The Duesseldorf Get together Mile is Booming
Germany still has a high COVID-19 infection rate and low vaccination rates. However, testing is available everywhere – and it’s free. Every city has different rules for COVID-19. See what that meant for Cologne and Düsseldorf this weekend.
- The city of Düsseldorf in Germany on the Rhine is known for the longest bar counter in the world with hundreds of restaurants in the city’s colorful old town.
- Cologne, the city with the famous cathedral only 56 km away and also on the Rhine, has a similar old town, but the beer sold here is “Kölsch”. The beer in Düsseldorf is “old”
- While there is night curfew and curfew in Cologne, Düsseldorf is open and people are celebrating freedom from corona – and you can see that
Cologne’s restaurants and bars were closed on Saturday evening, except for take-away.
There was a curfew every day from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., which makes walking around town depressing, but you have to accept the COVID-19 limits in town.
Both cities, Cologne and Düsseldorf, are in North Rhine-Westphalia, but apart from Kölsch in Cologne and Altbier in Düsseldorf, Saturday evening couldn’t have been more different
I left Cologne on Saturday evening at 9:30 p.m. and tried to leave the city limits before 10 p.m. in order to bypass the night curfew. After about 30 minutes of driving, I made it to Düsseldorf, and the atmosphere couldn’t have been more extreme.
I stayed at the Hyatt brand hotel Wellen in Düsseldorf, which is located in the center of the city’s party mile in the old town.
It took me another 45 minutes to travel less than a mile to get into my hotel’s garage. Thousands of cars, music, dancing in the street and overcrowded old town streets made mandatory social distancing impossible.
Masks were seen only sporadically and every bar and restaurant was open to outside sales. The tables were full everywhere. A negative COVID test or a complete vaccination certificate was required for the seat.
I noticed three test centers within walking distance in Düsseldorf’s old town. The tests are free and a negative result should be expected within 15 minutes, which opens the party mile for the lucky recipient.
Today, private COVID-19 test centers are spreading all over Germany, including in restaurants. There are no checks and balances. Centers charge the German government EUR 18 per test. The data protection laws in Germany are strict. Private COVID-19 test centers only disclose the number of people tested, names are not required. Test centers are paid based on the reported numbers. Now widespread fraud is likely. According to local news, the government will be billed 3-4 times the amount of tests actually performed. It has also been noticed that some testing centers never reported a positive test.
Germany is an example of how city-to-city rules make traveling in this country not only confusing, but impossible. Rules aren’t even set by the state or country, with the exception of international entry requirements
It will be interesting to see how the COVID-19 infections in Düsseldorf will develop in 14 days.
Watch the video to see what Düsseldorf looked like yesterday, on Saturday evening.
Cologne announced that it would lift the strict restrictions on Monday. Restaurants and bars are already preparing for freedom from COVID-19 parties.