When the pandemic started, Germany was seen as something of a role model in Europe as to how to handle it. Whilst Britain was in a strict lockdown and seeing around 1000 deaths per day at the peak of the first wave, Germany was testing on a large scale and keeping case numbers down. But since then, things have started to go wrong.
The latest move by the country is to close nightclubs. Due to a legal challenge currently taking place in the city of Berlin, nightclubs in the capital cannot be compelled to close. So the authorities have come up with the bizarre compromise where you’re allowed to attend, but you’re also not allowed to dance.
With dancing obviously being one of the reasons why people go clubbing in the first place, it was almost inevitable this was going to attract a legal challenge of some kind. And indeed it has. The only surprise is that it’s taken this long to happen, if I’m honest.
The legal action is being spearheaded by the likes of Paul Van Dyk, Der Weisse Hase and Insomnia Berlin and is being carried out by lawyer and professor Niko Härting. They cite the irrational fact Berliners cannot dance in a nightclub which will require a vaccine pass at the front door and various other safety measures in place inside, yet they can go to a house party with no such measures and dance and mingle all night long.
They also mention people going to a sauna together wearing next to nothing is permitted, yet dancing in a nightclub fully clothed – okay, Berghain might be excused from that proviso – isn’t. The application was submitted to the Administrative Court of Berlin last Thursday.
I’ll keep a close eye on this one – I’m very curious to see which way judges would go…