Oktoberfest 2020 has been cancelled after fears that the festival would become a breeding ground for coronavirus in the absence of a vaccine. Despite Germany’s low death rate, Merkel warned that states rushing to ease lockdown restrictions were moving too quickly and risk ‘gambling away’ the early advantages gained by the country.
Munich's Oktoberfest. Photo: Pexels
In other news, German biotech company BioNTech was given the green light to begin vaccine trials on 200 volunteers in Germany. Police were sent to disperse gatherings on Saturday in Berlin and Stuttgart protesting against lockdown restrictions, which included far-right populists and conspiracy theorists. More here (German).
However, the vast majority of Germans still view the coronavirus restrictions as acceptable, according to Der Spiegel. The Independent reported on the experience of Heinsberg in North-Rhine Westphalia, known as ‘Germany’s Wuhan’, as the German epicentre of the virus.
Leipzig is among 10 European cities which have pledged to shelter vulnerable migrant children from Greek island camps.
Merkel highlighted the ongoing threat of climate change during her weekly video message, warning that Germany’s forests are struggling from exceptionally dry weather.