A potentially precedent-setting ruling has been handed down by a Berlin court in regards to COVID-19 restrictions. A previous order for bars and restaurants to close from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM has been suspended on the grounds that it “was not apparent” it will curb the spread of the virus.
The case was brought on by 11 restaurant owners who submitted urgent requests that lawmakers review the curfew, which was announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier in October. The administrative court found that outbreaks most commonly result from from travel, private gatherings, community centers, religious gatherings, and meat processing factories. Accordingly, they ruled that the cutoff was a “disproportionate encroachment on the freedom of the industry.”
The development gives hope to nightlife professionals embroiled in similar lawmaker disputes across the globe. Notably, Greater Manchester Night Time Economy Advisor Sacha Lord recently enlisted lawyers to fight lockdowns proposed by the U.K government.
“A Berlin Court has just suspended an order for bars/restaurants to close at 11pm…” tweeted Lord. “…This is huge.”
Meanwhile, Germany is still grappling with case counts even higher than when the COVID-19 pandemic started. 7,334 new infections and 24 deaths were reported by the country on Friday alone.
Berlin is considered one of Germany’s biggest coronavirus hotspots with more than 78 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
Image credit: Sarthak Navjivan