COVID-19 in Berlin and Germany: What you need to know

Check here for up-to-date information regarding the management of COVID-19 in Berlin. From May 25, we will be updating this information weekly.

Photo by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Updated weekly

As of May 25 at 8:32 a.m., there were 180,328 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany, 8,283 deaths, and  160,281 people recoveredAs of May 25 at 12:00 a.m., there were 6,637 confirmed cases in Berlin and 191 deaths.

Should I wear a face mask? Find out more about what the experts recommend around mask use in public to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

For shareable graphics featuring the information below go to the bottom of the page. 

SOCIAL RESTRICTION UPDATES IN BERLIN AND GERMANY AS OF MAY 8, 2020

Note: Berlin is currently in the second of four phases to ease out of pandemic-related restrictions. Every 14 days, the Berlin Senate will reassess these regulations. We will update accordingly as new information becomes available

PUBLIC LIFE AND BUSINESS:
GENERAL RULES:
You still need to keep a minimum of 1.5 meters (roughly 5 feet) away from others not living with you when out in public. When sitting in parks or other green spaces, you must keep a 5-meter distance (that’s roughly 16.5 feet) from others.
People from one household may get together with those from another household, as long as they keep 1.5 meters apart.
You should refrain from non-essential or non work-related travel for now. That includes trips to visit family and travel within Germany.
You are required to shield your mouth and nose with a cloth covering (scarves are acceptable) while using Berlin public transportation, and while in grocery stores and other shops. Masks are also required at airports and train stations. You can find more information on homemade textile face masks, sometimes referred to as “community masks,” here.
Federal officials say companies should continue to allow their employees to work from home when possible.
WHAT IS NOW OPEN, OR OPENING SOON?
Restaurants and cafes in Berlin may reopen starting on May 15. They may not serve buffets and must close by 10 p.m. You may dine with members of one other household, though you have to be 1.5 meters away from each other and from other restaurant patrons, and must adhere to other hygiene rules. Restaurants are strongly urged to use reservation systems to track information on patrons, in the event there’s an outbreak and those affected must be notified. There are no restrictions on how long patrons can stay in the restaurant.
Hotels in Berlin may reopen starting on May 25. The same restrictions on dining apply and saunas and spas inside those hotels will remain closed for now.
In Berlin, all shops may reopen as of May 9. Customers must not be made to stand in line and people must adhere to social distancing. Additionally, only a single customer is permitted per 20 square meters (roughly 215 square feet).
Beaches and outdoor pools may reopen starting on May 25, provided they have city government-approved, hygiene plans in place.
Outdoor sports facilities used for contactless sports such as tennis, track and field, or canoeing may reopen. People still must adhere to social distancing and hygiene rules. Starting on May 25, competitions may also resume for contactless sports.
Starting on May 15, up to eight people may train together outside, provided they adhere to social distancing rules.
Tanning and nail salons, tattoo studios and other businesses that offer cosmetic services may reopen starting on May 9. Shops must adhere to hygiene criteria and employees and customers must wear protective masks.
Driving schools may reopen. Instructors must wear masks.
Hair salons in Berlin reopened on May 4. Shops must adhere to hygiene criteria and employees and customers must wear protective masks.
Berlin museums and libraries reopened on May 4. They must comply with social distancing requirements and hygiene rules.
WHAT REMAINS CLOSED?
Clubs, bars and shisha bars remain closed.
Theaters, concert halls, and opera houses remain closed through July 31.
Fitness studios, spas and saunas remain closed in Berlin until further notice.
EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE:
Up to three households can help each other with at-home child care. There is no limit on the number of children.
Some Berlin schools reopened on April 27 and more followed suit on May 4. Meanwhile, “Abitur” exams for Berlin students moving on to university have been ongoing since April 20.
The Berlin Senate started expanding emergency child care on April 27. Single parents and parents who work in sectors deemed essential, including healthcare and transport, are eligible for child care. The next expansion of child care offerings will begin on May 14.
Access to university buildings is largely restricted for the time being. There are some exceptions for essential staff and students who are taking mandatory exams.
Starting on May 9, indoor meetings or outdoor demonstrations may proceed with a maximum of 50 participants, including in cars or on motorcycles and bicycles, provided people adhere to social distancing rules. Starting on May 25, up to 100 participants at outdoor demonstrations are permitted.
EVENTS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:
Outdoor sightseeing tours may resume starting on May 25. People must adhere to social distancing.
Religious services with a maximum of 50 people resumed on May 4. People must adhere to social distancing and hygiene rules. No physical contact is allowed, and no objects can be passed around.
Event organizers must create an attendance list with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all participants. This list must be kept for four weeks.
Large events with more than 1,000 people are prohibited until at least July 31.
Large events with more than 5,000 participants are prohibited until at least October 24.
HOSPITALS AND OTHER HEALTH CARE INSTITUTIONS:
Hospital patients are generally not allowed to receive visitors for the time being, though some exceptions are made for patients under the age of 16 and those who are critically ill.
Nursing home residents are permitted one visitor per day, provided the visitor is 16 or older and has no respiratory illness.
Women who are in labor at a hospital may be accompanied by one other person.
When possible, hospitals should suspend planned operations and medical procedures if doing so frees up personnel and space for potential or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Symptoms (According to the Robert Koch Institute):


