Winterberg/Hellenthal/Olpe Despite some perfect snow conditions, the fear of huge crowds rushing to the winter sports areas in NRW has failed to materialize. "We are very happy that people are responding to our appeals," say the police.
For now, the feared crowd surge in winter sports areas in North Rhine-Westphalia has failed to materialize. On Saturday, according to police, popular destinations in the Sauerland and the Eifel were quiet for the time being.
In Winterberg, there was virtually no traffic on the roads, said a police spokeswoman. Occasionally, cars could be seen stopping at closed parking lots and being sent on their way, as reported by a journalist from the German Press Agency. Otherwise, it was initially very quiet, he said.
At noon, however, the parking lots behind the closed-off zone and the toboggan runs had slowly filled up. But the crowds in Winterberg, Schmallenberg, Sundern and Olsberg were limited and no comparison to last weekend, a spokesman said. "We are very happy that people are responding to our appeals.”
According to the police, there was also almost no traffic in the Eifel in the morning. In Hellenthal, for example, it was quiet. Only in Bad Münstereifel, some parking lots were full. The streets were open, however, and there were no violations of the corona rules, said a spokesman.
In Olpe, there was hardly any traffic. So far, no legal action has been necessary, said a police spokesman. Nevertheless, the appeal to day-trippers remains: "Stay at home." All measures continue to apply - also for Sunday.
For the weekend, the authorities had again expected streams of visitors to the snow-covered areas in the Sauerland or the Eifel. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, however, many slopes, ski lifts and toboggan runs are closed due to hygiene regulations. The necessary infrastructure for day tourists, such as parking lots or toilets, are also closed. Consequently, the police of the Hochsauerland district again announced again on Friday that there would be increased controls. The officers will be supported by hundreds of riot police and a mounted patrol unit. Already on Saturday morning, about 20 police vehicles were on the scene in Winterberg.