Cancelled: Munich Christmas market falls victim to fourth COVID wave
Munich Christmas market on Marienplatz cancelled
On Tuesday, Munich became the first major German city to cancel one of its Christmas markets, with mayor Dieter Reiter saying that it would be irresponsible to allow the event to go ahead in light of the “dramatic” COVID situation.
“It is bitter news that I have today for all Munich residents and especially for the stall owners, but the dramatic situation in our hospitals and the exponentially increasing infection figures leave me no other choice: unfortunately the Munich Christmas market cannot take place this year,” Reiter said in a statement.
The market on Marienplatz, which was due to open on November 22, typically draws around three million visitors each year - a crowd that seems untenable given the infection situation in Bavaria, where the seven day incidence rate rose to 554,2 new infections per 100.000 people on Tuesday. That’s well above the national average of 312,4, and the highest level ever recorded in the southern federal state.
Some smaller markets in the city that can control admission may still be taking place under 2G plus rules. This means that only vaccinated or recovered people with a negative rapid COVID test can enter.
More and more German Christmas markets opt for 2G
In 2020, many of Germany’s famous Christmas markets were called off due to the pandemic, but this year organisers seem determined to proceed where possible, with almost all of the big names announcing dates for 2021.
Eyes will now turn to other large markets to see whether they follow Munich’s lead. Some are hoping to avoid cancellations by imposing stricter entry policies, with many opening to vaccinated and recovered patrons only. Some of the big names already planning 2G rules for their markets include Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Duisburg, Bonn, Münster, Dortmund and Düsseldorf.