Preventing coronavirus infection in Berlin – frequently asked questions

The Berlin Senate Department for Health provides constantly updated information on how to deal with coronavirus.

As of: May 7, 2022

Status rules and provision of proof

Who is included in the group of vaccinated and recovered people?

The Federal Infection Protection Act defines the conditions under which persons are considered to be fully vaccinated or recovered. Only those people who have undergone basic immunization against the coronavirus are considered to be fully vaccinated. Regarding the vaccines approved in the EU, this means that a person has been vaccinated twice against the coronavirus. The vaccinations must be verifiable. There must be a gap of at least three months between the first and the second vaccination. However, this regulation only applies until September 30, 2022. From October 01, 2022, three vaccination doses are required for a person to be considered fully vaccinated.

Those who have already been infected with coronavirus more than three months previously only need a single dose of vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated. This is the case until September 30, 2022. From October 01, 2022, two vaccination doses are required for these persons to be considered fully vaccinated. Anyone who becomes infected with coronavirus after receiving a single vaccine dose is also considered fully vaccinated 28 days after infection. This rule applies until September 30, 2022. From October 01, 2022, these persons must provide proof of one additional vaccination dose. Anyone who has received two vaccination doses and has subsequently verifiably contracted the coronavirus will also be considered to be fully vaccinated.

Fully vaccinated persons who have additionally received a booster vaccination with a time interval of three months are considered ‘boostered’ until September 30, 2022.

According to the Infection Protection Act, persons are generally considered to be recovered if they can prove that they have been infected with the coronavirus at least 28 days previously and no more than three months ago. A positive PCR test serves as proof.

You can find out more about vaccination on our page dedicated to this topic.

How do I prove that I have been fully vaccinated or have recovered?

The EU digital vaccination certificate is the easiest way to provide verifiable proof of a complete vaccination or booster vaccination. It is a QR code issued by your vaccination center or by the doctor providing the vaccination. The QR code can be scanned using various apps – such as the Corona warning app or the CovPass app – and saved in your smartphone. If you did not receive a QR code when you were vaccinated you can have one created at the pharmacy. To do this, you have to present your identity card and the yellow vaccination certificate.

The website www.mein-apothekenmanager.de lists pharmacies in Berlin that generate digital proof of vaccination. Alternatively, the yellow vaccination certificate can be presented in combination with identification.

Those people who have been vaccinated outside the EU can present the corresponding proof. However, this is only recognized if the vaccine is listed as effective by the EU. The creation of a digital certificate is also possible in this case.

A positive PCR test, which is at least 28 days old and at most three months old, serves as proof of recovery. Recovered vaccinated persons can also obtain their digital proof of vaccination from the above-mentioned pharmacies.

You can find out more about vaccination on our page dedicated to this topic.

How do I get a digital vaccination certificate?

The vaccination certificate, which is valid throughout Europe, can be obtained in Germany using two different apps: the Corona warning app and the CovPass app, which was specially developed as a Corona vaccination certificate.

To create your digital vaccination certificate, you need a QR code, which is scanned once by your chosen app. You can obtain the code in the following ways:

  • If you booked your vaccination appointment at a Berlin vaccination center using your Doctolib account, you will receive your certificate as a printout in your vaccination center after your second vaccination and it will be also registered in your Doctolib account.
  • You can also contact the doctor’s practice where you were vaccinated.
  • You can also obtain a digital vaccination certificate in numerous Berlin pharmacies if you present your analog documents (yellow vaccination certificate or separate vaccination certificate) and you can also provide proof of identity. Persons who have been vaccinated once and who have recovered from Covid 19 can also obtain a digital certificate from pharmacies. The certificate is free of charge.

The website www.mein-apothekenmanager.de lists the pharmacies in Berlin that generate digital vaccination certificates.

Contacts, maximum number of persons, and free-time

Are there any contact restrictions for private meetings?

No. Currently, there are neither restrictions on the maximum number of persons present nor any other restrictions on private meetings.

What do I need to be aware of for events?

Regardless of the type of event or venue, there are currently no corona-related access restrictions in place in Berlin. However, sometimes the organizations responsible specify that a mask requirement or other restrictions apply to their events. Please find out in advance which regulations apply in detail.

What restrictions and further regulations on the maximum number of participants apply to assemblies?

There is no mask requirement. Participants do not need to show a negative Corona test result or proof of full Corona vaccination or recovery. Sometimes, however, the organizers may specify certain requirements. Please find out in advance which exact regulations apply. The assembly law regulations still apply.

Are clubs allowed to open for parties?

Yes. Parties are permitted both indoors and outdoors without any restrictions. Sometimes, however, the organizers set certain requirements. Please find out in advance which regulations apply at the party you wish to attend.

Can I visit museums, galleries, and memorials?

Yes. Museums, galleries, memorials and similar private and public cultural institutions may open to the public without any restrictions. Sometimes, however, the organizers specify that the wearing of masks or other requirements must be complied with in their premises. Please find out in advance which specific regulations apply.

What rules apply to outdoor sports?

