Munich cancels Christmas market over fears of ‘Covid increase’

A planned Christmas market in Munich has been cancelled over fears of a “Covid increase” following an EU-wide drive to encourage inclusion.

The Bavarian capital had planned to host up to 250 stalls next month in the same area in front of its city hall as its famous Oktoberfest, but the city council decided last week to reverse the decision because of concern about congestion.

“There is simply too much going on – too many stalls, too many people, with not enough space,” said the mayor, Christian Ude, adding that space at some stages would be too tight for visitors to sit, much less shop.

Local media reported that a recently inaugurated ride-on mower, allowing taxis to legally park on city streets at night, had also slowed traffic.

It is not the first Christmas market to be pulled at the last minute in Germany, which says it will donate a third of the profits to Islamic Relief to help ease the burden for refugees in Munich.

On 28 May, the Christmas market in the Rhineland city of Bonn was closed immediately following a bomb attack that injured 15 people. In October, a Christmas market in Ansbach was evacuated after a bomb was found.

The upcoming Berlin market, scheduled for 7 December, is likely to remain open despite being at a short distance from an emergency landing area.

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