Tuesday, February 23, 2021

ROUNDUP: Sport and culture rely on spectators – ‘showing politics a way’ | 02/22/21


BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – Science, sport and culture are hoping for more viewers up to a full occupation through a modular concept presented on Monday. “We want to show politicians a way to go back,” said the Berlin health economist Florian Kainzinger about the concept, supported by over 40 sports and cultural institutions, on which 20 scientists from various disciplines contributed. It should benefit everyone: The concept is suitable for everything from small city theaters to Berlin’s Olympic stadium.

Those involved did not want to name a specific point in time. It is about a synopsis of various criteria, “the central question is the burden on the health system,” said Kainzinger. “We can’t shut everything down until the last person is vaccinated.” From the point of view of Georg-Christian Zinn, a specialist in hygiene and environmental medicine in Ingelheim, the concept should “give as many viewers as possible the opportunity to take part in the events”. As a representative of the theater, Klaus Dörr, director of the Volksbühne Berlin said: “We can start every day.”

The guide initially provides a basic concept for the return of viewers. In closed spaces such as concert halls, theaters, operas, halls or arenas, a hygiene, ventilation and infection protection concept should be necessary. Concepts for entry and exit as well as arrival and departure are also required. This will make a cast between 25 and 30 percent possible. In the outdoor area, with comparable standards, a utilization of up to 40 percent is considered possible.

Special concepts serve to increase the utilization, whereby a hygiene concept with high standards should prevent “wild growth”. A maximum model requires, for example, digital contact management and antigen tests before each event. With such measures, according to the concept, “full utilization of operas, concerts and sporting events” is possible.

The supporters include experts from the fields of infectious diseases and virology, ventilation technology, health economics, and sports, cultural and legal sciences. The German Football Association, the handball association, the volleyball association, the basketball association with their respective league associations, as well as the stage association with numerous individual theaters, also signed. There are some halls and arenas from the event area.

“At the moment, everyone can use an encouragement. Nobody wants to lockdown any more,” said Frank Bohmann, managing director of the Handball Bundesliga, of the dpa on Monday. “We know how explosive an opening is, but we consider it to be responsible.” Gernot Tripcke, head of the German Ice Hockey League, said: “The virus will be with us for months, years, maybe even forever. It is all the more important that we develop future-oriented solutions.”

The first positive reactions came from politics. Berlin’s Senator for Culture, Klaus Lederer, spoke of a “right path”. “The initiative cannot be rated highly enough,” said the left-wing politician of the dpa. “We need a perspective that gives us hope and incentive so that we can get away from the appeals to persevere without any prospect of improvement,” said Lederer, who is currently also chairing the federal state culture ministers’ conference. However, this must be done with full knowledge of the dangers of the virus and a corresponding realistic assessment.

The SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken also sees opportunities for pandemic-friendly cultural and sporting events. “With creative ideas, test tracks and hygienic concepts, we will hopefully soon be able to enjoy culture again, in large and small venues, because we all miss that very much.” / Gro / DP / fba



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