BERLIN – The Bundesliga will return to being played behind closed doors as part of a toughening of measures outlined by the German government on Wednesday as it grapples with a second wave of COVID-19.
The German top-flight was one of the first major European leagues to allow a limited number of fans back into the stands this season. Others like Spain’s LaLiga and the English Premier League had yet to experiment with socially-distanced fans in the stands.
The new measure comes into effect on Nov. 2 and is part of a raft of restrictions announced on Wednesday by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, which include the closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and theaters across the country for at least four weeks.
The ban also includes amateur team sporting activities.
Shops and schools are permitted to stay open under the regulation, according to the government’s deal with regional leaders in Germany.
The federal government, which is expected to set aside around €10 billion to pay compensation for businesses affected by the closures, said it wanted to “avoid a national health emergency.”
German authorities have been spurred into action by a rapidly increasing number of daily COVID-19 infections.
The country’s Robert Koch Institute for epidemiological research on Wednesday reported 14,965 cases, the highest daily toll since the pandemic began.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Germany has reported a total of 463,157 coronavirus cases overall and 10,284 deaths.
It has a seven-day cumulative incidence rate of 99.1 cases per 100,000 people. The RKI considers anything above 50 cases per 100,000 to be a high-risk area.