Shortening the rest period
By virtue of a statutory instrument issued by the State Government (Restaurant Regulations or "GastVO"), general rest period apply to bars and restaurants and public places of entertainment. During this rest period, no services for guests are to be provided nor are guests permitted to remain on the business premises.
During the week the rest period begins at 3 am, in health resorts and leisure areas at 2 am. At the weekends, i.e. on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the rest period begins at 5 am. The rest period for amusement arcades always begins at midnight. The rest period generally ends at 6 am.
Note: In the night before 1 January there are no restrictions on the rest period, in the night before Shrove Tuesday and 1 May it starts at 5 am. This does not apply to amusement arcades.
In cases of public need or special local conditions, this rest period can be extended, restricted, shortened until further notice or repealed in individual cases (to the benefit of individual enterprises).
Note: Certain conditions may be applied at any time to a shortening or repeal of the rest period.
The rest period may also be extended, shortened or repealed generally by virtue of a statutory instrument should there be a public need or special local conditions apply. This statutory instrument is issued by the municipalities, regional council offices ("Landratsamt") in their role as administrative authorities, regional councils ("Regierungspräsidien") and the Ministry of the Interior.
- for shortening rest periods in individual cases: the municipality (Gemeinde) in whose district the place of business is located for which a shortening of the rest period is being sought
- for a general shortening of the rest period: The urban and rural districts (Stadtkreise and Landkreise) large urban districts (Große Kreisstadt), as well as municipalities and administrative units (Verwaltungsgemeinschaft) with their own scope of authority under building laws.
- There must be a public need.
- Special local conditions must apply.
The rest period for individual enterprises can only be shortened by application. As a general rule, there are no forms to fill in. However, we do recommend applicants specify which rest period is being sought for which enterprise. A brief written explanation is also recommended.
Some municipalities have their own application forms which may be available for download online.
No legal deadlines apply. However it is advisable to apply as early as possible.
Fees are levied in accordance with the Scale of charges and fees (Gebührenverordnung) for the specific state.
- § 1 Gaststättenverordnung (GastVO) (Sachliche Zuständigkeit)
- § 9 Gaststättenverordnung (GastVO) (Allgemeine Sperrzeit)
- § 11 Gaststättenverordnung (GastVO) (Allgemeine Ausnahmen)
- § 12 Gaststättenverordnung (GastVO) (Ausnahmen für einzelne Betriebe)
- § 18 Gaststättengesetz (GaststättenG) (Sperrzeitverkürzung)
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.