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Germany's popular Christmas market in Bavaria canceled over COVID-19

Germany's popular Christmas market in Bavaria canceled over COVID-19
An image of nutcrackers on sale at the Christmas market in Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany on December 17, 2019. The Christmas market has been canceled for this year. File Photo by Lukas Barth-Tuttas/EPA-EFE

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Germany's popular Christmas market at Nuremberg has been canceled because of rising cases of COVID-19, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder announced Friday.

Bavaria had started a de facto lockdown of unvaccinated people in the state, where public places such as restaurants, theaters and concert halls will be open only to those vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus.

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"The situation is very, very serious and complicated," Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder said in a statement, according to Euronews.

The announcement comes on the heels of the Christmas market in Munich, called Cristkindlmarkt, being canceled as well because of COVID-19.

"It is bitter news that I have today for all Munich residents, and especially for the stall owners," Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said in a statement. "However, the extreme situation in our hospitals and exponentially rising infection rates leave me no other choice."

Reiter said the new spread of the virus has made holding the market an "unjustifiable" risk and would "send the wrong signal."

"It is now a matter of avoiding large gatherings of people as far as possible," Reiter said.

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