As The Local has been reporting, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the federal government are in the process of amending the Infection Protection Act in order to bring in tougher, nationwide Covid measures, including curfews in hotspots.
However, the law change is still making its way through parliament – and some federal states, including Hamburg, have already started taking action.
And Cologne mayor Henriette Reker said on Friday that a night-time curfew would be coming to Cologne amid rising rates.
It will be in place from Saturday during the hours of 9pm and 5am.
“I don’t think there has been a curfew in Cologne since the Second World War,” said Reker on Friday. “The coming weeks will be tough.”
Reker said it was unclear how long the measure, which comes into force on Saturday at midnight, would be in place.
The city, in western Germany, is responding to a surge in Covid-19 cases. The number of infections per 100,000 residents within seven days stands at 162.7 – well above the threshold of 100 that German states are aiming to stay below.
After the curfew comes into effect, people will be ordered to stay at home between 9pm and 5am. Residents are only allowed to leave their homes for a valid reason. This can include medical appointments, emergencies, work or accompanying sick people.
In future, consuming alcohol and having barbecues will also be prohibited in public green spaces.
Anyone who is caught violating the curfew could be hit with a fine of €250.
Reker said the nightly curfew aims to reduce contacts even more, especially meetings at home, mutual visits and parties, which people are unfortunately having.
“The intensive care units are at their limit,” Reker said. “Already at this point, not all our hospitals can comprehensively deal for medical emergencies.”
Reker said she believes the measure are proportionate, but is prepared for complaints.