Bavarian court overturns blanket ban on public consumption of alcohol

Bavarian court overturns blanket ban on public consumption of alcohol

A court in Bavaria has overturned the statewide ban on the consumption of alcohol in public spaces. The rule has been temporarily suspended.

Court rules Bavarian government overstepped with alcohol ban

The Bavarian Administrative Court ruled on Tuesday that the state government had overstepped its bounds by banning the consumption of alcohol in all public places, as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19

Ruling in favour of a private plaintiff from Regensburg, the court argued that the national law empowering federal states to impose restrictions, the so-called Infection Protection Act, only provides for a ban on the consumption of alcohol in some public places, not all of them. 

Municipalities will now impose local bans

The blanket ban was put in place in mid-December after the emergence of a number of takeaway Glühwein stalls raised concerns about people gathering to drink together in public. It has now been temporarily suspended, but the Bavarian state government has indicated that it will ask individual municipalities to impose local bans. 

“The decision of the VGH is regrettable, since alcohol disinhibits and encourages lax behaviour towards the absolutely necessary distance requirements,” said the State Chancellery. “We will therefore put the old regulation back into force, according to which the municipalities define certain places where alcohol consumption is prohibited in public places.” 

The plaintiff in this case also wanted to overturn other measures put in place to combat coronavirus - such as the contact restrictions and 15-kilometre rule - but was unsuccessful. The court ruled that the contact restrictions under which members of one household may only meet with one other person were covered by Germany’s Infection Protection Act, and that the 15-kilometre rule did not affect the plaintiff himself because it is not currently in force in Regensburg. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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