Bavarian leader Söder has ‘stomach ache’ over Super Cup coronavirus fears

Bavarian state premier Markus Söder said Monday he was getting a "stomach ache" over fears that this week's UEFA Super Cup final in Hungary could become the next coronavirus superspreader event.

Bavarian leader Söder has 'stomach ache' over Super Cup coronavirus fears
Söder speaking in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Budapest is playing host to the Super Cup on Thursday between Champions
League winners Bayern Munich and European League holders Sevilla.

But Germany has declared Budapest a risk-zone, after new infections there
climbed above the threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 people.

“We must be very, very careful that we don't risk a new form of football-Ischgl,” said Söder, referring to the Austrian ski resort where thousands of holidaymakers were infected with the virus at the beginning of the epidemic in Europe.

READ ALSO: 'Numbers are too high': Munich tightens coronavirus mask rules and contact restrictions

Around 20,000 spectators will be allowed to watch the match at the Puskas
Arena, which usually has a capacity of 67,000.

Bayern fans are due to travel with some 3,000 tickets allocated to each of
the competing clubs.

But Söder warned that it would “not be sensible” to head to the Hungarian capital.

“I really get a stomach ache when it comes to the Super Cup,” he said.

“We cannot risk having 2,000, 3,000 people, who are then possibly in each others' arms in celebrations, and then we will have an enormous infection wave,” cautioned Söder.

Bayern head coach Hansi Flick has also voiced doubts about the game.

“It is something that one can't quite understand,” he said about the unnecessary risks put on his team.

Hungary in September closed its borders to foreigners in a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The only exceptions to the arrivals ban are players and spectators of international sporting and cultural events.

UEFA had said last Thursday they were in talks with Bayern over the final after Germany's travel warning to the Hungarian capital.

READ ALSO: Germany's Bundesliga: 'All clubs' preparing to host fans for new season

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”