Hamburg’s historic outdoor Christmas market is planning to segregate vaccinated and unvaccinated people this year, with the unvaccinated banned from drinking mulled wine.
The market is set to open on November 22nd and run through until December 23rd. Organisers have decided to separate the outdoor market into two, with everyone allowed to go in the retail area so long as they abide by social distancing rules and wear masks.
The food area where mulled wine, bratwurst, and other refreshments are sold will be only open to those who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the coronavirus, as part of Germany’s ‘2G’ rule, newspaper Bild reports.
Other German cities and towns have cancelled their Christmas markets entirely this year due to coronavirus restrictions, including in the regions of Saxony and Thuringia.
The well-known Chemnitz Christmas market could also be cancelled, with city spokesman Matthias Nowak saying: “So far, it is not yet clear whether it can take place. Coordination talks are currently underway. We will only comment on this in the course of the week.”
Earlier this week, the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national disease control centre, stated over the last seven days that the country had seen 201.1 new cases per 100,000 residents, beating a previous coronavirus infection record from December of last year.
It is unclear whether or not Germany will copy the tactic of neighbouring Austria and lock down or impose heavy restrictions on unvaccinated people in general, but Free Democrats (FDP) leader Christian Lindner has promised a post-Merkel coalition government would not implement new lockdowns.
“The Bundestag majority of the [Social Democrats], Greens and FDP are excluding the instruments of lockdown and curfew,” Lindner said. The FDP, the Social Democrats, and the Greens are currently in negotiations to form the next German government.