Bundesliga capacity reduced

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Sun, 05/12/2021
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IANS

Attendances in Bundesliga matches will be restricted as Germany battles a new wave of Covid-19.

The Federal government reintroduced restrictions on sporting events, meaning that, for now at least, matches can only have an attendance of up to 50% capacity or a maximum of 15,000 fans per game.

Traditionally the most watched league in Europe, most German stadiums have been operating at near full capacity this season. 

Fans are now all required to wear face masks, and in states where infection rates are particularly high, sporting events must be cancelled altogether.

Last week, the German football association, the DFL, rejected calls from some lower-league teams for the Bundesliga to be halted altogether until the situation improves. Now they are hoping that the new measures are enough to help resolve the situation.

Borussia Dortmund have cancelled sale of tickets for this weekend’s big match against Bayern Munich, while RB Leipzig have confirmed that next week’s Champions League match against Manchester City will be played behind closed doors.

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor Olaf Scholz have agreed with the leaders of the 10 German states a package of measures to deal with rising infection rates in the country.

On Thursday, there were more than 73,000 new infections reported and 388 deaths, and intensive care units are overwhelmed. Some hospitals are so full that patients are having to be shipped to the Netherlands for treatment. 

Meanwhile, masks are now mandatory in schools, new limits have been imposed on private meetings, and a new push to increase the number of vaccinations by the end of the year has been launched.

The unvaccinated are to be excluded from large sections of public life, although the German government has so far refused to go as far as their Austrian counterparts who have announced that vaccinations are to be compulsory for everybody in the country from next February.

Nevertheless, pressure is still growing for tighter measures. Merkel has made it clear that, were she still a member of parliament, she would have voted for compulsory vaccinations.