Proposal would ban events with more than 1000 visitors through 31 October with a possibility of extension through the end of the year.
BERLIN- First the cancellation of the Oktoberfest, then the Rock am Ring and Wacken being called off, then the Geisterspiele in the German Soccer Bundesliga. Up to now, it has been the norm to ban large-scale events which bring in at least 1000 visitors and generate tens of thousands of Euros in revenue for businesses. For the norm in Germany, it has been social distancing and small-scale gatherings of up to ten people; 50 in some places. And this despite efforts to reopen businesses and reduce restrictions for people in public.
Yet with the new proposals to be presented to Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Ministers of 16 German states, it is safe to say that even the German Christmas markets are not safe from the axe, let alone the New Year’s Eve celebrations in cities like Berlin. According to the German magazine Der Spiegel and the English-speaking news agency The Local, a draft is being presented, which calls for large-scale events to be cancelled through 31 October, with the possibility of extending the ban to the end of this year. If approved on both counts, it will mark the first time since the end of World War II that Germany experienced a total wipe-out of all large-scale events with more than 1000 people. The ban is aimed at slowing the spread of CoVid 19. Exceptions for some events are possible if event organizers can come up with a hygiene concept that are in compliance with regulations and that contact tracing is guaranteed.
Currently, Germany has 188,910 confirmed cases of Corona Viruses, with the numbers stagnating with an average of 300 new cases daily. 8900 deaths have been reported. The government yesterday introduced the Corona Tracing app, designed to track the Corona hotspots while traveling through Germany. And travel restrictions have been lifted to only inner-European travel. Travelers going to and from non-European countries, such as Russia, the US or China, are facing a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival into Germany. Sadly, fears of a second wave are rising as the number of Corona cases in places, like the USA, many parts of Central and South America (especially Brazil) and China are increasing sharply with China reintroducing lockdowns in Peking and other cities. If and when the second wave is expected to hit Europe remains open. There is hope that medication to treat Corona may be available by the end of the year at the earliest, as clinical tests are being done in some places, like Great Britain and Germany.
Despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions, with the possible second wave coming and the high risks involving mass people visiting festivals, concerts and markets, the government is not taking any chances, which is having an enormous impact on businesses, organizers and planners alike. One case to look at are the event organizers, especially for rock concerts and the like. A guest article can be found here.
For now, stay healthy, stay safe and have a plan B if the event you plan to visit is called off- especially the Christmas markets.