Authorities in Berlin and other major cities are cracking down on mulled wine stands as Germany prepares to enter another COVID lockdown during which all bars and restaurants will close over Christmas.
Hairdressers, beauty salons and tattoo parlours will also all have to shut down from December 16 to January 10 and sales of fireworks ahead of New Year’s Eve have also been banned.
Drinking alcohol in public will also be banned, leaving numerous small business owners who run mulled wine stands facing financial ruin.
Mulled wine stands are a traditional part of Christmas markets, but while the markets are banned under COVID restrictions, mulled wine stands have remained under the proviso that they are selling takeaway drinks.
Drinking alcohol in public will be banned in Germany between December 16 and January 10, leaving restaurants worried about how they could stay afloat over Christmas and New Year's. pic.twitter.com/m0gjvwFXPk— DW News (@dwnews) December 14, 2020
The stands are now being targeted by authorities after claims they incentivize people to gather in large groups, with the SPD’s Karl Lauterbach complaining, “The mulled wine stands undermine our social distancing restrictions. I don’t understand why the city of Cologne allows this.”
Police patrols targeting the stands have been increased, with the outlets being shut down if too many people are gathering near them without wearing masks.
A video out of Berlin featured a manager of a mulled wine stands complaining that he is just trying to make ends meet in an increasingly desperate financial climate.
“No one will be rich form selling 3 or 4 liters of mulled wine,” said Angelos Pallis, adding that he was just trying to sustain enough income to pay rent and staff.
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