and sports facilities. It also gave the government power to limit the number of people who could gather in public places like parks and beaches. 

The second law was the “law on temporary restrictions at serving places”. This gave the authorities, among other things, the power to limit opening times, and force bars and restaurants to only serve seated customers.  

What impact will their expiry have? 

The immediate impact on life in Sweden will be close to zero, as the restrictions imposed on the back of these two laws were lifted months ago. But it does means that if the government does end up wanting to bring back these infection control measures, it will have to pass new versions of the laws before doing so. 

How is the classification of Covid-19 changing? 

The government decided at the start of February that it would stop classifying Covid-19 both as a “critical threat to society” and “a disease that’s dangerous to the public” on April 1st.

These classifications empowered the government under the infectious diseases law that existed in Sweden before the pandemic to impose health checks on inbound passengers, place people in quarantine, and ban people from entering certain areas, among other measures. 

What impact will this change have? 

Now Covid-19 is no longer classified as “a disease that’s dangerous to the public”, or an allmänfarlig sjukdom, people who suspect they have caught the virus, are no longer expected to visit a doctor or get tested, and they cannot be ordered to get tested by a court on the recommendation of an infectious diseases doctor. People with the virus can also no longer be required to aid with contact tracing or to go into quarantine. 

Now Covid-19 is no longer classified as “a critical threat to society”, or samhällsfarlig, the government can no longer order health checks at border posts, quarantine, or ban people from certain areas. 

The end of Sweden’s last remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions

Sweden’s last remaining travel restriction, the entry ban for non-EU arrivals, expired on March 31st.  This means that from April 1st, Sweden’s travel rules return to how they were before the Covid-19 pandemic began. 

No one will be required to show a vaccination or test certificate to enter the country, and no one will be barred from entering the country because their home country or departure country is not deemed to have a sufficiently good vaccination program or infection control measures. 

Does that mean the pandemic is over? 

Not as such. Infection rates are actually rising across Europe on the back of yet another version of the omicron variant. 

“There is still a pandemic going on and we all need to make sure that we live with it in a balanced way,” the Public Health Agency’s director-general, Karin Tegmark Wisell, told SVT

Her colleague Sara Byfors told TT that this included following the “fundamental recommendation to stay home if you are sick, so you don’t spread Covid-19 or any other diseases”.