COVID-19: Oktoberfest canceled for second year in a row as coronavirus cases in Germany remain high

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COVID-19: Oktoberfest canceled for second year in a row as coronavirus cases in Germany remain high


Bavaria’s annual Oktoberfest celebrations have been canceled for the second year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials say they made the “heavy-hearted” decision because there are too many risks in attracting tourists and allowing crowds to congregate as the number of infections in Germany remains high.

They also wanted to make the decision before preparations started.

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Large gatherings are currently banned in Germany

But the region’s governor, Markus Soeder, insisted: “Oktoberfest will be held again, and will be big again. “

The festival typically attracts around six million people from all over the world to drink in breweries and huge tents.

But Germany is currently in a lockout that bans large gatherings, prevents people from going out after 10 p.m. and closes businesses and leisure venues in places where cases exceed 100 per 100,000 residents for three consecutive days.

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Some small celebrations may be allowed
Visitors grab one of the first beer mugs at this year's festival
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The combination of crowds and alcohol, along with the possibility of COVID variants, led to the decision

The “emergency brake” legislation, which entered into force last month, also restricts personal contact.

The infection rate in Germany is currently 146.9 new weekly infections per 100,000 population.

In Bavaria, the figure is slightly lower at 145.4 new infections per week per 100,000 population.

The latest daily number of cases in Germany is 9,160 infections and 84 other deaths, bringing the total to 3,425,982 infections and 83,276 coronavirus-related deaths.

Mr Soeder described the decision to end this year’s Oktoberfest as “a huge disgrace to the millions of fans around the world”.

Last year some small parties were allowed to move forward under strict guidelines and it is hoped that similar proposals will be presented this fall.

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