No reason to fear rise in Covid infections at Munich's Oktoberfest, say experts

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected]
No reason to fear rise in Covid infections at Munich's Oktoberfest, say experts
Guests celebrate the reopening of the first Oktoberfest since the pandemic. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Felix Hörhager

Though Germany's famous beer festival is likely to cause a spike in Covid-19 infections, these will be far serious than they were at the height of the pandemic, health experts have said.


It's set to be the second Oktoberfest since the pandemic - and after two years of closures in 2020 and 2021 at the height of Covid-19, the decision to reopen wasn't without its critics.

But this year, virologists are much calmer about the prospect of Europe's largest folk festival taking place, even when Covid infections are once more on the rise.

Running between September 16th and October 3rd, Oktoberfest is expected to attract around six million guests from all over the world. In previous years, it has been a hotspot for respiratory infections and even in pre-pandemic times, the so-called "Wiesn flu" - named after the local name for Oktoberfest - always ran rampant during and after the event. 

READ ALSO: German doctors urge Covid-19 self-tests amid new variant

This year, the number of respiratory diseases is likely to rise after millions of guests cramp into crowded beer tents, according to health experts

But Christoph Spinner, head of infectious diseases at Munich Technical University Clinic said Covid was likely to be no more dangerous than other seasonal viruses.

"I don't see the need to single out Sars-CoV-2 yet," he told DPA. 

However, Clemens Wendtner, head physician of infectious diseases at the München Klinik Schwabing, thinks infections are highly likely to swell during the event - which could boost the national incidence of infections per 100,000 people.


"There may be a bit of a boost to the infection incidence due to the Wiesn," he admitted.

However, unlike in the first two years of the pandemic, when the population had little to no immunity to Covid, this year it's perfectly reasonable to celebrate Oktoberfest in the same way as the past, Wendter added. 

"The Wiesn will not cause intensive care units to fill up."


spread - verbreiten 

the pandemic - Die Pandemie 

Oktoberfest - das Oktoberfest or d'Wiesn (local Munich slang) 

folk festival - das Volksfest 

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also