Munich cancels Christmas market over ‘dramatic’ Covid situation

Munich's Christkindlmarkt in 2017. It is being cancelled due to Covid.
Munich's Christkindlmarkt in 2017. It is being cancelled due to Covid this year. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Amelie Geiger
Munich on Tuesday became the first major German city to cancel one of its upcoming Christmas markets, which usually draws some three million visitors, blaming the "dramatic" coronavirus resurgence.

Munich mayor Dieter Reiter called it “bitter news” for the city’s residents and stallholders, but said it would be irresponsible for the event to go ahead.

“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.

Many German Christmas markets were called off in 2020 because of the pandemic, but Munich “Christ Child Market” or Christkindlmarkt is the first of the larger, more popular ones to be axed this year.

It was due to open on November 22nd.

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Munich is located in Germany’s southern Bavaria region, which is grappling with one of the country’s highest infection rates amid a ferocious fourth wave of the pandemic.

Bavaria had a weekly incidence rate of 554.2 recorded infections per 100,000 people on Tuesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute, well above the nationwide figure of 312.4 – an all-time high for the country.

READ ALSO: 2G rules – How Bavaria is tightening restrictions on the unvaccinated

Germany hosts some 2,500 Christmas markets each year that are popular with visitors who come to savour mulled wine and roasted chestnuts, and shop for seasonal trinkets among clusters of wooden chalets.

In pre-pandemic times, they drew about 160 million domestic and international visitors annually who brought in revenues of three to five billion euros ($3.6-5.9 billion), according to the BSM stallkeepers’ industry association.

Eyes are now turning to cities such as Cologne, Stuttgart, Nuremberg and Dresden, which are in the midst of preparing their own popular Christmas markets.

Several smaller markets have already been cancelled across Germany, but so far many organisers have said they plan to forge ahead.

Some plan to impose stricter rules barring access to the unvaccinated, while other cities will demand proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test before allowing visitors into the Christmas market zones.

READ ALSO: German market closures can’t be ruled out, says health expert

Member comments

  1. This is really disappointing already winters are depressing and my kid was so eager and looking forward to the Christmas markets and lights. You are robbing away the small happiness of every child. unvaccinated people are literally letting entier Germany down to boost their ego.

  2. Terrible. Unvaccinated COVIDiots are ruining it for everyone…
    And I’m sure that, in risk-averse German society, the rest of the markets will now follow.

  3. This is just terrible news. Wonder if some of the other markets nearby will be open, such as Chinese Tower, Medieval Market, etc. Doesn’t seem to impact them per the Mayor’s statement, just that Marienplatz would have been difficult to control.

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