Martina Wenker, president of the Lower Saxony Medical Association, said she believed Christmas markets may have to be cancelled if the Covid-19 situation gets worse in Germany.
“Depending on the regional incidence situation, closures should not be ruled out in extreme cases,” Wenker told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.
“We can’t stand by and celebrate while next door in the hospitals, planned operations have to be postponed frequently, corona patients are dying, and staff in practices and clinics are at their limits.”
Wenker said regional leaders allowed the opening of Christmas markets on the basis that the Covid situation was moderate.
“But if we reach higher levels of escalation, we will have to consider whether Christmas markets are still justifiable,” she said.
Germany on Tuesday reported 32,048 Covid infections within 24 hours and 265 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence increased to 312.4 Covid cases per 100,000 residents.
Bavarian state premier Markus Söder said on Monday that he wanted to ensure there was “maximum safety” around Christmas markets.
He said it will be among the topics discussed at the Covid crisis talks between the federal government and state leaders this Thursday.
In general, Söder said mask requirements should remain at Christmas markets as well as distance rules and other protection measures.
In an interview with broadcaster Bayern3, Söder explained that so far there is no legal framework for Bavaria to cancel Christmas markets. “At the moment, we cannot legally order it,” he said.
Some Christmas markets, which have recently opened to the public, are already enforcing strict rules such as excluding the unvaccinated from entry, or not serving alcohol to people unless they can show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid.
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- State by state – Germany’s Covid rules for Christmas markets
Christmas market – (der) Weihnachtsmarkt
Celebrate – feiern
Planned operations/procedures – geplante Eingriffe
Postponed – verschoben
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