Berlin Tegel Airport, which was closed after serving for seven decades on November 8, 2020, will be re-opened in mid-December 2020 as a vaccination center against the COVID-19 pandemic, announced the government of Germany.
On November 27, 2020, in line with its goals to enhance immunization drive in early 2021, the government of Germany announced plans to refit the closed Tegel Airport (TXL) as a vaccination center. The airport would vaccinate from 3,000 to 4,000 people a day, Albrecht Broemme, a project coordinator of the COVID-19 vaccination centers, told local media.
Broemme explained that the idea for the smooth-running of revived for new life Tegel airport came while building a model with walkways and reception centers using a set of Lego bricks.
“I came up with a system, thinking about how many [vaccination] booths we would need and how much space we would need in order to prevent bottlenecks,” Broemme was quoted in a statement.
The vaccination process at a former Terminal C of Tegel Airport would last an hour, the project coordinator outlined. Despite that the work on refitting Terminal C has not begun yet, the airport building was sealed off with metal fencing and barbed wire. The new vaccination center in the closed airport would have a designated route from registration to the actual vaccination place that each visitor would follow. The center would have special premises for doctor consultations as well as a waiting room for people accompanying visitors while checks would be performed.
However, while Germany faces a lack of hospital workers, the authorities hoped that retired nurses, as well as medical students or even fired flight attendants, would join the vaccination center’s team at Terminal C, reported local media. To ensure safety in case of anti-vaccination activists’ trying to block access to the center, Terminal C would be protected by security guards.
Another former Berlin airport, Tempelhof, that was closed in 2008 and used as a refugee center, a velodrome, and an ice rink, was also designated to become a vaccination center. The Ministry of Health counted that with six vaccination centers spread across four hubs, it should be able to vaccinate 20,000 people a day in Berlin city.