Alcohol ban in public spaces temporarily suspended

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Wed 20th Jan, 2021

The Bavarian Administrative Court has overturned the Bavarian-wide ban on alcohol in public places. The court granted the urgent application brought by a private individual from Regensburg. The judges argued that the Infection Protection Act does provide for the possibility of banning alcohol, but only in certain places. The Söder-led government was consequently prevented from imposing the ban in Bavaria across all public spaces. The judges suspended the corresponding provision of the Bavarian ordinance, so it no longer applies for the time being, at least until a decision is made in the main proceedings.

The Bavarian government therefore now wants to allow local authorities to impose local bans. "The decision of the VGH is regrettable, as alcohol disinhibits and contributes to a more lax approach to the absolutely necessary hygiene distances," the state chancellery announced, which some claim was done in a patronising and authoritarian tone. "We will therefore reinstate the old regulation whereby municipalities determine certain places where alcohol consumption in public spaces is prohibited." The general ban on consumption throughout Bavaria had been in force since the second week of December.

According to the court, the plaintiff had also wanted to overturn other anti-corona measures - but without success. He also wanted to have the contact restrictions, the closure of libraries and archives and also the so-called 15-kilometre rule for day-tourist excursions suspended. But the administrative judges rejected this. The contact restrictions were not disproportionate, they argued. In the case of the closure of libraries and archives, the judges considered this to be open, but until a final decision in the main case, they left the regulation in force. The motion to suspend the 15-kilometre rule for day trips was rejected by the Senate as inadmissible. The Regensburg resident did not live in a Corona hotspot - and only there did the ban apply on excursions more than 15 kilometres away from his community of residence.

This is the latest legal challenge to Söder's harsh and impractical measures which are producing few results other than the decimation of the State's finances. Previously a court ruled that gyms should be reopened.Söder's approach was to then change the goalposts and instigate a ban on more general sporting activities, thereby circumnavigating the court's decision..

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