US & World

Germany cancels Oktoberfest for second year due to viral fears News

BERLIN (AP) – Bavarian officials on Monday canceled the Oktoberfest celebrations for the second year in a row due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, saying the organization had too many risks in attracting visitors from around the world. during a global pandemic.

Bavarian Governor Marcus Zöder said that with a “heavy heart” they decided to cancel the festival, which is known worldwide, but due to the fact that the coronavirus is still stubbornly high and German hospitals are already struggling, it had to be done.

“Oktoberfest will be held again, and will be great again,” he promised.

Germany is at the center of blocking the coronavirus, which includes a ban on large gatherings, with an infection rate of 146.9 new infections per week per 100,000 inhabitants.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Robert Koch Institute, Bavaria is slightly below the national average with 145.4 new infections per week per 100,000.

Oktoberfest typically attracts about 6 million visitors from around the world and was scheduled from September 18 to October 3.

The combination of huge tents, full of people and consumption of large amounts of alcohol, as well as the possibility of bringing mutated varieties of the virus from abroad has made the festival especially dangerous, Soder said.

After Oktoberfest was canceled last year, about 50 breweries and other establishments in southern Germany held small parties under strict coronavirus rules. Mayor Dieter Reiter said he hoped it would be possible to reopen beer gardens and patios in the open air under certain restrictions.

No matter how difficult the decision to cancel Oktoberfest was, it would be worse if the city waited too long and was forced to cancel it after preparations were already underway, he said.

“For me personally, it was a difficult decision because it’s a big date on the calendar for the mayor,” he said. “Much more importantly, it’s a huge shame for millions of fans around the world.”

Under Germany’s national law on “emergency braking” last month, measures restricting personal contact, closing entertainment and sports facilities, and closing or restricting access to many shops operate in areas where for three days in a row more than 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants per week are registered. Restrictions also include curfew from 10pm to 5am.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

Back to top button