On December 2, the German government increased COVID-19 restrictions in response to rising cases and concerns about the Omicron variant. Non-vaccinated people are no longer allowed in Berlin’s clubs, dancing is forbidden, and clubs in high-infection rate areas may face closure.
Berlin, GermanyAs the clock rounded midnight on a cool fall evening in Berlin, hundreds of prospective clubgoers lined up along a sidewalk dressed in the typical circus-casual attire suitable for a night of roaming the techno labyrinth inside Wilden Renate, a cavernous club in the Friedrichshain district. It was a familiar scene from the city’s pre-COVID days, when passing muster from the clubbing scene’s notoriously selective guest selectors was a weekend ritual for thousands of locals as well as a rite of passage for international nightlife pilgrims.
But tonight was September 4, 2021, and so it seemed like a mirage: For 540 days nobody had been permitted to dance freely inside the walls of Berlin clubs since the onset of