BERLIN — Germany should cancel public gatherings of more than 1,000 people in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Sunday.
The minister said local authorities and event organizers should reconsider whether to go ahead with planned large-scale events “until further notice” as part of efforts to protect vulnerable citizens. Such a ban would include major football games and industry fairs, with Spahn calling for quicker decision-making on canceling such events as the infection rate rises.
Under Germanys federal system, the decision to implement bans on large events rests with local authorities across the countrys 16 regions.
As of Sunday evening, there were 902 confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany.
“Our primary goal is to slow its spread,” said Spahn in a statement. “We will talk about how we will deal with the economic consequences in the next few days.”
The German government was slated to meet Sunday to discuss the coronavirus situation.
The Hannover Messe, one of the worlds largest trade fairs, has already been postponed from April until July due to concerns over the spread of the virus, while a tourism fair in Berlin has been canceled.