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Berlin police investigate possible breach of Covid rules at Soho House party


Berlin police are investigating a possible breach of social distancing rules at an illegal star-studded party held by luxury fashion label Bottega Veneta, after leaked footage of the event inside private members club Soho House caused outrage in a city whose cherished nightlife has been on hold for ordinary clubbers for over a year.

A presentation of the Italian fashion house’s latest collection at Berlin’s famous and exclusive Berghain nightclub last Friday was attended by a host of celebrity guests including Nigerian singer Burna Boy.

Grammy award-winner Burna Boy later that evening posted a video on Instagram that showed him dancing behind the turntables inside the crowded restaurant on the seventh floor of Soho House Berlin’s branch, which Bottega Veneta had booked for exclusive use two weeks prior to the fashion show.

In the video, which was later deleted but has been seen by the Guardian, none of the partygoers are seen wearing masks.

A spokesperson for Berlin’s police force said it had received an emergency call at 2.45am on Saturday morning complaining about the noise from within the venue on Torstrasse, one of the British group’s global network of 31 clubs that are open only to members and their guests.

“We are currently viewing footage of the event with view to possible preliminary proceedings for a breach of measures against the coronavirus”, the spokesperson said.

Under current rules, gatherings between more than two people are banned between 9pm and 5am. Hotels are allowed to host business travellers but must abide by social distancing rules.

Travellers entering Germany from a list of designated “risk areas”, which includes the UK and the US, are asked to go into quarantine for at least five days.

A spokesperson for the Soho House group confirmed it was looking into a spontaneous party at its venue on Friday night that it said was later closed down by the management.

The spokesperson said: “The safety of our staff, guests and wider community is our utmost priority. The recent business booking which occupied all rooms at the House was made in accordance with government guidelines.

“We’re aware of a possible break of social distancing rules when guests returned to the hotel, we take this very seriously and we’re working with everyone involved to find out what happened.”

Some members of Soho House’s staff question whether the party was spontaneous. “They had already a huge sound system installed before the party, and rumours were going around the house that Skepta was going to perform,” one employee said.

Bottega Veneta did not respond to a request for comment.



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