Administrative Court suspends curfew: Senate submits appeal
One week after its introduction, the curfew for Berlin bars and pubs is on shaky ground. It does not stand up to legal scrutiny, the administrative court declared on Friday (October 16, 2020).
On the complaint of eleven restaurant owners, the court overturned the curfew. The senate, however, immediately filed a complaint and applied for an interim injunction. The Higher Administrative Court did not comply with this request.
Prohibition of the nightly serving of alcohol remains
According to the decision of the Administrative Court, restaurateurs may serve guests for longer periods of time, but still are not allowed to serve alcohol after 11 pm. Meetings at the bar are thus also possible at an advanced hour, just not with beer or long drink. Formally, the closing time for only these eleven restaurants is thus overturned. The German hotel and restaurant federation Berlin (Dehoga) counts however on the fact that now all enterprises remain open again as usual also after 23 o'clock.
For police and order offices it becomes around some more difficult to supervise the prohibition of alcohol without curfew. Whether a pub is open or closed is comparatively easy to check, and whether there is pomegranate juice in a glass or a cocktail is a lot more work.
Higher Administrative Court does not issue interim injunction
A complaint by the Senate was received by the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg this afternoon, a spokeswoman said. The red-red-green state government initially relied on an interim injunction. The Higher Administrative Court, however, rejected the Senate's request. According to the ruling, the 11 restaurateurs referred to in the Administrative Court's decision can now open their businesses during curfew hours - but the serving of alcohol remains prohibited between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. The matter itself will be decided in the coming days.
Administrative court doubts whether the measure is proportionate
However, the administrative court has found many arguments against the curfew in its decision. The judges found that it was not necessary for a significant reduction in the incidence of infection. It referred to the Robert Koch Institute. According to the judges, the number of cases had increased during celebrations with family and friends, in institutions such as old people's and nursing homes, hospitals and in connection with religious events and travel.
Urgent applications against prohibition of nightly alcohol serving
"Also the danger of an alcohol-conditioned "disinhibition" after 23 o'clock does not exist ", quotes a court report the resolution. Innkeepers could not be generally assumed that they did not comply with the guidelines. "Alone the better control possibility of a curfew hour cannot be used therefore here for the justification of the measure. Because the infection environment of the restaurant is of secondary importance, the curfew is also a disproportionate encroachment on the freedom of occupation.
According to information of attorney Niko Härting the bar and club owners had also argued, the curfew leads to the fact that young people meet then at other places, for which no hygiene concepts apply. Also express applications were likewise placed against the fact that the bar owners may not serve alcohol after 23 o'clock, according to Dehoga. The decision on this is still pending.
Last edited: Friday, 16. October 2020 20:20 Uhr