A Berlin court has suspended an order for bars and restaurants to close from 11pm to 6am after finding that ‘it was not apparent’ such a measure could help fight coronavirus.
Ruling on a case brought by 11 restaurant owners, the administrative court noted that new infections in Germany currently stem from private gatherings of family and friends, at community facilities, meat-processing plants, religious gatherings or in connection with travel.
Closing food and drink establishments was therefore a ‘disproportionate encroachment on the freedom’ of the industry, the court ruled.
It comes after Angela Merkel warned Germany was heading for ‘disaster’ as regional leaders refused to sign off on her tough new coronavirus measures amid surging cases in Europe.
The German Chancellor lost her temper with state leaders at late-night talks on Wednesday, telling them: ‘What we’ve agreed is not enough to ward off disaster.’
Germany recorded the highest ever increase in daily cases for a second day running as it saw 7,334 new infections on Friday – with 24 new deaths.
On Thursday it saw 33 fatalities which is triple the figure recorded a week ago – despite still being less than its European neighbours.