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Court: German anti-coronavirus measures earlier in 2021 were legal

The German federal government acted legally when it imposed curfews and contact restrictions in the third wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2021, the country's top court ruled on Tuesday.

Karlsruhe, Germany, 30 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) — The German federal government acted legally when it imposed curfews and contact restrictions in the third wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2021, the country’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

The measures had significantly interfered with various fundamental rights but were compatible with the country’s Basic Law “in the extreme danger of the pandemic,” the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe announced.

In a second case, the judges rejected complaints by parents and students against the school closures ordered at the time. However the court recognized for the first time a “right of children and young people vis-a-vis the state to school education.”

The two decisions provide politicians with indications of their room for maneuver in the current fourth wave. Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel and her designated successor Olaf Scholz plan to have a phone conference with the state premiers on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in light of the court’s decisions.

Bavaria’s Premier Markus Soeder is now urgently calling for a new emergency brake across the whole country. “We must now act quickly,” he said. He intends to ban spectators from football matches within Bavaria. Games are already played behind closed doors in the eastern state of Saxony.

There have been demonstrations in the north and east of Germany against further anti-coronavirus measures, involving a total of about 4,000 people.

The largest single demonstration — involving around 900 people — was in Rostock, at the city port.

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