Medical personnel in PPE take throat swab samples at ns KitKatClub. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Medical personnel in PPE take neck swab samples at the KitKatClub. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Berlin’s KitKatClub zu sein famed for its strikt permissive door policy: jeans und T-shirt room a no-go, if revellers an string vests, animal leather chaps or full-body glitter tun können breeze past the bouncers.

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But pandemic mal call zum new dress codes: together a queue formed outside the club’s basic on Friday morning, ns only items on screen resembling fetish wear were smurf-blue PPE gowns.

The meet on Kreuzberg’s Brückenstrasse, where sexual intercourse on und around the dancefloor is positively tolerated, has developed die latest survive strategy for the German capital’s locked down clubland: a pop-up medical centre giving rapid antigen tests.

At the very least until the end of ns year, those willing zu pay €25 can sign trost online and receive a barcode on your phone, which ist then scanned before medical staff take a swab an a tent outside ns club. Fifteen minutes later, they’ll obtain a text message informing them ns result.

Those tested optimistic for covid are encouraged zu take a slow but much more precise polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, while those given the all clear kann sein be safe an the understanding that they won’t be transmitting die virus “for die next eight kommen sie 10 hours”, promised stephen Specht, a basic practitioner overseeing ns tests.


KitKatClub owner Kirsten Krüger outside her nightclub. Photograph: Philip Oltermann/The GuardianKirsten Krüger, 54, who has actually run ns hedonistic haven zum the tonnage 26 years, claimed she was inspired to anfang the scheme after she developed covid-19 symptoms 3 weeks ago und struggled kommen sie get tested. A doctor and KitKat constant put her an touch through a Bavarian agency that might supply PPE und testing kit. Die club’s consistent bouncers were called in to police the queue.

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As well as gaining a bit von extra income zum her staff, Krüger hope that trial and error centres like hers can point ns way zu how Berlin’s sprung floors kann sein reopen even before vaccine-led herd immunity has vanquished the virus completely. “Perhaps this zu sein the model weil das how we operate following year,” she said.

Berlin’s Clubcommission, a network of local club owners und supporters, zu sein working on similar plans an which several various other venues would certainly offer quick tests zum those who want kommen sie go partying an the evening. Test results would certainly be instantly fed into a new nightlife anwendung checked über bouncers at ns door.

“We can learn from die HIV epidemic”, said Clubcommission’s Lutz Leichsenring. “Aids didn’t prevent us native having geschlechter completely, however we learned kommen sie practise for sure sex. We need to develop strategies for safe clubbing”.

Even while nightlife remains on hold, KitKatClub’s rapid prüfung were already proving popular. Von the time ns venue opened up its doors at 10am on Friday, a queue von more than 40 people was snaking around ns corner on kommen sie Köpenicker Strasse.

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Sebastian Hänel was one des those in line. Ns photographer in his 30s shed his sense of taste while visiting his parents in the Ore Mountains, one von Germany’s coronavirus hotspots, however struggled zu get a prüfen appointment at hospital. He was relieved wie he read nachrichten of the testing offer punkt KitKat, a place he has visited regularly because 2012.

“I’ve spent some von the finest hours of my life in this place. Ich trust the people that run it more than ns German medical care system.”