The flea market in Offenbach has had a long corona break. The reopening also brings criticism.
Offenbach – The flea market in the parking lot of the Ring-Center shopping center is one of the most controversial events in the city: residents regularly complain about the traffic and parking chaos that the market brings with it. Citizens, initiatives and parties have criticized the event again and again, as the visitors, some of whom came from the entire Rhine-Main area, show little consideration: Entrances were parked, and in the past there was no getting through in some streets.
After a corona-related break, a flea market is to be held again this Sunday, the organizing Kelkheim Event Service Weiß has put up appropriate signs. Residents then contacted our newspaper and expressed their incomprehension that the city approves the market with the large number of visitors in times with high numbers of corona cases.
Offenbach: Corona warning level red exceeded
Now Offenbach exceeded the red warning level of the corona warning system of the state and municipalities for the second time on Wednesday, the 7-day incidence is 56 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The city warns to avoid unnecessary contacts, at events only a maximum of 100 people are allowed. However, none of this has any influence on the flea market: the market continues to allow up to 2,000 visitors to come together on the area at the same time.
Velimir Filipovic, head of center management at ILG, the company that owns the ring center, explains that the market has been approved by the city because the operator has submitted a hygiene concept.
All visitors must wear mouth and nose protection while on the premises. According to the organizer, they are also asked to enter the Ring Center area via the official entrance on Senefelderstraße, where counts are made. Visitors do not have to register. If there are queues at the entrance, the organizer asks to keep the minimum distance of 1.50 meters.
Massive corona measures in Offenbach: residents shake their heads
The approval and concept caused a shake of heads among residents. For example, SPD parliamentary group leader Martin Wilhelm and resident Ursula Thiele write that they are “angry about the priorities set by the ordinance officer”: While clubs or restaurants have to cope with massive restrictions, it is “a bad signal” to allow so many visitors. It is unacceptable that the police, who are working at the limit, will continue to be charged with “a flea market that is of no priority for Offenbach”.
When asked, the city said that the flea market should be classified as a point of sale according to Paragraph 3 of the Hessian Corona Contact and Operating Restriction Ordinance (CoKoBev) and should therefore generally open. The hygiene concept presented by the Weiß event service had been approved by the health department. Since the parking lot has a large area, the distances of three square meters per person specified in the CoKoBev have led to the permitted number of visitors. In addition, the purchase of food and drinks is permitted, but their consumption is only permitted in designated areas.
The city announced to our newspaper that it wanted to monitor both the parking situation around the market and “compliance with the self-imposed hygiene concept by the organizer”. (By Frank Sommer)