The administration of the Altona and Mitte districts cancelled Monday (March 16, 2020) the 831st Port of Hamburg anniversary celebrations, originally scheduled from May 8-10, 2020, owing to the spread of COVID-19 and citing a latent, increased risk of infection in large crowds. Large public events all over Germany have been banned to protect the population and to delay the spread of infection to large numbers of people. The ban helps avoid overburdening the health care system and to provide capacity to treat the sick and people with other illnesses.
Big, popular festival in north Germany
The Port of Hamburg anniversary celebrations count among the biggest and most popular festivals in the north and attracts millions of tourists every year. More than 300 ships were expected for the entry parade alone. Last year, the event attracted more than 1 million visitors.
Ban on events
Measures aimed at containing the coronavirus are increasingly stringent and more and more companies in Hamburg are sending their staff home in response to a general instruction issued Sunday (March 15, 2020) by the Ministry of Health and until April 30 initially. This has triggered the cancellation of large public and private events irrespective of size and the Ministry of Culture and Media has also reached agreement with theatres and concert halls to halt all events at their venues. The only exemptions are events to maintain public safety and order, the provision of public services, the supply of services to the population or the provision of health care. The retail trade is to remain closed with certain exceptions.