City of Jena cancels Christmas market 2021

12.11.2021

By cancelling the Christmas market, the city of Jena is reacting to the dramatic development of the pandemic situation in Thuringia and the neighbouring states of Saxony and Bavaria.

Today, 12.11.2021, the city of Jena reported 120 new cases to the RKI. Another 80 new cases could not yet be processed and have therefore not yet been statistically recorded, but are already part of the active infection event. In the public health department, but also in the first nursing homes and clinics, due to this dramatic development, support from the German Armed Forces is again already in action or help has been requested, as the situation can no longer be controlled without outside help.

Already now a situation presents itself in Jena, but also in all of Thuringia, as it was at the peak of the second wave in December 2020/January 2021.

The continued exponential growth of the pandemic indicators, the diffuse infection, the imminent overload of intensive care units in the hospitals in Thuringia, the extreme strain on the staff in the city's health and care facilities, who have been struggling for a year and a half to cope with the pandemic, as well as the increasing challenges for teachers, educators, nurses, and other staff in the city:The increasing challenges for teachers, educators, parents and children in Jena's schools and daycare centers in ensuring that classes are attended and the still far too low vaccination rate in Thuringia, Saxony and Bavaria: All of these points have led the Jena crisis team and JenaKultur, after intensive discussion, to cancel the Christmas market once again.

Christmas markets are not events with a local character, but attract tens of thousands of people nationwide over several weeks. In normal times they are an important place of communication and positive togetherness for the citizens of Jena and their guests. The stabilization of the overall situation, which was still hoped for a few weeks ago, has not occurred and thus the planned feasibility of the Christmas market with comparatively low infection control requirements is impossible. The pre-Christmas atmosphere at a Christmas market, as we know and desire it, will hardly be possible if the visit of the market is only possible with the necessary infection protection requirements such as 2G, MNB obligation and distance and at the same time in schools, clinics and care facilities an increasingly exhausting struggle to cope with this 4th wave takes place.

Already at this point, nearly 60 percent of the stalls originally committed to the Jena Christmas Market have withdrawn their participation. Reasons for the cancellations are the increasing economic risk for the participating companies due to the unclear planning perspectives and, above all, the lack of staff to operate the stands. The preservation of the 2G regulation for personnel with customer contact due to regulations would further aggravate this tense personnel situation. The cancellation of the Christmas market due to the pandemic means a further setback for traders, showmen and restaurateurs in their attempt to restart after the long winter lockdown at the beginning of the year. The city of Jena and JenaKultur are therefore calling on the political partners at state and federal level to push for an extension and, if necessary, adjustment of economic aid so that the industries that have already been hardest hit since the beginning of the pandemic continue to receive support.

In addition, the city of Jena appeals to the state government and the trade unions to also consider supporting the retail trade and to allow sales-open Sundays this year even without Christmas markets, as these have so far been linked to these events. If municipalities and companies face up to their responsibility of coping with this pandemic, they must not be left alone in this by state and federal politics. The stationary retail trade is an essential component for the liveliness and attractiveness of our cities and has assumed responsibility for combating the pandemic since it began, with great restrictions. In contrast, online retailing does not have to take on this kind of responsibility any more than it contributes to the quality of experience in our cities. Against this background, stationary retail in Thuringia also needs special support from the state government in order not to lose even more ground to online retail.

With a view to the upcoming new Thuringian state ordinance, the city of Jena also expects further necessary and absolutely state-uniform specifications for the holding of events, which further restrict the operation of clubs and the holding of cultural and sporting events, in order to be able to achieve the unconditional goal of not having to close schools again in the end. And the federal and state governments must also continue to provide support services for these players in order to maintain the impetus for a high quality of life in the communities even after this second Corona winter. At the request of the City of Jena, the Jena City Council last Wednesday, 10.11.2021, increased and approved the subsidy for the municipal own enterprise JenaKultur and included additional funds to support free cultural actors, new start projects and an active city marketing for the years 2022 to 2024. Thus, municipal politics and administration in Jena have already taken on the responsibility for shaping the necessary New Start phase.

In order to master this 4th wave together and to finally create reliable perspectives for the event industry, gastronomy, cultural, sports and educational institutions for 2022, the city of Jena and JenaKultur urgently appeal to the citizens of the city and the region: Please let yourself be inoculated so that the coming year finally stands for a real new start and not for further missed opportunities to cope with this pandemic.

Management of the Jena crisis team
Management JenaKultur