Incidence-based tier system: Current regulations for Cologne

01/06/2021

With the new Corona Protection Ordinance of May 28, 2021, a new tier system applies in North Rhine-Westphalia, which provides for different opening steps depending on the current incidence rate [DE]. This tier system specifies different regulations for the meeting and congress market depending on the incidence level and type of event as well. Please note: The general protective measures, such as the obligation to wear a face mask, remain unaffected by the changes. The following regulations apply to events in Cologne: Incidence level 4: ...

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01/06/2021

With the new Corona Protection Ordinance of May 28, 2021, a new tier system applies in North Rhine-Westphalia, which provides for different opening steps depending on the current incidence rate [DE]. This tier system specifies different regulations for the meeting and congress market depending on the incidence level and type of event as well.

Please note: The general protective measures, such as the obligation to wear a face mask, remain unaffected by the changes.

The following regulations apply to events in Cologne:

Incidence level 4: Incidence > 100.

The regulations of the Federal Emergency Brake apply. Events are prohibited until further notice.

Incidence level 3: Incidence between 100 and 50.1

  • Holding conferences and congresses is prohibited until further notice.
  • Trade fairs and exhibitions are possible, provided that the number of participants is limited to one person per 7 sqm, and that the participants present a negative Corona test certificate.
    A hygiene and infection prevention concept needs to have been approved by the health department prior to the event. Should the number of participant exceed 500, prior approval of the concept must be obtained from the health department in cooperation with the responsible public order office.
  • Outdoor cultural events are possible with up to 500 participants, provided that a fixed seating with seats distributed according to a checkerboard pattern is in place, and that each participant presents a negative Corona test certificate.
  • Indoor cultural events are possible if constant ventilation is ensured or a certified ventilation system is in place. Further, a fixed seating plan with checkerboard pattern seating and a negative Corona test certificate by each participant is a prerequisite.

Incidence level 2: Incidence between 50 and 35.1

  • Conferences and congresses may be held outdoors as well as indoors with up to 500 participants. Prerequisites are a negative Corona test certificate. Also, distinct traceability is required.
  • Trade fairs and exhibitions may be organised with a participant limit of one person per 7 sqm. Prerequisites are the approval of a hygiene and infection prevention concept by the authorities and a negative Corona test certificate to be presented by each participant.
  • Cultural events may be held outdoors with up to 500 participants. A negative test certificate has to be presented by each participant and a fixed seating plan with checkerboard seating needs to be in place.
  • Cultural events may be held indoors with up to 500 people if continuous ventilation is ensured or a certified ventilation system is in place. A negative Corona test certificate to be presented by each participant is required, as well as a fixed seating plan with checkerboard-style seating.

Incidence level 1: Incidence < 35.1

  • Conventions and congresses may be held outdoors as well as indoors with up to 1,000 people. Negative Corona test certificates must be presented by all participants and special traceability must be ensured.
  • Cultural events are permitted outdoors
    • with up to 1,000 persons, who all need to present a negative Corona test certificate and must be seated in a checkerboard pattern.
    • with maximum 200 people. In this case no negative test certificate needs to be presented by the participants.

Find out now about the current incidence rate in Cologne here.

Find out what to consider before, during and after an event in times of Corona here.

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Do different regulations apply for vaccinated or recovering persons at events?

According to the Federal Infection Control Act, vaccinated and recovered (hence, immunized) persons are considered equal to those who have tested negative for Corona. In case a maximum number of permitted persons or households is given for gatherings and events, immunized persons do not count as a separate household or person to be calculated. This regulation does not however apply to established facility-based participant limits per square foot or general capacity limits. In cases where a negative Corona test certificate is required, it suffices that immunized persons present proof of immunization (i.e. of full vaccination or a Corona infection that was determined at least 28 days but not more than six months prior to the event).

What does distinct traceability involve compared to plain traceability?

In accordance with plain traceability, the name, address, telephone number or email address, and period of stay of all participating individuals must be recorded with their knowledge. This can be done in writing or digitally, and the data has to be stored for four weeks. In addition to this, distinct traceability calls for a fixed seating plan to be created and stored for four weeks. The seating plan must record which person present at the event sat where.

What counts as a negative Corona test certificate?

If a negative Corona test certificate is required, a Corona test must be performed with a testing procedure that is in accordance with the Corona Test and Quarantine Ordinance. The negative result must be confirmed in writing or digitally by an officially acknowledged test center. As stated in the requirements of Section 28b of the Infection Protection Act, the test may not have been performed more than 48 hours before the offer that requires it is taken up.