Home News Covid-19: Oktoberfest returns to Munich after two years of absence

Covid-19: Oktoberfest returns to Munich after two years of absence


The famous Munich Beer Festival will take place this year, from September 17 to October 3, after two cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the mayor of the Bavarian capital announced on Friday.

“I have instructed the administration to launch the organization of Oktoberfest 2022 without health restrictions,” said Mayor Dieter Reiter at a press conference. The meeting, which normally brings together more than 5 million people, including a third from abroad, had been canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The framework has evolved” and “we can no longer speak of an overload of the health system”, noted the elected official, who would however have liked to put in place access restrictions, such as for example a health pass or compulsory tests. But “there is no law which authorizes me to decide on such measures”, regretted the mayor.

A worrying health situation

The health situation remains degraded in Germany, which is currently registering more than 100,000 new cases of Covid every 24 hours. The seven-day incidence rate exceeds 750 and several experts are warning of a resurgence of the epidemic. “I hope the situation will not get worse this fall and Oktoberfest will not be canceled at the last minute,” he added.

While the holding of funfairs at the time of the war in Ukraine was debated, the mayor of Munich also explained that “this does not justify” a third cancellation. “Nobody can predict the situation in several months”, justified Dieter Reiter.

84 liters of beer per year

The cancellation in 2020 was the first since World War II. In 1854 and 1873, it had not taken place because of the cholera epidemic.

The production of hops and beer is elevated to the rank of national cult in Germany and especially in Bavaria. Germans are among the biggest consumers of beer in Europe with 84 liters per capita in 2021.

The beer production stages are very energy intensive. [KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP]

Recently, the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent raw material prices skyrocketing and forced several breweries to raise prices.