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. We update this information weekly.

Photo by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson

Updated weekly

As of July 7 at 08:30 a.m., there were 198,064 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany,  9,022 deaths, and 182,160 people recoveredAs of July 7 at 08:20 a.m., there were 8,462 confirmed cases in Berlin and 215 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. 

 

UPDATE FOR PEOPLE ENTERING BERLIN (As of June 17)

Berlin officials have instituted a new quarantine requirement as of Tuesday, June 16. People entering Berlin from most countries outside the European Union will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Berlin Senator for the Interior Andreas Geisel named one exception: “It is possible to escape from quarantine (earlier) with a negative coronavirus test.”

Geisel said the new requirement follows the federal guideline and applies to all people coming to Berlin from “third countries.” Sweden is also on that list for now because of the rising infection rate there.

People arriving from other EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein and the United Kingdom, are exempt from the mandatory self-quarantine.

The number of arrivals here from non-EU countries will continue to be limited in June, because per EU guidelines, Germany extended its restriction on non-essential entries to the country until June 30.

 

SOCIAL RESTRICTION UPDATES IN BERLIN FROM JUNE 23, 2020 THROUGH JULY 4, 2020

Note: The Berlin Senate meets regularly to assess these measures. We will update accordingly as new information becomes available.

PUBLIC LIFE AND BUSINESS:
GENERAL RULES:
You must 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.
The Berlin Senate recommends you reduce your contacts, even though it lifted limits on how many members of different households may meet starting on Saturday, June 27.
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. Starting on Saturday, June 27, the city will impose fines that begin at 50 euros for people who fail to cover their noses and mouths. 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.
WHAT IS NOW OPEN OR OPENING SOON?
Bars, pubs and shisha bars reopened on June 2. People may not stand at the bar and must sit at tables, which must be spaced at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart from one another. There are no limitations on opening hours.
Fitness and dance studios reopened on June 2. People must be 3 meters (10 feet) apart from one another. Locker rooms can be used, but showers cannot.
Cinemas may reopen starting on June 30. Open air movie theaters reopened starting on June 2.
Indoor sports halls may reopen for contactless sports. Up to 12 people, including trainers, can participate at a time. Athletes must maintain a 1.5-meter (5-feet), distance from one another, and gyms must be aired out for at least 10 minutes as groups come and go.
Casinos and betting parlors reopened on June 2. People must adhere to social distancing rules.
Restaurants and cafes in Berlin reopened on May 15. There are no limits on opening hours.  You have to be seated 1.5 meters away 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 reopened 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 were allowed to 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 10 square meters (roughly 108 square feet). (Change as of Saturday, June 27.)
Beaches and outdoor pools that have city government-approved, hygiene plans in place started to reopen on May 25.
Tanning and nail salons, tattoo studios and other businesses that offer cosmetic services reopened 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 remain closed.
Theaters, concert halls and opera houses remain closed until further notice.
Spas and saunas remain closed in Berlin until further notice.
EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE:
All children can start returning to day care centers, or “Kita” beginning on June 15 and regular operation will resume starting on June 22.
Schools will reopen in full swing in August, following Berlin’s six-week summer vacation. Students and staff will no longer be required to keep 1.5 meter (5 feet) distance from one another, though hygiene protocols like regular hand-washing and airing out classrooms will be in place.
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.
EVENTS AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:
There are no limits on the number of people allowed at demonstrations, but organizers must have hygiene plans in place and participants must adhere to social distancing rules.
There are no limits on the number of people allowed at religious gatherings held outdoors or inside. 
Up to 150 people can gather for indoor events, whether private or public. On June 30, that number increases to up to 300 people. On Aug. 1, the new limit will be up to 500 people.
Indoor events with more than 500 people are prohibited through Aug. 31. Events with more than 750 people are prohibited through Sept. 30. Events with more than 1,000 people are prohibited through Oct. 24.
As of June 16, up to 500 people can gather for outdoor events and on June 30, up to 1,000 people can gather.
Outdoor events with more than 1,000 people are prohibited through Aug. 31. Events with more than 5,000 people are prohibited through Oct. 24. 
Outdoor sightseeing tours resumed on May 25. People must adhere to social distancing.
Event organizers must create an attendance list with the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all participants.
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.
Indoor events with more than 500 people are prohibited through Aug. 31. Events with more than 750 people are prohibited through Sept. 30. Events with more than 1,000 people are prohibited through Oct. 24.
Indoor events with more than 500 people are prohibited through Aug. 31. Events with more than 750 people are prohibited through Sept. 30. Events with more than 1,000 people are prohibited through Oct. 24.
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: 

The following countries are currently identified as areas in which there is an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Find out more. 

  • Armenia
  • Bahrain
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sweden
  • Belarus

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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