After more than a year of restrictions and tough lockdowns across Germany, the sight of people enjoying steins of beer in Bavaria was a welcomed sign of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This week Germans were allowed to enjoy a beer outside as Biergartens in parts of Bavaria were permitted to reopen, according to The Associated Press.
The southern German state — famous for its biergartens and annual Oktoberfest celebrations — has permitted areas that report a COVID-19 infection rate of less than 100 cases per 100,000 people to reopen their beer gardens. Customers are still required to adhere to certain COVID-19 rules, like social distancing, mandatory face masks, and a 10 p.m. curfew.
New COVID guidelines in Bavaria allow regions with approved COVID-19 rates to reopen outdoor dining and drinking areas within about a week of reaching approved infection rates. More than a dozen areas throughout the state report safe COVID-19 rates and have already been permitted to reopen their Biergartens. In the city of Bavaria, citizens were allowed to enjoy a beer outside from Wednesday. Overall, Bavaria has reported a seven-day average of 119.5 new cases per 100,000 people.
Although some major indicators of normal life have reopened, Bavaria isn’t quite ready to begin hosting mass events again. This year’s Oktoberfest — which typically draws more than six million visitors — has already been canceled.
Germany has also eased its travel restrictions this week, allowing those who have been vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 to bypass testing and quarantine entry rules. Travelers with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (which includes Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna) will be allowed to enter Germany, which should be made easier when the country introduces digital health certificates this summer.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.