Germany’s food and hospitality sector slowly reopens for business


RESTAURANTS and hotels across Germany have begun reopening, with Monday bringing more easing of restrictions for the hospitality industry across most of the country’s states.

Hotels are fully open for business for domestic tourists in the cities of Hamburg and Bremen in the north, as well as the western regions of North Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate and the eastern states of Saxony and Thuringia.

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast, hotels opened on Monday only to state residents, with an entry ban from other regions remaining in place until May 25.

Berlin and the southern state of Bavaria have yet to allow hotels to welcome back guests.

The hotel relaunch follows relatively busy scenes at restaurants and cafes across the country over the weekend, with the gastronomy industry now permitted to serve food indoors in almost all of Germany’s 16 federal states.

But the rules aren’t the same everywhere, and restrictions aimed at curbing the novel coronavirus have varied across the different regions under Germany’s federal division of powers.

Pubs for example are to remain closed in the German capital for the time being, but drinks are being served in bars in the rural state of Brandenburg which surrounds it.

One health regulation applies across the board, however: patrons are to stay 1.5 metres away from one another, and most service staff are to wear protective face masks covering their mouths and noses.

Germany has made significant progress in reducing its coronavirus infection rate, resulting in many restrictions on public life being lifted in a bid to kick-start the beleaguered economy, which slipped into recession in the first quarter of this year.

While social-distancing rules that ban meetings between more than two households are still largely in place across the nation, Chancellor Angela Merkel has otherwise handed control over the easing of restrictions predominantly to state governments.

More than 174,700 cases of infection have been recorded since the pandemic first reached Germany, and almost 8,000 people have died, according to a dpa tally of regional data.


– May 18, 2020 @ 10:10 GMT /

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