In Berlin, bars and restaurants must close from Saturday evening between 23:00 and 6:00 hours. It is a time period that often during the weekends tens of thousands of people flock to the capital’s bars that remain open all night.
This curfew covers all stores except pharmacies and petrol stations, and will remain in place at least until October 31, and it will also prevent the sale of alcohol at gas stations.
Frankfurt took similar measures, which took effect on Friday evening, with bars and restaurants closed and the sale of alcohol banned between 22:00 and 6:00.
And Cologne, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous region, also announced similar lockdown measures, starting at 22:00, on Saturday morning. In turn, the city of Hamburg decided to impose mandatory wearing of masks in public places, starting from Monday.
In Berlin, the new measures are a severe blow to the city’s economy, which has already been hit hard by the months’ closure of bars and nightclubs.
The nightlife in the German capital is one of the most important components of its economy, and nightclubs returned to the city with revenues of 1.5 billion euros in 2018. But the epidemiological situation raises concern in the city, with more than 400 new daily infections recorded, and Berlin is classified as a “dangerous area”.
Mayor Michael Mueller said, “This is not a night’s time,” adding: “We can and we want to prevent another general lockdown” that is more strict, addressing his words especially to those under 40.
Chancellor Angela Merkel herself called for the measures to be imposed on Friday after a meeting with mayors of the country’s 11 largest cities.
The chancellor explained: “I am fully aware that restrictions such as imposing a time for closure and strict rules for the sale of alcohol are burdensome and that the restaurant sector has been severely affected,” adding, “But we have to determine what is most important to us this fall and this winter.” school activities”.
The Berlin Bar Association, in turn, sees the measure as “disastrous” and intends to appeal the decision to the judiciary. On Wednesday, one of the founders of the assembly, Roberto Matoffel, told the Berlin Economic Affairs Committee: “I do not find the right words and I feel anger and resentment.” And he saw that the curfew is the first in the capital since The year 1949 threatens to deliver a “fatal blow to the bars.”
In Frankfurt too, anger is mounting, and the “Frankfurt Restaurant Initiative” is threatening to file legal complaints against the closure measure, which, she said, would lead to random gatherings on the roads.
To avoid this danger, Berlin also decided to put tight restrictions on social communication, and between 23:00 and 6:00, gatherings outside should not exceed five people, and during the day, they cannot exceed 50.
This did not prevent demonstrators whom the police estimated at “several thousand” who opposed wearing masks, from participating in a silent march on Saturday afternoon in the center of Berlin, without any significant incidents. These restrictions are more stringent on indoor gatherings, which must not exceed ten people.
The measures are aimed in particular at preventing illegal home nights and parties, which the city authorities consider to be a source of the virus outbreak.
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