#Wirmachenauf: These fines threaten traders who open in lockdown

The empty pedestrian zone Neuhauser Strasse in Munich in lockdown.

picture alliance / SvenSimon | Frank Hoermann

The German retail industry is desperate. In another open letter, the 13 presidents of the HDE trade association as well as the state and federal specialist associations will address the Federal Chancellor on Thursday. Among other things, they criticize the fact that the promised aid does not reach the retail companies. The retail trade affected by the closings therefore sees itself without future prospects and in acute danger of existence.

“We are very concerned that desperation is giving rise to initiatives that open pubs and shops despite the order to close, convey their concerns via chain letters with a long range and call for massive protest actions,” write the 13 association presidents in the letter Some traders rebelled against the lockdown reference, which was boiling over the past few days.

Under the keyword #Wirmachenauf, statements by and calls to traders to open their businesses despite lockdowns are circulating on social media. Sports retailer Udo Siebzehnrübl caused a lot of excitement with his announcement that it would open its five Intersport stores in Bavaria on Monday. Because the action had attracted many right-wing extremists and lateral thinkers online, he has since withdrawn the announced opening, as Siebzehnrübl confirmed on Tuesday.

3,200 traders supposedly want to open on Monday

A corresponding Telegram group for #Wirmachenauf now has 58,862 subscribers. The operator of the chat group carried out a survey among the members, according to which 11 percent of the participants (3,200 traders) stated that they would supposedly want to open their shop next Monday. 24,000 participants stated that they have no business but that they plan to shop at those stores as consumers. However, these figures are not meaningful, because any Telegram user can join the group without any follow-up and thus dilute the vote. It is questionable whether so many retailers will actually open on January 11th despite the extension of the lockdown.

Especially when you consider the legal ramifications.

The lawyer Chan-jo Jun, who deals with the topic in detail, said in an interview with “A violation of the lockdown rules is not a trivial offense.” According to him there are three possible legal consequences for traders who do their business in spite of Lockdown would open.

Initially, the opening is assessed as an administrative offense, in the event of a one-off offense, for example, according to the Bavarian catalog of fines, this means a fine of 5,000 euros. For each additional day, a fine of 25,000 euros per day can be added.

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