- "This is not the time to party", insisted Berlin's Democratic mayor, Michael Müller.
- Berlin bars association described the measures as “disastrous” and said it is contemplating taking legal action.
- Angela Merkel sighted setting "priorities" as the need to keep the economy running and school activities operating.
Germany’s capital city, Berlin on Saturday ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants therein between 11.00 PM and 06:00 AM effective from Saturday as a measure aimed at halting COVID-19 infections therein. The sale of alcoholic beverages at service stations as well as in supermarkets as from 23:00 was equally banned.
“This is not the time to party”, insisted Berlin’s Democratic mayor, Michael Müller. “We want to prevent another more severe lockdown”, he added, with a particular message for people under 40 years of age.
The Berlin bars association described the measures as “disastrous” and said it is contemplating taking legal action in regard to the move.
“I am at a loss for words, I feel so much rage and indignation,” Roberto Manteufel, a member of the association told the Berlin Economic Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Berlin’s nightlife is a key component of the capital city’s economy with 1,700 bars registered as well as close to 6,000 restaurants.
On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met heads of Germany’s 11 main cities during which she stressed that urban centers are the main focus of concern, taking into account the sky-rocketing cases registered in Berlin and Frankfurt.
She hence supported the measure and stated thus: “I am fully aware that restrictions such as closing time and strict rules over the sale of alcohol are binding and that the restaurant sector is hit hard,” said the Chancellor.
“But we must do what is most important to us this autumn and this winter,” she added, setting as “priorities” the need to keep the economy running and school activities operating.
The pandemic situation in the capital is worrying, with an incidence rate of more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants for several days, which puts Berlin in the “risk areas”. Berlin this Friday exceeded the average of 52 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days.
These restrictions are even greater in the interior, where only ten people can join (instead of the 25 that were foreseen), with this measure mainly targeting evenings at home and illegal parties, which the Berlin authorities consider major threat in the spread of the virus.
The German city of Frankfurt also adopted a similar measure, which came into force on Friday night. In addition to the closure of bars and restaurants in that period, the authorities prohibited the sale of alcohol therein between 10 pm and 6 am.
The number of new daily COVID-19 infections in Germany has exceeded 4,700, the highest figure since mid-April, according to official data released this Saturday.
Within 24 hours, there were 4,721 contagions of SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, reported the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany.
The areas considered at risk, in which there are more than 50 new infections per 100 thousand inhabitants, have also increased.
The total number of infections in the country since the beginning of the pandemic rose to 319,381, with 9,604 deaths, 15 of which were reported in the last 24 hours. The number of patients recovered is 273,500.
These figures confirm the upward and continued rising observed in recent weeks and especially in recent days.