Why don't supermarkets have watches?

The shop actually closes at 10 p.m. : The federal emergency brake also hits Berlin supermarkets and Spätis

What has hardly been considered so far: The federal emergency brake means that even supermarkets and Spätis in Berlin actually have to close at 10 p.m. Although this is not explicitly stated in the amendment to the Infection Protection Act, it is a consequence of the nightly exit restrictions. As an exception to the curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., purchases are not provided, not even those for daily needs.

Many Berlin supermarkets are usually open until 11 p.m. or midnight. They are still allowed to do so - only customers are no longer allowed to come. The staff can of course still go home after 10 p.m., because the way home from work is part of the professional practice and thus an exceptional stay outside the apartment is permitted. Spätis, a popular point of contact for small errands in the evening or at night, are also affected by this regulation.

The operation of snacks and other restaurants that offer take-away is explicitly regulated in the federal law. Consumption on the spot is prohibited anyway, and take-away sales are also prohibited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. However, snack bars and restaurants do not have to close - because food can be delivered around the clock. This means that collection by delivery services is still allowed, which - because they are working - are also allowed to be on the move around the clock.

The economy is struggling with the new rules. On Saturday, the Berlin-Brandenburg trade association warned of a wave of bankruptcies in retail as a whole. About 50 to 60 percent of the shopkeepers in the region are expecting their business to be closed by the end of the year, said Managing Director Nils Busch-Petersen on the first day of the federal emergency brake. Due to the new regulations, customers in many places would have had to wait in line in front of the supermarkets, where the risk of infection increases in the group.

Trade association: Barriers to survival of shops too high

The “Click & Meet” concept, ie the online arrangement of a shopping appointment with a test for a visit to the store, is also unrealistic and will keep other customers away. “That is one hurdle too many.” Busch-Petersen accused politicians of bringing trade to its knees with unrealistic regulations. Most of the companies are still waiting for the promised aid.

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Berlin grocery stores are often still busy in the evenings. It cannot be ruled out that the federal regulation will mean that the rush will increase before 10 p.m. in the future. However, the Infection Protection Act contains a clear limit on the number of customers in shops: one person per 20 square meters for the first 800 square meters of sales area and one person per 40 square meters for everything that exceeds 800 square meters.

This means that half as many people can now be in supermarkets at the same time as before. Busch-Petersen spoke of an “arbitrary square meter”. (with dpa)

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