LATEST: Munich to introduce alcohol ban if coronavirus cases continue to rise

LATEST: Munich to introduce alcohol ban if coronavirus cases continue to rise
Archive photo shows beer bottles on the side of the Isar river. Photo: DPA
The city of Munich says there will be a ban on the sale of takeaway alcohol drinks after 9pm if there's a further increase in Covid-19 cases.

If the city clocks up 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, there will be a ban on the sale of takeaway alcoholic drinks after 9pm, said Mayor Dieter Reiter of the Social Democrats on Tuesday afternoon. 

In public areas, the consumption of alcohol won’t be allowed after 11pm. 

The current seven-day incidence lies at 28 new infections per 100,000 residents. Bavaria, in addition to Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, is currently one of the states hardest hit by new cases.

READ ALSO: These are Germany's new coronavirus hotspots

In Munich, particularly the centrally located Gärtnerplatz, English Garden and along the Isar river, lots of people have been partying outside as the coronavirus crisis has caused bars and pubs to shut their doors.  

In Hamburg, several districts have already agreed on a ban on takeaway beer over the weekend. A similar model also exists in Bamberg in northern Bavaria.

A police car drives past sunbathers in the English Garden on August 20th. Photo: DPA

'We have to prepare for a second wave'

In an interview with public broadcaster n-tv, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder was asked whether new restrictions – such as a second lockdown – can be expected soon.

“First of all, we have to prepare ourselves for the second wave,” he said. “Anyone who now denies that coronavirus poses danger has really understood nothing.”

Söder warned that nobody could say exactly “from when the spring board to exponential development will occur”. 

For this reason, he said, it was important to react intelligently at an early stage in order to avoid another lockdown – especially for the economy. 

READ ALSO: Is Germany heading for a new lockdown amid rise in new coronavirus cases?

On Monday, Söder also announced that those in Bavaria who refuse to wear masks would now be fined even more heavily.

Söder said that people returning from holiday “coupled with great carelessness” caused the incidence of infections to rise everywhere in Germany.

“Holiday is exactly the risk we have always warned against,”  said Söder.

The politician, who's leader of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister-party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, warned that autumn holidays were already on the way in some states.

He considered the idea of abolishing or limiting coronavirus tests “not well thought out”.

The argument that test capacities are now exhausted is not valid, he said, pointing out that almost a quarter of capacities are still free.


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