UPDATE 1-Top German court rules coronavirus 'emergency brake' law constitutional

·1 min read

(Adds more detail on decision, background)

BERLIN, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Germany's Constitutional Court declined on Tuesday to strike down an April law that gave the government the power to impose 'emergency brake' rules across Germany to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The court found that measures such as night-time curfews and restrictions on social contact that took effect when coronavirus incidence levels reached specific limits did not violate Germany's basic law

The powerful constitutional court also found that school closures did not violate children's right to an education so long as they were proportionate to the public health threat they were designed to tackle.

The decision not to overturn the law gives Germany's incoming new coalition government a freer hand in deciding how to respond to the fast-spreading fourth wave of the virus, but it could exacerbate tensions between the progressive and libertarian wings within designated Chancellor Olaf Scholz's coalition.

Among those who referred the law to the constitutional court were several legislators from the libertarian Free Democrat Party, the smallest party alongside Scholz's Social Democrats and the Greens.

Tuesday's ruling did not take into account the closing of businesses and a ban on cultural events. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Miranda Murray, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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