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Germany cancels Oktoberfest for 2nd year in a row due to coronavirus fears

Germany Virus Outbreak Oktoberfest
Posted at 11:51 AM, May 03, 2021

BERLIN (AP) — Bavarian officials have canceled Oktoberfest festivities for a second year in a row due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials say there are too many risks in hosting the celebrations, which traditionally bring in visitors from around the world, during a global pandemic.

Bavarian Governor Markus Söder said Monday it was with “heavy hearts” that they decided to call off the festival for which the state is known globally, but that with coronavirus numbers still stubbornly high and hospitals already struggling, it had to be done.

He says: “Oktoberfest will be held again, and will be big again."

Söder laid out three other reasons for the cancelation of the festival.

"First: The situation is too uncertain. We have an economic obligation here - a later cancellation of the Oktoberfest would be an economic loss," he said.

Second, he cited the potential damage to the Oktoberfest brand.

And third, he said an Oktoberfest with requirements like mandatory masks and distances in the large tents would not be feasible and could lead to "chaotic conditions."