Home News Court overturns order to shut bars and restaurants in Berlin at 11pm

Court overturns order to shut bars and restaurants in Berlin at 11pm

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A bartender pours a beer at a bar in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district on October 10, 2020. - Stolz, along with other bar owners in Berlin, has challenged local authorities over the re-introduction of a curfew for bars in the capital, which are, from October 10 onwards, forbidden to operate between 11 PM and 6 AM. (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)
A court has ruled that most cases originate outside of bars and restaurants (Picture: AFP)

A Berlin court has overturned an order forcing bars, restaurants and off-licences to close from 11pm to 6am amid the pandemic.

Eleven restaurant owners had submitted urgent requests against the curfew, which was introduced by Chancellor Angela Merkel this month. Today, an administrative court ruled ‘it was not apparent’ that the measure would stop the spread of Covid-19.

Instead, the court stated that new infections in Germany are currently more likely to stem from private gatherings of families and friends, meat-processing plants, religious gatherings or community facilities.

They also argued that the curfew wouldn’t prevent young people from meeting, but would push them to do so in places that don’t meet hygiene standards.

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The court therefore ruled that closing the venues was a ‘disproportionate encroachment’ on the industry’s freedom, a court spokesperson said.

Berlin is considered to be a hotspot in Germany, with more than 78 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people across the city, and as many as 161 cases per 100,000 in some districts, such as Neukölln.

BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 08: People walk past a bar in Kreuzberg district on October 8, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. The city of Berlin announced it will introduce new restrictions in order to rein in growing coronavirus infection rates. Starting Saturday, bars and restaurants will need to close by 11pm. The number of people gathering together outside will be limited to five and for private indoor events the limit will be ten people. The entire city of Berlin has been declared a coronavirus hotspot, with seven-day averages for new infections above the mark of 50 per 100,000 residents. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Chancellor Angela Merkel warned young people to stay safe this week (Picture: Getty Images)
epa08725003 Two guests sit in front of a bar in Berlin, Germany, 06 October 2020. In response to the rising number of infections, the Berlin Senate has decided to tighten the corona rules. In the future there will be a curfew for shops, bars and restaurants. Restaurants and bars but also shops have to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. EPA/ALEXANDER BECHER
Bars, restaurants and off-licences were to be closed between 11pm and 6am (Picture: EPA)

On Friday, Germany recorded its highest ever daily increase in cases for a second day running with 7,334 new infections and 24 deaths.

Earlier this week Merkel warned that the nation could be heading for ‘disaster’ if state premiers didn’t sign off on stronger coronavirus measures. Noting the rising infection rate, urged younger generations to avoid partying during the pandemic in order to have a ‘good life tomorrow, or the day after’.

Other new restrictions across Berlin prevent more than 10 people from gathering together in a private space, while only five people – or members of two households – can gather together between 11pm and 6am.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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