One of Germany's most popular Christmas markets has fallen victim to the country's worsening COVID situation. The one at Nuremberg in Bavaria was scrapped on Friday.
Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder, making the announcement, said: "The situation is very, very serious and complicated."
He justified the decision by saying that such markets see multiple contacts between people and that it was difficult to monitor the health status of each visitor.
Bavaria has also moved to a de facto lockdown of its unvaccinated. Public places such as restaurants, cinemas and concert halls will only now be open to those with the jab or those that have recently recovered from the disease.
The unvaccinated will also be forced to limit their contacts to five people from two homes, Söder said.
In districts where the incidence exceeds 1,000 new cases of infection per 100,000 people over 7 days, "everything will have to be closed," he added, with the exception of schools and businesses.
"We have a clear goal: to fight the coronavirus
, to protect the people and the health care system," Söder added. "It's not war rhetoric. It's a deep concern that makes us act," he launched.Earlier this week health authorities issued a stark warning as 65,371 new cases were reported in a single day, confirming an upward trend that experts have been warning about for weeks.
"We are currently heading toward a serious emergency,” said Lothar Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's disease control agency. "We are going to have a really terrible Christmas if we don't take countermeasures now."