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Munich Christmas market

Munich Christmas market cancelled due to COVID-19

Munich Christmas market cancelled due to COVID-19

This is the first major Christmas market to be cancelled in 2021

Yesterday, local authorities in Munich announced that this year’s Christmas market is cancelled due to the recent sharp spike in Covid infections. The Munich Christmas market usually draws some three million visitors, however, according to health authorities, new cases from the disease numbered around 50,000 – the highest they have ever been.

Balancing responsibilities

Christmas markets are something of a tradition in Germany, present in over 2,500 locations each year. Before the pandemic, they attracted around 160 million domestic and international visitors and brought in revenues somewhere between 4 and 6 billion euros annually.

While many Christmas markets stayed closed last year due to the pandemic, the Munich “Christ Child Market” or Christkindlmarkt is the first of the larger ones to be cancelled this year.

Mayor Dieter Reiter was quoted in a press release explaining allowing the Christkindlmarkt to continue would be an irresponsible risk to the health of the citizens. According to him, it would send the wrong signal to healthcare professionals working on the first line.

He continued: “It is bitter news that I have today for all Munich residents and especially for the stallholders, but the dramatic situation in our clinics and the exponentially increasing numbers of infections leave me no other choice.”

Eyes are now turning to cities such as Cologne, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Dresden, which are in the midst of preparing their own popular Christmas markets. Vienna’s response to climbing COVID-19 infections and Christmas market measures were to introduce a nationwide quarantine for the unvaccinated in Austria and allow only people who have had their shots or have recovered from the disease to attend.

Following an announcement from today, the Hamburg Christmas market will be open only to people who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the disease.

The Covid-situation in Germany

Despite the 67% vaccination rate, Germany’s fourth wave of the pandemic is in full swing. However, there is one problem – the ‘traffic light’ coalition agreement between the SPD, Greens and FDP has not yet been finalised, but the new parliament has to vote in measures in response to the unfolding health crisis.

According to the health policy spokeswoman for the FDP, Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, the partners in the coalition have agreed on the following measures:

  • Green certificates at work;
  • Controls in old people's homes;
  • 3G in public transport;
  • Home office obligation.

One thing is for sure, the three parties are against blanket lockdowns and they want schools to remain open.

At the same time, in Bavaria, the weekly incidence rate sat at 554.2 infections per 100,000 people, according to the Robert Koch Institute, well above the nationwide figure of 312.4. That being said, the national rate is the highest it has been since the beginning of the pandemic and hospitals are starting to feel the pressure.

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