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 September 21 at 10 a.m., there were  274,712 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany, 9,390 deaths, and 242,340 recovered. As of September 21 at 10 a.m., there were 13,109 confirmed cases in Berlin and 227 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. 


Berlin requires most people arriving from countries that remain on Germany’s travel warning list (see high-risk areas, listed below) to self-quarantine for 14 days. The earliest you can get out of self-quarantine is the fifth day, but only if you take a test that day and it comes back negative.

Exceptions include travelers who arrive for work-related reasons and workers transporting people and goods. But the exemption only applies to those who have been in at-risk countries for less than 72 hours or who plan to be in Berlin for no more than 48 hours.

Travelers returning to Germany from high-risk areas are required to take a COVID-19 test. Those who refuse can face fines of up to 25,000 euros. The cost of these tests are covered by the German government.

Free testing is also available to travelers returning from non-risk areas, although that will end on Sept. 15.


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

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 there are no longer restrictions on how many members of different households may meet. If there is a COVID-19 outbreak, the state can impose limits on how many people can gather for private parties and events.
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. Failure to do so can result in fines starting at 50 euros in nearly all of Germany’s 16 states (Saxony-Anhalt is the exception).  The BVG, Berlin’s transit authority, imposes fines starting at 50 euros for people who fail to cover their noses and mouths on subways, buses and trams. 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.
Major events are banned through the end of 2020, where contact tracing and adhering to hygiene rules is not possible.
Bars, pubs and shisha bars reopened on June 2. People must be seated at tables or at the bar (standing is not allowed), and seating must be designed in a way that maintains the 1.5-meter (5-feet) distance between different groups. There are no limitations on opening hours.
Fitness studios reopened on June 2. People must be 3 meters (10 feet) apart from one another. Locker rooms can be used, but showers cannot.
Dance studios reopened on June 2. Couples’ dancing is permitted as of July 21. 
Cinemas reopened on June 30, though capacity is limited to ensure there is a minimum distance between moviegoers.
Indoor sports halls may reopen for contactless sports. Up to 30 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.
For martial arts, training groups can exceed no more than four people as well as a coach.
Casinos and betting parlors reopened on June 2. People must adhere to social distancing rules.
Restaurants and cafes in Berlin reopened on May 15. They may not serve buffets. There are no limitations on opening hours. Groups of up to six people can sit at a table indoors without observing the minimum distance of 1.5 meters or 5 feet. Guests can also sit at bars and counters, where food may also be served. Restaurants are required to collect contact information of patrons, in the event there’s an outbreak and those affected must be notified. Patrons must provide accurate information or risk facing fines. 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. 
Dry saunas (where no water is poured over heated rocks) may reopen.
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.
Clubs remain closed.
Theaters, concert halls and opera houses remain closed until further notice.
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 in Berlin reopened on Aug. 10. Students and staff must cover their mouths and nose when in school buildings, though not while in classrooms and during instruction. People will no longer be required to keep a 1.5-meter (5-feet) distance from one another, though they should reduce direct physical contact as much as possible.
Employees at Berlin schools and day care can be tested for COVID-19 free of charge, regardless if they are showing symptoms. Tests are voluntary.
For private parties or gatherings of more than 50 people, hosts must follow pandemic rules and collect contact information in the event someone later tests positive for the coronavirus.
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. Participants at demonstrations with more than 100 people must wear masks.
There are no limits on the number of people allowed at religious gatherings held outdoors or indoors, provided people keep a minimum of 1.5-meter (5-feet) distance from others and avoid physical contact.
Up to 750 people can gather for indoor events, whether private or public.  On Oct. 1, that number increases to up to 1,000 and that limit remains in place until the end of the year. Social distancing and hygiene rules must be followed.
Up to 5,000 people can gather for outdoor events. Events with more than 5,000 people are prohibited through the end of the year.
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.
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 generally permitted one visitor per day, provided the visitor is 16 or older and has no respiratory illness.
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.

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. 

