The HDE (German Trade Association) has warned that imposing stricter restrictions on the maximum number of customers in shops could result in long queues and hamster purchases.
The German government has proposed to allow only one customer per 25 square metres of sales area instead of the previous ten square metres.
Germany reported a record 410 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to a Reuters report.
HDE's caution comes ahead of today’s meeting between the Chancellor and 16 federal state leaders.
CEO of HDE, Stefan Genth, said, “If only a few people are allowed to enter the supermarket or fashion store in the city centre at the same time, this will inevitably lead to long queues in front of the shops and the pedestrian zones.
“This could give customers the impression of increased demand and a shortage of goods and ultimately lead to renewed hoarding in the food trade.”
The HDE also noted that the proposed move is not in the interest of containing the pandemic as many customers will stand close in queues in front of the shops in cold weather.
Genth said, ”The hygiene concepts of the retail companies have proven their worth; there are no hotspots when shopping. So there is no reason to tighten the rules.”
He also emphasised that locally divergent standards will create challenges for numerous trading companies operating across state borders.
Genth explained that it would be counterproductive if heads of federal states in Germany announce tighter restrictions due to the pandemic before the consultations with the Chancellor.
“A federal patchwork quilt with special regional regulations endangers the social acceptance of the guidelines,” he added.