The Administrative Court in Berlin has granted a petition by eleven restaurant owners and suspended the night-time curfew for bars and restaurants “for the time being,” the court said on Friday.
The court argued that it was “not comprehensible” why it should be justified in terms of infection protection law to close catering establishments from 11 p.m. onwards which were normally allowed to remain open.
The court argued that it was “disproportionate” to close catering establishments from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in view of the other measures taken to halt the spread of COVID-19.
The Senate of Berlin had decided that restaurants and bars must close for the night due to a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The regulation came into effect last weekend.
The ban on serving alcoholic beverages during the same period remains in force. This ban had not been contested by the restaurant owners. It was a “component of the court’s argumentation” that the risk of alcohol-related disinhibition after 11 p.m. did not exist, a court spokesperson told Xinhua on Friday.
“Formally” the verdict would only apply to the eleven restaurateurs who had sued, the spokesperson added. However, it was a “decision of general principle,” which would need to be considered by the city authorities.