COVID-19: Berlin court overturns nighttime restrictions on bars and restaurants

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Berlin | The Berlin administrative court on Friday canceled the obligation imposed on bars and restaurants in the German capital to close every day between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. to stem the pandemic of new coronavirus.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

The court had been seized in summary by eleven restaurateurs and operators of Berlin bars who considered disproportionate these night restrictions, imposed since October 10.

This decision can be appealed to the Higher Administrative Court Berlin-Brandenburg.

The Berlin city hall had taken the decision to introduce nighttime restrictions in the face of the worrying increase in COVID-19 cases in the capital.

The German government repeated this week to be very worried about the progression of contaminations in the country. During a crisis meeting on Wednesday, Angela Merkel and regional leaders drew up a national roadmap listing new restrictions, including nightly closures of bars and restaurants after a certain contamination threshold.

Germany on Friday recorded a new record of 7,334 new positive cases in 24 hours.

Bars and restaurants therefore had to close between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., a time slot that usually sees tens of thousands of people strolling every weekend in the capital where many places remain open all night.

The restrictions, which affected all stores except pharmacies and gas stations, were to be in place at least until October 31.

Other cities, such as Frankfurt or Cologne, have taken similar measures with mandatory night shutdowns.

In Berlin, it was another very hard blow for the city’s economy, already hard hit by the closure of clubs for several months.

The nightlife of the German capital is an essential component of the city’s economy. The clubs alone brought the city over € 1.5 billion in 2018.

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