Rock on: Germany on track for open air gigs, fans at soccer games

·1-min read
News conference on the current coronavirus situation, in Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is on target for outdoor concerts this summer, with social distancing and COVID-19 testing for attendees, and if cases fall further fans should be back at soccer matches in August, Health Minister Jens Spahn said.

Coronavirus cases have been falling steadily over the last month in Germany and the seven-day incidence - the number of new infections - now stands at 64.5 per 100,000, data collated by the public health institute shows.

Spahn said on Friday that Germany had broken a third wave of the virus.

Asked if the downward trend would allow for open air concerts, he told Bild am Sonntag newspaper: "Yes. But no rock festivals where tens of thousands are in each other's arms."

"Concerts in the Olympic Stadium (in Berlin), which is not full, or in the park with tests and social distancing are possible from today's perspective."

On Bundesliga soccer matches, he added: "If the incidence continues to fall, I am sure that fans will be allowed back into the stadium in August."

Spahn also said he expected European approval to come soon for the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech to be given to 12-16 year-olds.

Germany's goal was for this age group to be offered a vaccine by end-August, he said, adding:

"For a carefree summer, we need to reduce the incidence further."

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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