Coronavirus: several large cities tighten their measures in Germany

The situation is particularly worrying in the capital. But, faced with these new measures, the discontent is mounting.

CFaced with a worrying rise in infections, large German cities including Berlin are instituting a curfew from this Saturday that alarms bars and restaurants.

Worrisome situation in Berlin

In Berlin, establishments will have to close their doors from Saturday evening between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., a time slot that usually sees tens of thousands of people strolling every weekend in the capital where many bars remain open all night. This curfew, which affects all stores except pharmacies and gas stations, will be in place at least until October 31. The sale of alcohol in gas stations will also be prohibited.

This is another very hard blow for the city’s economy, already hard hit by the closure of clubs for several months. The nightlife of the German capital is an essential component of the city’s economy. The clubs alone brought the city over € 1.5 billion in 2018.

But the epidemic situation is worrying in the capital, with more than 400 new cases daily. Berlin is now classified as a “risk zone”. “This is not the time to party”, justified the social democratic mayor of the capital, Michael Müller. “We can and we want to prevent another more severe confinement,” he added, addressing more particularly those under 40 years old.

Frankfurt, Cologne and Hamburg raise the tone

Frankfurt has taken a similar measure, which came into effect on Friday evening, with the closure of bars and restaurants and the ban on the sale of alcohol between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

And on Saturday morning, it was Cologne, the capital of the most populous region, North Rhine-Westphalia, which announced a similar measure from 10 p.m.

Another large German city, Hamburg has opted for the compulsory wearing of a mask in public places from Monday.

The grumbling rises

The Bars of Berlin collective considers this measure “disastrous” and is working on a possible legal remedy.

In Frankfurt too, discontent is mounting. The Frankfurt Gastronomy Initiative association thus threatens to file appeals against a closure measure likely to lead, according to it, to wild gatherings in the street.

To prevent this risk, the city of Berlin has decided to severely restrict social contacts. From now on, between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., outdoor gatherings should not exceed five people. During the day, this gauge remains fixed at 50.

It did not prevent, according to the police “several thousand” opponents to the wearing of masks to participate, without notable incident, in a silent march in the center of Berlin on Saturday afternoon.

These restrictions are even stronger for indoor gatherings, limited to 10 people. These measures mainly target home parties and illegal parties, which the Berlin authorities consider as propagators of the new coronavirus.

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