- The City of Duesseldorf in Germany on the river Rhine is known for having the longest bar counter in the world with hundreds of restaurants in the cities colorful old town.
- Cologne, the city with the famous Cathedral only 35 miles away and also on the River Rhine has a similar old town, but the beer sold here is “Koelsch”. The beer in Duesseldorf is “Alt”
- While Cologne has been in a state of night curfew and lockdown, Duesseldorf is open and people celebrating Corona freedom – and it shows
On Saturday night Cologne’s restaurants and bars were closed, except for take out.
A curfew was in effect from 10 pm to 5 am every day, making it depressing to walk around the city, but one has to accept the COVID-19 limits in the city.
Both cities, Cologne and Duesseldorf, are in the German State of Northrhine Westphalia, but besides having Koelsch beer in Cologne and Alt beer in Duesseldorf could have not been any more different on Saturday night
I left Cologne at 9.30 pm Saturday night trying to get beyond city limits before 10pm to avoid the night curfew. After driving for about 30 minutes I made it to Duesseldorf, and the atmosphere could have not been any more extreme.
I was staying at the Hyatt branded Hotel Wellen in Duesseldorf located in the center of the cities party mile in the old town.
It took me another 45 minutes to drive less than one mile to get into my hotel’s garage. Thousands of cars, music, dancing on the street and packed old town streets made the mandatory social distancing impossible.
Masks were only seen sporadically, and every bar, every restaurant was open for outside services. Tables were full everywhere. The requirement to get to sit in a venue was to have a negative COVID test or a certificate of complete vaccination.
I noticed three testing centers within walking distance in the Dusseldorf Old town. Tests are free and a negative result should be expected within 15 minutes, opening up the party mile for the lucky receiver.
Today private COVID-19 test centers are expanding everywhere in Germany, even in restaurants. There are no checks and balances. Centers bill the German government EURO 18 per test. Privacy laws are strict in Germany. Private COVID-19 test centers only provide the number of tested people, no names are necessary. Based on the numbers reported, test centers will be paid. Widespread fraud is now likely. According to local news reports the government is billed 3-4 times the actually number of tests administrated. It’s also noticed some test centers never reported a positive test.
Germany is an example of how rules set city by city make traveling in that country not only confusing but impossible. Rules are not even set by state or country, except for international arrival regulations
It will be interesting to see how COVID-19 infections will develop in Duesseldorf in 14 days.
Watch the video to see how Duesseldorf looked yesterday, on Saturday night.
Cologne announced lifting their tough restrictions as of Monday. Restaurants and bars are already getting ready for freedom of COVID-19 parties.