Court overturns order to shut Berlin’s bars and restaurants from 11pm because ‘it is not apparent’ it would help fight coronavirus
A Berlin court has suspended an order for bars and restaurants to close from 11pm to 6am after finding that ‘it was not apparent’ such a measure could help fight coronavirus.
Ruling on a case brought by 11 restaurant owners, the administrative court noted that new infections in Germany currently stem from private gatherings of family and friends, at community facilities, meat-processing plants, religious gatherings or in connection with travel.
Closing food and drink establishments was therefore a ‘disproportionate encroachment on the freedom’ of the industry, the court ruled.
It comes after Angela Merkel warned Germany was heading for ‘disaster’ after regional leaders refused to sign off on her tough new coronavirus measures amid surging cases in Europe.
The German Chancellor lost her temper with state leaders at late-night talks on Wednesday, telling them: ‘What we’ve agreed is not enough to ward off disaster.’
A Berlin court has suspended an order for bars and restaurants to close from 11pm to 6am after finding that ‘it was not apparent’ such a measure could help fight coronavirus. Pictured: Empty restaurant in Berlin last night
Germany recorded the highest ever increase in daily cases for a second day running as it saw 7,334 new infections on Friday.
It also reported 33 new deaths which is triple the figure recorded a week ago – despite still being less than its European neighbours.
But Merkel said: ‘If you ask me what it is that worries me, it’s the exponential rate of increase. We have to stop that. Otherwise this won’t end well.’
She noted that neighbouring European countries were having to take ‘very drastic measures.’