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Budenzauber in Bonn: Crowds and lack of checks at the Christmas market

Budenzauber in Bonn : Crowds and lack of checks at the Christmas market

The Bonn Christmas market attracted numerous visitors to the city centre on Saturday. Some of them wondered about the lack of controls at the stalls.

Thousands of people were attracted to the Bonn Christmas market in the city centre on the weekend. Even at daylight, many visitors crowded through the rows of stalls on Münsterplatz - in the evening it became even more crowded. In front of the Beethoven Monument, for example, families waited for a ride on the Ferris wheel and at Friedensplatz people were happy to enjoy the first mulled wine of the year.

A little off the beaten track, a couple had set up shop in Vivatsgasse. Golden puffers steamed out of the cardboard bowls. They didn't want to eat the potato pancakes at the stand itself, because it was "far too crowded", the Cologne residents reported. In view of the Corona situation, the compulsory wearing of masks was a good measure, they said, "but compulsory vaccination at the Christmas market would make even more sense," the couple concluded. A few metres away, a woman from Bonn was shopping with her daughter on Saturday afternoon. Because of the increasing number of Corona cases, she saw the Christmas market with critical eyes. "I can't understand that," said the mother. The compulsory wearing of masks was "a good measure under the circumstances". Christmas market visitor Marcel Hegels worried on Saturday that the stall magic could soon close again because of the high incidences. "But today I'm enjoying it for now," said the 28-year-old, who immediately disappeared into the crowd again.

Meanwhile, at the "Hüttenzauber" mulled wine stand, Yvonne Diehl (37) and Thomas Berg (45) drank eggnog with cream. They had travelled from the Sauerland region especially for the occasion. Red ribbons with the inscription "Christmas Market Bonn 2021" shone from their sleeves. "We happened to see that these ribbons were being distributed and then asked for some," said Berg. As reported, after a successful 2G control, every visitor who wants to will receive such a wristband. Once they are tied on, they will no longer be checked. "The wristbands are practical and a good idea," Berg said. "It's easy to show your wrist.“

Some stand operators have wristbands, others do not

The city administration had bought around 35,000 wristbands in advance and distributed them to the showmen. Now it turns out that only a few market visitors know about the service. Romina Markmann, manager of the "Hüttenzauber", said: "We do it by feel with the wristbands. When we ask the guests if they want a wristband, some accept them, others just want to drink a mulled wine and then refuse." In any case, the wristbands were not to be found everywhere. The "Christmas Grill", for example, had no wristbands, according to the operators. Moreover, the steak in a roll could be taken without a valid vaccination certificate, said an employee. "If you want to eat here at the stall, we check." At the "Almond King" near the Star Gate, an employee referred to the city. "Controlling the 2G rule is the responsibility of the public order office. We don't have to control, we don't do it," said the trader.

Regular checks are not carried out everywhere

Last but not least, a 32-year-old man from Bonn also wondered about this. He pointed out that many mulled wine stalls at the weekend had not asked for his proof of vaccination. Another GA reader was surprised that there were no controls at all at the Christmas market "except for one exemplary business of a mulled wine stall on Poststraße". He had only noticed a police patrol on foot. Officers of the Bonn public order office were not to be seen, the man from Bonn described. He was also not checked in the inner areas. Even more frightening, he said, was "that the Bonn Christmas Market's own security service made its rounds without a mask and did not point it out to anyone. On the other hand, most visitors to the market on Saturday complied with the city's rules on wearing masks. However, there were exceptions in the crowd. However, the GA did not meet any officials of the city's public order service during his research on Saturday afternoon.

Vaccination queue in the midst of the stall magic

Framed by the stalls, the vaccination queue in Windeckstraße had an almost admonishing effect on many passers-by. Hundreds of people queued up to get their vaccinations at the tourist information office. Across the street, florist Gabi Zobel had a good view of the situation from her stand. "Since 8 o'clock this morning, people have been queuing down Poststraße to the McDonalds." In the vaccination queue, a mother and her daughter had held out for hours. "This is a great action, I just wish that more vaccinators would be deployed and that the vaccination offer would come to other parts of the city," she said from Bonn. Around 300 people were vaccinated on Saturday, an employee of the municipal health office told the GA.

Original text: Niklas Schröder

Translation: Mareike Graepel