Carnival celebrations in Cologne are going ahead without their usual presiding trio after designated “Prince” Sven Oleff tested positive for Covid-19 the day before the start of celebrations on November 11th.
Oleff, who is fully vaccinated, is reporting no symptoms so far and says he feels good. His counterparts Gereon Glasemacher, and designated “Jungfrau” Björn Braun, have so far tested negative. As a precaution though, Carnival organisers have cancelled all their appearances.
Oleff said he was sad that he won’t be opening the festivities but that he understands the precautions.
“Get vaccinated!” He urged. He says he is confident that his own vaccination will leave him with only a mild infection, and that he looks forward to being over it in a couple of days.
It comes as Germany saw 50,196 new cases in the past 24 hours on Thursday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) health agency – the first time the figure has exceeded 50,000.
Germany’s Carnival season is typically celebrated in the country’s west, with Cologne hosting the main festivities. Normally starting at 11:11 am on November 11th every year, they were cancelled last year due to the Covid crisis.
This year, entry into official events in Cologne is under “2G” rules, and is restricted to the vaccinated and recovered only. The 2G rules also include official outdoor events.
Carnival “King” Klaus-Ludwig Fess, head of the German carnival association, recently told Rheinische Post online: “I’m actually hopeful that it will be like before Corona again.”