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Football returns behind closed doors: Bayern Munich are told to play in an empty stadium

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Football returns behind closed doors: Bayern Munich told to play in empty stadiums again as Germany considers shutting out fans across the country over Covid spike

  • Bayern Munich have been told they will play behind closed doors again
  • The Bavarian Prime Minister has insisted that he will introduce restrictions regardless of what the German national government has agreed on Tuesday afternoon
  • Markus Soder: ‘It makes no sense to admit viewers in the foreseeable future’
  • The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has led to a huge increase in cases across Europe











Bayern Munich are preparing to play their upcoming home games behind closed doors at the Allianz Arena as Germany reacts to a spike in coronavirus infections.

Europe is currently being hit by a wave of cases, thanks in part to the new Omicron variant, with Bavaria in particular taking a number of measures to prevent the spread.

All of the area’s Christmas markets – usually a huge hit with residents and tourists alike – have been canceled and football is now back behind closed doors, starting with Bayern’s Champions League clash against Barcelona next Wednesday.

The Bundesliga champions are away from title rivals Dortmund this weekend, before welcoming Barca to the Allianz Arena a few days later.

From there, Bayern will face Mainz on December 11, another match expected to be without fans.

Bayern Munich plays to empty crowds again, just like the start of the pandemic

The team is at the top of the Bundesliga, but the public is told they cannot attend matches

The team is at the top of the Bundesliga, but the public is told they cannot attend matches

The national government will meet on Tuesday to decide on the next steps, but Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder has already made his own decision, stressing: “It makes no sense to allow viewers again in the near future.

“It is an important requirement that we decide today that we will not allow any more viewers in the future. If that doesn’t work at the federal level, we’ll only do it for Bavaria.’

Soder then justified the move with a message from his Twitter account: “The high mobility when traveling to and from the club is currently irresponsible. Football is a great role model. We now have to reduce contacts everywhere.’

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, and her successor Olaf Scholz, will discuss the Covid crisis with the heads of state of the federal states at noon on Tuesday, where a final decision for the entire country will be made.

Champions Bayern, Augsburg and Greuther Furth are the three Bundesliga teams currently affected in Bavaria, with three more second division teams in the region.

Two cases of the new variant of the coronavirus Omicron were detected in the southern German state of Bavaria last weekend.

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder (right) says it 'makes no sense' to allow fans to attend

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder (right) says it ‘makes no sense’ to allow fans to attend

Despite the wave, there have been protests in Munich, calling on residents to take off their masks

Despite the wave, there have been protests in Munich, calling on residents to take off their masks

COVID IN GERMANY AND ABROAD

Germany reported a further 45,753 new coronavirus cases and 388 deaths on Tuesday, but the seven-day number of cases per 100,000 people fell slightly for the first time in three weeks.

In Belgium, meanwhile, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that infections in his country are now “worse than the worst-case scenario” as he announced that nightclubs will have to close while restaurants and bars have to close at 11pm.

Austria was the first European country to take action in the wake of the Omicron variant as they were plunged into a fourth national lockdown.

Hotels, restaurants, bars, football stadiums and cultural attractions that were forced to close on Monday are unlikely to reopen until December 13 – with only 12 days left until Christmas.

The two people with the variant entered Germany at Munich airport on Nov. 24, before South Africa was designated a virus variant area, and have now become isolated, the Bavarian health ministry said.

The two had come forward for further investigation after learning of the new variant, which has sparked global concern and sparked a spate of travel restrictions.

The Bavarian ministry said anyone who has been in South Africa in the past 14 days should immediately cut contacts, take a PCR test and contact their local health authority.

“Bavaria has responded early and quickly to the very new variant,” said a ministry spokesman. ‘Everything must be done to prevent the spread.’

Of the passengers arriving from Cape Town on Friday, 50 are in quarantine in Bavaria. Two foreign passengers tested positive for coronavirus and are being examined for the Omicron variant, the Bavarian ministry said.

In Germany, only 68.3 percent of the population of about 83 million people has been fully vaccinated, far behind the percentages in southern European countries such as Portugal and Spain. About 10 percent of the population has received a booster shot, Spahn said.

Germany registered 67,125 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, according to the Robert Koch Institute of Infectious Diseases. More than 100,000 people have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Munich's famous Christmas markets, a huge draw for tourists, have already been cancelled

Munich’s famous Christmas markets, a huge draw for tourists, have already been cancelled

A decision will be made on Tuesday whether fans can attend matches outside Bavaria

A decision will be made on Tuesday whether fans can attend matches outside Bavaria

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