BERLIN — Bavarian officials on Monday canceled Oktoberfest festivities for the second year in a row due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, saying there are too many risks in hosting the celebrations — which bring in visitors from around the world — during a global pandemic.
Bavarian Governor Markus Soeder said 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 German hospitals already struggling, it had to be done.
“Oktoberfest will be held again, and will be big again,” he pledged.
Germany is in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown that includes a ban on large gatherings, with an infection rate of 146.9 new weekly infections per 100,000 residents.
Bavaria is slightly below the national average with 145.4 new weekly infections per 100,000, according to the country’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute.
Oktoberfest typically attracts