Corona emergency brake: Seehofer calls curfew "without a doubt constitutional"

Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (Christian Social Union) considers the planned curfews in the Infection Protection Act to be legal. "Without a doubt, the regulation that has now been found is constitutional," Seehofer told SPIEGEL. The verdict of his lawyers was clear.

Seehofer also reminds that it is not a question of maneuvering people who want to walk their dog in the evening. According to the amendment to the Infection Protection Act proposed by the cabinet, which provides for a nationwide "emergency brake" after an incidence value of over 100 has been reached for three days in a district or an urban district, night curfews are also planned between 21 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The scheme in the fight against that Coronavirus is not only controversial among members of the Bundestag, but also with constitutional experts. “I am sure that the changes to the Infection Protection Act will be challenged. That applies above all to the curfew, "said Regensburg administrative lawyer Thorsten Kingreen in SPIEGEL. “We don't know exactly how the Federal Constitutional Court would decide, there are opposing court decisions. But in view of the depth of the encroachment on fundamental rights, I have constitutional concerns. "

Josef Franz Lindner, Professor of Public Law at the University of Augsburg, also expressed reservations. "I see problems in particular with regard to proportionality," Lindner told SPIEGEL. “This curfew would also apply to vaccinated people. I consider that to be a blatant violation of fundamental rights. "

Merkel defends the corona emergency brake

The Bundestag first dealt with the planned changes in the Infection Protection Act on Friday. In the debate Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) also defended the planned exit restrictions. These are not a new invention, but already laid out in the currently valid law.

Other countries such as Great Britain and Portugal have also used exit restrictions, in some cases significantly stricter. The nightly exit restrictions are not about preventing people from being outside in the fresh air, but rather about reducing evening visits - often using public transport.

Exit restrictions are not a panacea, they could develop their effect in combination with other measures such as strict contact restrictions. The advantages of this measure outweigh the disadvantages.

The planned steps should be discussed in a public hearing in the health committee on Thursday afternoon. The law is expected to be passed in the Bundestag next Wednesday. Then it has to be Bundesrat happen.