How a Bavarian supermarket is helping shoppers find love amid shutdown

One Bavarian supermarket is giving singles the chance to find love - or at least flirt behind FFP2 masks - every weekend.

How a Bavarian supermarket is helping shoppers find love amid shutdown
Edeka employee Daniel Cronau took part in 'singles shopping' one Friday. Photo: DPA

Can you find love while shopping in Germany? For many, a supermarket may be just about the least likely place for a starry eyed encounter, especially at the speedy check-out those who live in the Bundesrepublik will be aware of.

READ ALSO: The complete German supermarket survival guide

An Edeka supermarket in the Bavarian town of Volkach, however, is trying to break through barriers amid the coronavirus crisis: every Friday evening has been set aside for “singles shopping.”

“After all, curfew and contact restrictions don't make it easy to find a partner at the moment,” deputy store manager Steven Schellhorn told DPA. 

Every Friday between 6 and 8pm, singles can grab a heart with a number on it at the entrance and stick it on their jacket.

If they spot someone they fancy amid the shelves, they can opt to have that person’s number called out at the checkout. Those who are a bit more bashful can simply leave their phone number with a message. 

READ ALSO: Video: How to flirt during a pandemic? Get a German dating coach

For this purpose, slips of paper are laid out on which the type of contact can be ticked off, such as: “I'd be happy to meet you for an orange juice in the fruit department.”

“I think it's a good change,” says a staff member donning a red heart on his chest. The offer has been around for about two years, said Schellhorn, but so far few customers have taken advantage of it. 

Yet since the start of the pandemic, the red hearts picked up in popularity, with more people using the offer, he said.

“Nothing has taken off yet,” a butcher’s assistant told Bavarian news website Merkur amid a display of schnitzel and minced meat. “At least not here by the meat, but maybe in another department.”

One unattached Friday evening customer told Merkur that he was staying optimistic. “I’m looking everywhere,” said Alfons, who wore a heart with the number 50 on his coat. 

READ ALSO: What's the advice for sex and dating in Germany during the coronavirus crisis?


leave a message – eine Nachricht hinterlassen

A change – (die) Abwechslung

tick or check off – ankreuzen

Fruit department – (die) Obstabteilung

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Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Since the start of Germany’s Oktoberfest, the incidence of Covid infections in Munich has risen sharply. Though a connection with the festival can’t yet be proven, it seems likely.

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Two weeks after the start of Oktoberfest, the Covid numbers in Munich have more than tripled.

On Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 768.7 for the city of Munich, though updated figures for the end of the festival are not expected until later in the week. Usually, on weekends and public holidays, there is a delay in reports.

In the entire state of Bavaria, the incidence value on Sunday was 692.5.

According to Munich’s public health officer, Beatrix Zurek, bed occupancy in Munich hospitals has also increased. Two weeks ago, 200 beds in Munich were occupied by Covid patients, whereas there are now around 350.

Though a relationship between the sharp rise in infections with Oktoberfest, which ended on Monday, can’t be proven at the moment, it seems very likely, according to experts. A significant increase in Covid incidences has also been shown at other public festivals – about one and a half weeks after the start. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, around 5.7 million visitors came to this year’s Wiesn according to the festival management – around 600,000 fewer than at the last Oktoberfest before the pandemic in 2019, when there were 6.3 million.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) took to Twitter to comment on the rise in incidence in Munich during the Oktoberfest. “This would not have been necessary if self-tests had been taken before admission,” he said.

“Compared to the price of a measure of beer, €2-3 (for tests) wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.

Even before the start of the Wiesn, he had spoken out in favour of people taking voluntary self-tests. Lauterbach stressed that now is the time for special measures against Covid.

“The development shows what will happen if the states wait too long with the mask obligation in indoor areas,” he added.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid-19 rules from October

In neighbouring counties, where many Oktoberfest visitors came from, the number of Covid cases has also risen noticeably.  Beatrix Zurek said that it is unclear, however, how much of a role Oktoberfest played in these figures, as people are currently much more active socially overall, with concerts and other events also taking place throughout the state.

Christoph Spinner, an infections specialist at Munich’s Klinikum, has urged people not to be alarmed by the rising numbers.

“We had expected rising incidences here. We knew that there could be a doubling, tripling, even quadrupling,” he said.

He said that this is no cause for concern, as many people have been vaccinated or have also recovered from previous Covid infections, so any new infections are therefore usually mild.

The virologist advises people over 60 or with pre-existing conditions to get a second booster vaccination, but otherwise said people shouldn’t be alarmed by the rising incidences.