How a Bavarian supermarket is helping shoppers find love amid shutdown

One Bavarian supermarket is giving singles the chance to find love - or at least flirt behind FFP2 masks - every weekend.

How a Bavarian supermarket is helping shoppers find love amid shutdown
Edeka employee Daniel Cronau took part in 'singles shopping' one Friday. Photo: DPA

Can you find love while shopping in Germany? For many, a supermarket may be just about the least likely place for a starry eyed encounter, especially at the speedy check-out those who live in the Bundesrepublik will be aware of.

READ ALSO: The complete German supermarket survival guide

An Edeka supermarket in the Bavarian town of Volkach, however, is trying to break through barriers amid the coronavirus crisis: every Friday evening has been set aside for “singles shopping.”

“After all, curfew and contact restrictions don't make it easy to find a partner at the moment,” deputy store manager Steven Schellhorn told DPA. 

Every Friday between 6 and 8pm, singles can grab a heart with a number on it at the entrance and stick it on their jacket.

If they spot someone they fancy amid the shelves, they can opt to have that person’s number called out at the checkout. Those who are a bit more bashful can simply leave their phone number with a message. 

READ ALSO: Video: How to flirt during a pandemic? Get a German dating coach

For this purpose, slips of paper are laid out on which the type of contact can be ticked off, such as: “I'd be happy to meet you for an orange juice in the fruit department.”

“I think it's a good change,” says a staff member donning a red heart on his chest. The offer has been around for about two years, said Schellhorn, but so far few customers have taken advantage of it. 

Yet since the start of the pandemic, the red hearts picked up in popularity, with more people using the offer, he said.

“Nothing has taken off yet,” a butcher’s assistant told Bavarian news website Merkur amid a display of schnitzel and minced meat. “At least not here by the meat, but maybe in another department.”

One unattached Friday evening customer told Merkur that he was staying optimistic. “I’m looking everywhere,” said Alfons, who wore a heart with the number 50 on his coat. 

READ ALSO: What's the advice for sex and dating in Germany during the coronavirus crisis?


leave a message – eine Nachricht hinterlassen

A change – (die) Abwechslung

tick or check off – ankreuzen

Fruit department – (die) Obstabteilung

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Is the pandemic over in Germany?

As much of Germany lifts - or prepares to lift - the last remaining Covid-19 measures, intensive care units say Covid-19 admissions are no longer straining the system.

Is the pandemic over in Germany?

Despite a difficult winter of respiratory illnesses, intensive care units in Germany say Covid-19 admissions have almost halved. The number of cases having to be treated in the ICU has gone down to 800 from 1,500 at the beginning of this month.

“Corona is no longer a problem in intensive care units,” Gernot Marx, Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, told the German Editorial Network. “A the moment, we don’t have to think every day about how to still ensure the care of patients, but how to actually run a service that can help.”

Marx said the drop has allowed them to catch up on many postponed surgeries.

The number of sick employees in hospitals is also falling, helping to relieve the pressure on personnel.

The easing pressure on hospitals correlates with the assessment of prominent virologist and head of the Virology department at Berlin’s Charite – Christian Drosten – who said in December that the pandemic was close to ending, with the winter wave being an endemic one.

German federal and state governments are now in the midst of lifting the last of the country’s pandemic-related restrictions. Free Covid-19 antigen tests for most people, with exceptions for medical personnel, recently ended.

READ ALSO: Free Covid-19 tests end in Germany

Six federal states – Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein – have ended mandatory isolation periods for people who test positive for Covid-19.

Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein have ended the requirement to wear FFP2 masks on public transport, while Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia, and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will follow suit on February 2nd.

At that time, the federal government will also drop its requirement for masks to be worn on long-distance trains. Labour Minister Hubertus Heil says that’s when he also intends to exempt workplaces – apart from medical locations – from a mask requirement.

READ ALSO: Germany to drop mask mandate in trains and buses from February 2nd

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg will also end the requirement for patients to wear a mask in doctor’s offices. That’s a requirement that, so far, will stay in place everywhere else. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has also said that he thinks this requirement should remain. 

But some public health insurers and general practitioners are calling for a nationwide end to the obligation for wearing masks in doctor’s offices.

“The pandemic situation is over,” National Association of Statutory Health Physicians (KBV) Chair Andreas Gassen told the RND network. “High-risk patients aren’t treated in all practices. It should generally be left up to medical colleagues to decide whether they want to require masks in their practices.”