Commonly reported symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Less commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Vomiting / Nausea
  • Blocked nose
  • Diarrhea 

The Robert Koch Institute classifies the risk to the health of the population in Germany as HIGH and VERY HIGH for at-risk groups. However, this risk varies from region to region. 

Protect yourself and others:

According to Charité:

  • Cover when you cough or sneeze
  • Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face
  • Stay 1 to 2 meters from sick people
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Where possible, avoid going on trips, using public transport and work from home
  • Avoid events with crowds of people 

Take action if…

If you have symptoms:

  • Stay home and call your local area hotline** if you show symptoms and have had direct & extended contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Stay home and call your local area hotline** if you have been to a high risk area* and are showing symptoms.
  • Once you have called the local area hotline, if your case warrants it, you will be sent to a Berlin screening center. There are seven in Berlin. Please call the hotline and have them recommend a test before attending a screening center. 

If you have no symptoms:

  • Stay home and call your local doctor if you have had direct and extended contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Stay home and call your local doctor if you have been to a high risk area* in the past 14 days.
  • Once you have called the local area hotline, if your case warrants it, you will be sent to a Berlin screening center. There are seven in Berlin. Please call your doctor and have them recommend a test before attending a screening center. 

At-risk groups:

  • People aged 50 and up
  • Smokers
  • People with medical conditions: of the heart (e.g. coronary heart disease) / the lungs (e.g. asthma, chronic bronchitis)
  • Patients with chronic liver disease
  • People with diabetes
  • Patients with cancer
  • Patients with a weakened immune system

People in these groups should avoid contact with other people where possible.

High-risk areas: 

As of April 12, due to the prevalence of Covid-19 across the globe, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute has stopped identifying specific high-risk travel areas. It says there is now a risk of contracting the virus everywhere in the world.  Germany’s Foreign Office advises against all non-essential, touristic travel abroad given the virus pandemic.

As of March 31, 2020, the Robert Koch Institute no longer identifies any particularly affected areas in Germany. In many places there are outbreaks, some with large numbers of cases. Data on COVID-19 cases in the districts can be found on their dashboard

Stay up-to-date

Note: Screening centers are based in Wedding, Prenzlauer Berg, Tempelhof, Lichtenberg, Spandau, and Charlottenberg. Contact details are online.  In addition, a drive-up screening center will be opening from April 27 in Neukoelln. For all screening centers – appointments must be made in advance by contacting your local health hotline.  

**LOCAL HEALTH HOTLINES:  UPDATED MARCH 25

DISTRICT CONTACT 
Treptow-Köpenick Email: covid19@ba-tk.berlin.de
Tel: 030 / 90297-4773
Steglitz-Zehlendorf Email: corona@ba-sz.berlin.de
Tel: 030 / 90299-3670
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Email: coronakontakt@ba-fk.berlin.de
Tel : 030/90 298 8000
Spandau

Email: ges2@ba-spandau.berlin.de
Tel: 030 / 90279-4012, -4014, -4026

Pankow Email: corona@ba-pankow.berlin.de
Tel: 030 / 90295-3000
Mitte Email: corona@ba-mitte.berlin.de
Tel: 030/9018 41000
Tempelhof-Schöneberg Email: hygiene@ba-ts.berlin.de
Tel: 030/902777351
Neukölln Email: geshyg@bezirksamt-neukoelln.de
Tel: 030 / 90239-4040
Marzahn-Hellersdorf Email: hygiene-mh@ba-mh.berlin.de
Tel: 030 / 90293-3629
Lichtenberg Email: pandemie@uellenberg.berlin.de
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Email: hygiene@charlottenburg-wilmersdorf.de
Tel: 030 / 9029-16662
Reinickendorf

Email: coronavirus@reinickendorf.berlin.de

Tel: 030/90294 5500

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