Munich inaugurates Oktoberfest after two years lost to the pandemic

The Oktoberfest, considered the largest beer festival in the world, has started this Saturday an edition that returns to Munich one of its most recognized events, after two years in which it has not been held due to the restrictions associated with the pandemic of COVID-19.

Thousands of visitors were already crowding in front of the venue before the official opening, led by the mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, who has hit with a hammer the first barrel and has inaugurated the event.

The mayor followed tradition and handed over the first mug of beer to Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soeder, with whom he toasted to a quiet party. The weather forecast anticipates cold temperatures during the festival, which has also started with rain.

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The day has been marked by low temperatures and a light drizzle, which has not prevented long queues to access the best tents even before the official start of the festival.

The Oktoberfest, which will last until October 3, does not include specific measures against COVID-19, although the authorities have recommended attendees to get tested if they have compatible symptoms and not to attend if they are sick.

As for incidents, no ‘bierleiche’, or “beer body”, as health workers know fainting due to alcohol abuse, has been reported during the morning. Some minor injuries were treated.

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According to police figures, attendance was slightly lower than before the pandemic, when some 6 million people attended.

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