With restrictions: Christmas markets should take place despite Corona

With restrictions: Christmas markets should take place despite Corona

The Christmas market at Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt has been cancelled because of Corona - but other large markets are to take place with restrictions.

Berliner Weihnachtsmärkte 2016

© dpa

This was the result of a survey by the German Press Agency (dpa). Visitors to Christmas markets must be registered and wear masks. "We think that the containment of Covid-19 is in everyone's interest and that compulsory masks do not stand in the way of the Christmas spirit," said Michael Roden, Chairman of Schaustellerverband Berlin, to the German Press Agency.
"According to the current status, the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz will take place. Also on the Alexanderplatz and at the Rotes Rathaus (Red City Hall) a festive atmosphere is to be created. According to organizer Arnold Bergmann, the Christmas Market at Potsdamer Platz will also open, but with a significantly reduced range of products.
Significantly fewer than the usual 120 sales stands are also planned at Breitscheidplatz. "There must now be a distance of three meters between the stands," explains spokeswoman Angelika Grüttner. So only about half of this is possible. But the planning is not yet complete, she says, and discussions are underway, for example, about expanding the market to Tauentzienstrasse. The market, which lasts six weeks, normally attracts about one million visitors, said Grüttner. This is not foreseeable this year.
Hans-Dieter Laubinger, organizer of the Christmas market at the Red Town Hall, expects significantly fewer visitors. "Only events with 5000 visitors are allowed. On the 6000 square meters movement surface of its market the stay of approximately 3000 visitors is at the same time possible according to the current regulations, estimates Laubinger. Before Corona, the number was 12,000 guests.
The majority of visitors are usually international tourists. "If guests from the rest of Germany are now missing out because of new restrictions, it will be a very relaxed market," says Laubinger. But it is questionable whether it is still economically viable. A short-term cancellation would again be difficult. "The approximately 100 participants have prepared themselves for the market, bought goods, hired personnel," said Laubinger.
"The Christmas market is the last ray of hope for many traders and showmen. They haven't taken in any money all year round and often their reserves are used up," says Arnold Bergmann, who also organizes the Christmas market on Alexanderplatz. Only 50 instead of 90 stands are planned there this year. Not only because of the Corona requirements. "Many traders don't want to and can't take any more risks," says Bergmann. For many, it is no longer financially viable to buy goods and hire personnel and suddenly find themselves facing another possible lockdown.
To avoid this, the traditional Christmas market at the Gendarmenmarkt was cancelled. The health and economic risks had become incalculable in view of the increasing number of new infections, said organizer Helmut Russ. One did not want to run the risk of having to close the market immediately after opening.
The organizer of the Christmas market at Charlottenburg Palace, Tommy Erbe, said that a hygiene concept had already been developed for the market in summer, according to which access is only possible with a mask. His greatest concern, he said, was that the markets would be cancelled after all. He is also facing a loss of income. For example, this year there will be around 30 percent fewer tenants for the huts, Erbe reported.

Source: dpa

| Last edited: Tuesday, 27. October 2020 08:54 Uhr

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