Bavarian officials have pulled the plug on Oktoberfest celebrations for the second year in a row due to worries over the spread of Coronavirus
The German authorities stated there are too many hazards in hosting the carnivals — which bring in guests from around the earth — during a global pandemic.
Bavarian Governor Markus Soeder said it was with “heavy hearts” that they decided to cancel the Oktoberfest 2021 festival for which the state is known globally, stating that the government had no choice in the face of growing cases of covid-19 and heavyweight pressure on German infirmaries.
“Oktoberfest will be held again, and will be big again,” he promised.
Germany is in the heart of a covid lockdown that includes a prohibition on large assemblies, with an infection rate of 146.9 new weekly infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
Bavaria is slightly below the nationwide German average with 145.4 new weekly infections per 100,000, according to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany Disease Control centre.
Oktoberfest surely had to be sacrificed for the sake of public safety.
Oktoberfest normally attracts about 6 million visitors from around the globe and had been planned from September 18 to October 3.
The governor further states that the mixture of huge tents full of celebrants, the consumption of alcohol in high quantities, as well as the likelihood for mutated forms of the virus to be brought in from abroad, made it particularly hazardous for Oktoberfest to go ahead.
In 2020, following the revocation of Oktoberfest, about 50 of the southern German city’s beer aisles and other groups hosted smaller parties under strict covid guidelines.
Mayor Dieter Reiter said he hopes that it would be possible soon to host open-air beer gardens and patios under certain restrictions.
However, he agreed with the decision to call off Oktoberfest 2021 earlier than being in a sticky situation to cancel it later on.
He said, “For me, it was no easy decision because it is a huge date in the calendar for the mayor,”
“Much more importantly, it’s a huge shame for the millions of fans worldwide.”
Germany’s national “emergency brake” legislation enacted last month, stated criteria limiting personal contacts, closing recreation and sports installations, and shutting or restricting access to many stores for neighbourhoods that have more than 100 weekly new cases per 100,000 residents for three successive days.
Regulations also include a 10 pm-5 am curfew.
What is Oktoberfest?
The Oktoberfest is the planet’s biggest Volksfest. It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
It is a 16 to 18-day folk festival running from mid- or late September to the first Sunday in October, with more than six million people from around the globe observing the event yearly.