Bonn The cherry blossoms attracted many visitors to the Old Town on Easter Sunday despite the chilly weather. Several warnings were issued for failure to comply with the mask requirement.
Every year in April, the cherry blossoms attract thousands of visitors to Bonn's Old Town. They come for a beautiful burst of pink colors. On Easter Sunday, mother nature’s wonder could not be viewed in full bloom because most of the trees were still bare due to the weather. Still, many cherry blossom fans were drawn to the popular photo backdrop on Bonn’s Heerstraße and the surrounding streets. Some visitors took off their masks for the photos, prompting the public order office to issue several warnings.
Last year, the cherry blossom season was already overshadowed by the pandemic. But it didn’t prevent a rush of visitors to the Old Town in April of 2020. At that time, the public order office closed off the access roads at the peak of the blossoms after social distancing rules could no longer be observed.
City refrains from closures so far
So far this year, the city has refrained from closing down streets in the Old Town. Visitors were allowed there on Easter Sunday. Because of the cool weather and also because the cherry blossoms are a little later this year, fewer visitors came than at the same time in previous years. Not all cherry blossom fans were enthusiastic about the strict mask requirement. "We just wanted to take a few pictures here when the authorities came and asked us to put our masks back on," says Ines Reinhardt, who had just been approached by the public order office. Together with her friend, she traveled from Cologne to see the famous cherry blossoms. “Where we live, similar rules apply, only no one would have said anything if you took off your mask for a few seconds for a photo," says the 43-year-old. In principle, the two women agree with the government's measures to combat the coronavirus, but they think there should be some minor exceptions. The ladies were lucky, however, as they only received a warning.
The city of Bonn has ordered a stricter mask requirement between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. until April 18. It stipulates that the masks may not be taken off for eating, drinking or smoking - and also not for taking photos. Some cherry blossom tourists, however, find this too strict, saying it is not a big risk to take photos without a mask while observing the distance rules. "There's not much going on here right now," says Roland Fischer, who took his grandchildren to the Old Town after Easter brunch. For a photo or two, he says, it's okay to take off your mask when outdoors. "Like eating or drinking, that shouldn't be a problem," the 68-year-old says. "Of course, if there was more going on here, it would be different."
Cherry blossoms delayed due to weather conditions
This year, the Japanese carnation cherry on Heerstrasse is blooming a little later than last year due to the weather. But the reddish buds on the trees give a hint of what is to come. Because different varieties of cherry blossom trees are planted in the Old Town, some of them are already blooming. As a rule, cherry blossoms in Bonn last about ten to 14 days. In cooler temperatures, the blossoms fall to the ground more slowly.
For the "cherry blossom finale", which usually takes place in mid-April, the crowds in the Old Town could increase. To ensure that the famous streets can remain open to all this year, the city of Bonn appeals to all visitors to observe social distancing and wear masks.
(Orig. text: Abir KassisTranslation: ck)