Gym

On 16 May 2023, the Federal Administrative Court held that the closure of leisure sports facilities, with exceptions, through the Saxon Corona Protection Ordinance of 30 October 2020, was lawful.

However, the more extensive closure of fitness studios without these exceptions was deemed unlawful. The Federal Administrative Court made this decision, stating that the closure of fitness studios violated the principle of equality.

The applicant, who operates a sports and leisure center, including a restaurant, hotel, fitness, and ball sports area, requested to declare certain provisions of the Saxon Corona Protection Ordinance invalid. The request was rejected by the Saxon Higher Administrative Court.

The Federal Administrative Court reversed the decision and declared invalid the closure of fitness studios as stated in the ordinance. The Court found that the differentiated treatment that allowed sports in leisure and amateur sports facilities alone, in pairs or with one’s own household but not in fitness studios was inconsistent with the principle of equality. The Higher Administrative Court did not establish a justifiable reason for this disparity, which was neither presented by the opposing party nor evident otherwise.

Reference: BVerwG 3 CN 6.22 - Judgment of 16 May 2023.

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