Because of a possible threat, the police cleared all Christmas markets in downtown Düsseldorf on Monday afternoon. The mulled wine stands and stalls were closed for several hours. The police did not give the all-clear until around 6 p.m.
A police spokesman for Düsseldorf said there was an "abstract threat from outside" against the markets. According to information from the German Press Agency, it was a threatening call to the police control center. The police have therefore decided to close the markets to be on the safe side. "Safety must come first," said the police spokesman.
According to the police, the clearing of the markets went smoothly. All Christmas markets in downtown Düsseldorf were affected, as was the ice rink on the Kö. In order to rule out any danger, the police also blocked all roads to the Christmas markets.
According to the police, there was no acute danger. The shops in the city center - including those in the immediate vicinity of the Christmas markets - remained open. At around 6:00 p.m., the police lifted the closures. Whether the stands at the Christmas markets open again for the remaining evening hours after the forced break is up to the operator, the police said.
In the city center it was rather quiet on Monday evening because of the weekday, but probably also because of the sleet and low temperatures.
Note: The article has been updated with new information.