Updated weekly on September 21, 2020. Bolded places were added to the list on September 16,

  • Afghanistan,
  • Albania,
  • Algeria,
  • Andorra,
  • Angola,
  • Antigua and Barbuda,
  • Austria: the province of Vienna is considered a risk area
  • Argentina,
  • Armenia,
  • Aruba,
  • Azerbaijan,
  • Bahamas,
  • Bahrain,
  • Bangladesh,
  • Barbados,
  • Belarus,
  • Belgium (region Brussels),
  • Belize,
  • Benin,
  • Bhutan,
  • Bolivia,
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • Brazil,
  • Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad),
  • Burkina Faso,
  • Burundi,
  • Cameroon,
  • Cape Verde,
  • Central African Republic,
  • Chad,
  • Chile,
  • Colombia,
  • Comoros,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Croatia (Šibensko-kninska, Splitsko-Dalmatinska, Zadar, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Pozega-Slavonia,Brodsko-Posavska, Viroviticko-Podravska, ),
  • Cuba,
  • Czech Republic (Prague metropolitan area,Středočeský)
  • Djibouti,
  • Dominica,
  • Dominican Republic,
  • DR Congo,
  • Ecuador,
  • Egypt,
  • El Salvador,
  • Equatorial Guinea,
  • Eritrea,
  • Eswatini,
  • Ethiopia,
  • France (Occitanie, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Hauts-de-France Corsica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Île-de-France, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, La Réunion),
  • Gabon,
  • Gambia,
  • Ghana,
  • Gibraltar,
  • Grenada,
  • Guatemala,
  • Guinea,
  • Guinea Bissau,
  • Guyana,
  • Haiti,
  • Honduras,
  • Hungary: the city of Budapest is considered a risk area
  • India,
  • Indonesia,
  • Iran,
  • Iraq,
  • Israel,
  • Ivory Coast,
  • Jamaica,
  • Kazakhstan,
  • Kenya,
  • Kosovo,
  • Kuwait,
  • Kyrgyzstan,
  • Lebanon,
  • Lesotho,
  • Liberia,
  • Libya,
  • Madagascar,
  • Malawi,
  • Maldives,
  • Mali,
  • Mauritania,
  • Mexico,
  • Mongolia,
  • Montenegro,
  • Morocco,
  • Mozambique,
  • Namibia,
  • Netherlands – the following provinces/constituent countries are currently classified as risk areas: North Holland (Noord-Holland), South Holland (Zuid-Holland)
  • Nepal,
  • Nicaragua,
  • Niger,
  • Nigeria,
  • North Macedonia,
  • North Korea,
  • Oman,
  • Pakistan,
  • Palestinian territories,
  • Panama,
  • Papua New Guinea,
  • Paraguay,
  • Peru,
  • Philippines,
  • Qatar,
  • Republic of Moldova,
  • Republic of the Congo,
  • Romania (Argeș, Bihor, Brăila, Brașov, București, Caras Severin, Neamt, Buzău, Dâmbovița, Ilfov, Prahova, Vâlcea, Vaslui, Iasi),
  • Russian Federation,
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis,
  • Saint Lucia,
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
  • Sao Tome and Principe,
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • Senegal,
  • Serbia,
  • Seychelles,
  • Sierra Leone,
  • Sint Maarten,
  • Somalia,
  • South Africa,
  • South Sudan,
  • Spain (including the Canary Islands),
  • Sri Lanka,
  • Sudan,
  • Suriname,
  • Switzerland (Geneva, Waadt (Vaud), Fribourg),
  • Syrian Arab Republic,
  • Tajikistan,
  • Tanzania,
  • Timor Leste (East Timor),
  • Togo,
  • Trinidad Tobago,
  • Turkey,
  • Turkmenistan,
  • Ukraine,
  • United States,
  • Uzbekistan,
  • Venezuela,
  • Yemen,
  • Zambia,
  • Zimbabwe

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.  


Treptow-Köpenick Email:
Tel: 030 / 90297-4773
Steglitz-Zehlendorf Email:
Tel: 030 / 90299-3670
Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Email:
Tel : 030/90 298 8000

Tel: 030 / 90279-4012, -4014, -4026

Pankow Email:
Tel: 030 / 90295-3000
Mitte Email:
Tel: 030/9018 41000
Tempelhof-Schöneberg Email:
Tel: 030/902777351
Neukölln Email:
Tel: 030 / 90239-4040
Marzahn-Hellersdorf Email:
Tel: 030 / 90293-3629
Lichtenberg Email:
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf Email:
Tel: 030 / 9029-16662


Tel: 030/90294 5500

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