Approval for Sunday opening at “Sport in der City” in Giessen granted

An end to the lockdown is not yet in sight, but the City of Giessen’s magistrate has already given the go-ahead for a Sunday opening on the occasion of “Sport in the City” at the end of April. How does that fit together?

When can normal shopping be done again in Gießener Seltersweg? Photo: Mosel

GIESSEN – The lockdown has just been extended to the end of January. But the debate about further tightening has been going on for a long time, and some federal states are rushing forward again. In addition, it is circulating in the media that the Chancellor is expecting “great hardship” until Easter because of the corona pandemic and the mutations that have occurred. It may come as a little surprise when the magistrate points out that on the occasion of “Sport in the City” on Sunday, April 25th, from 12 noon to 6 pm in certain areas of the city, shops are allowed to open. The corresponding official announcement could also be read in the Anzeiger on Wednesday.

The reason is simple: Because the revised Hessian store opening law now stipulates that the “release decision […] at least three months before the intended sales outlet “to be published. This was intended to counter the criticism that, in view of repeated lawsuits” at the very last moment, there is considerable legal uncertainty and that reasonable planning cannot be guaranteed. In fact, given the long preparation time for all parties involved Gießen has regularly been warned to be more reliable, but the regulation found was initially classified as “totally impractical”, especially since urgent requests at short notice cannot be ruled out.

Deadline must be observed

Although it is currently not foreseeable when what can take place and in what magnitude, it is necessary to create the legal requirements. The city spokeswoman Claudia Boje confirmed that it was “a necessary reserve resolution, so to speak”. If this were to wait until the number of infections might drop, the deadline would be missed. In any case, the “condition precedent” applies to the ruling for the end of April, that the health department of the district certifies the admissibility under infection protection law. It is undisputed that the retail sector is groaning under the restrictions. A large part of the Christmas business, which is so often referred to as “vital” has broken down, the warehouses are full of goods that have been paid for, and there is still no real perspective of how things will continue. Some dealers have now set up a pick-up service, and the online platform is an alternative heimatschatz-giessen.de.

When asked whether more Sunday shopping trips would temporarily be an option, Lord Mayor Dietlind Grabe-Bolz once again had a clear answer in a New Year’s Eve interview with this newspaper: “Ultimately, it is up to the state government to regulate the Sunday opening hours. And it has Positioned against it before Christmas. We would not be well advised to write this on the municipal flag, because in the end we always lose in court. We have three approved Sundays open for sale in 2021: for ‘Sport in der City’, for City festival and to the grocer’s market. It is still in the stars whether so many people can get together so quickly. ” However, Markus Pfeffer, managing director of BID Seltersweg, denies that the city festival is still being considered as a triggering market event. Despite the high frequency, last time – as feared in advance – little was left financially.

At “Sport in the City”, local clubs and various sporting players usually present themselves with numerous hands-on activities. And experience shows that the event “can be expected to attract a considerable flow of visitors,” as the announcement states. On the one hand, this is of course necessary to generate a dominant “special event” that justifies the Sunday opening. “That’s why we can’t deviate much from it, because otherwise the character of ‘Sport in the City’ will change,” emphasizes Markus Pfeffer. On the other hand, it is unclear to what extent such a concept can be implemented even if the infection dynamics are then hopefully weakened. So far, the date has been communicated to the sports clubs, so Boje, “but there are no further plans or even a call for participation”. And Frank Hölscheidt, Managing Director of Gießen Marketing GmbH, adds that, as with the Christmas market, they want to keep the possibility of holding open as long as possible. “We will observe the development very closely and then react. The health of the visitors naturally has priority.”

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