Germany: Cities are restricting the opening hours of restaurants and shops

In large German cities, including the capital of the country Berlin, due to the spread of the coronavirus, restrictions have been introduced on the working hours of restaurants and bars, especially at weekends, as well as shops, since Saturday.

In Berlin, the premises will be closed from Saturday evening from 23-6 am. Typically, tens of thousands of people stroll through the capital each weekend, with many bars open all night long.

The restriction, which also applies to all shops except pharmacies and gas stations, will apply until October 31. It will be forbidden to sell alcohol at gas stations.

Frankfurt has taken similar steps; restrictions came in on Friday evening. Bars and restaurants were closed; it is forbidden to sell alcohol between 22-6 am.

On Saturday morning, Cologne, the capital of the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, announced restrictions that will apply from 22.

For the seventh day in a row, the COVID-19 incidence rate has exceeded the threshold of 50 new infections per 100,000. residents.

In Berlin, the new restrictions are another, very heavy blow to the city’s economy, which has been strongly influenced by the closing of clubs for several months. The nightlife of the German capital is an essential part of the city’s economy. The clubs alone brought the city over 1.5 billion euros in taxes in 2018. But the epidemic in the capital is worrying, with over 400 new cases a day, Berlin is now classified as a risk zone.

– This is not the time to party – explained the social democratic mayor of the capital Michael Mueller. “We can and we want to prevent another, more severe isolation,” he added, addressing in particular those under 40.

On Friday, a joint conference between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the mayors of 11 largest German cities was held, during which it was agreed to introduce further restrictions in them, if necessary, to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus.

Developments in large cities will show whether we will be able to keep the pandemic in Germany under control or whether we will lose that control, Merkel said.

The Gastronomic Initiative Association in Frankfurt threatens to challenge the order to close restaurants and bars at 22, which he believes may lead to wild gatherings in the street. To prevent them, Berlin decided to severely limit social contacts. From 11 PM to 5 AM, street meetings cannot exceed five people, and during the day – 50.

In turn, meetings in rooms are limited to 10 people. This includes evening house meetings and house parties, which Berlin authorities recognize as sources of the coronavirus.

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