Outdoor sports can take place without any restrictions. The minimum distance does not have to be kept.

What do I have to keep in mind when I want to do sports?

All sports, outdoors, indoors and under cover are allowed without any restrictions. People doing sports do not have to keep the minimum distance from each other. Swimming pools and outdoor pools may also open. Sometimes, the organizers may stipulate that masks must be worn or other requirements must be met in their facilities and sports venues. Please find out in advance which specific regulations apply.

What do I have to keep in mind when visiting hospitals or care facilities?

Residents of care facilities may be visited without limitation to the number of persons. Visitors are required to take a Corona test, however, this does not apply to vaccinated and recovered visitors. An FFP2 mask without an exhalation valve must be worn by the visitors during their stay. The mask can be removed when inside the resident’s room if everyone present has been vaccinated or has recovered from Covid-19.

Visitors in hospitals must wear an FFP2 mask. The obligation to wear an FFP2 mask also applies to patients when they are outside the room or receive visitors. Regardless of their vaccination or recovery status, visitors are required to present a current negative Corona test result upon entry.

In doctors’ offices, patients and staff with direct contact to patients must wear an FFP2 mask.

Schools and daycare centers

For the latest information on Corona measures in daycare centers, schools, youth welfare and family support offices go to https://www.berlin.de/sen/bjf/corona/

Universities and Colleges

For the latest information on Corona measures at universities, colleges and research institutions go to https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/service/corona-massnahmen/

Rapid and self-tests

What is the difference between PCR, antigen rapid and self-tests?

  • A PCR test searches for the genetic material of the coronavirus in the test material (deep nasopharyngeal swab). It is considered the gold standard in diagnosis for SARS-CoV-2. The analysis is complex and time-consuming and can only be performed in an appropriately equipped laboratory. The swab must be taken by trained medical personnel.
  • In contrast to the PCR test, an “antigen rapid test” does not look for viral material in the test material (deep nasopharyngeal swab), but for molecules that are characteristic of the coronavirus. The swab can be performed by persons trained in swab taking. They do not necessarily have to be medical personnel. The test result is usually available after 15 to 20 minutes.
  • A self-test usually works like an antigen rapid test, but any person can take the swab themselves according to the manufacturer’s instructions, a deep nasopharyngeal swab is usually not required. The test result is usually available after 15 to 20 minutes.

The State Office for Metrology and Calibration Berlin-Brandenburg, as the authority responsible for the supervision of testing sites, has published on its homepage a leaflet on the requirements and quality assurance in testing sites offering PoC-PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2.

Furthermore, the following points should be noted:

  • A positive self-test only needs to be confirmed or refuted by a rapid test at a certified testing center.
  • Positive rapid and PCR tests lead to quarantine obligations.
  • Rapid tests and self-tests primarily detect viral material and show a positive result when the viral load in the mouth or nose is already sufficiently high.
  • Each test represents only a snapshot at the time of testing and cannot predict infection status in the days or hours ahead.

Why do I need a rapid test or a self-test?

A current negative test result is required for entry into various facilities.

  • In hospitals for visitors, patients and employees. The organizations themselves determine the extent to which the testing obligation is implemented. In emergencies, everyone involved is exempt from the obligation to test.
  • In care facilities for visitors who are neither vaccinated nor recovered.
  • In care facilities for residents. Testing is mandatory at least once a week.
  • In care facilities for employees. Vaccinated and recovered persons must be tested at least twice a week; unvaccinated persons must be tested daily.
  • In schools for pupils and employees. Testing is compulsory at least twice a week if the person concerned has been symptom-free for at least 48 hours..

You are required to take a rapid test if you get a positive result after self-testing. Anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus and wishes to end their subsequent mandatory isolation early also requires a negative rapid test result. In this case, the test may not be performed until the fifth day of isolation at the earliest.

How do I prove that I have tested negative for coronavirus?

Visitors can prove that they have tested negative for coronavirus in the following ways:

  • They can have a rapid antigen test which is performed on site.
  • They can take a self-test on-site and under supervision. Find out in advance if the facility you are visiting provides this option.
  • They can provide written or electronic proof of a rapid or self-test that is no more than 24 hours old. This may be a certificate from a testing center or Corona testing site.
  • They can submit written or electronic proof of a PCR test that is not older than 48 hours.

If a rapid or self-test is carried out on site, visitors are entitled to a proof of the result. A corresponding template can be downloaded here. A negative result can be used to take advantage of other services requiring testing on the same day.

Who is entitled to a free rapid test?

According to the Corona Test Ordinance of the Federal Government, all persons in Germany are generally entitled to at least one free PoC antigen test per week. A list of certified providers can be found at direkttesten.berlin.

Who can get a free PCR test?

In principle, the following groups of persons can be tested using PCR:

  • Persons with a positive rapid test result are in principle entitled to a free PCR test.
  • Persons who have tested positive for the coronavirus after a self-test
  • Persons who have stayed in a virus variant area during the last ten days before entry.

In the following cases, PCR testing is mandatory after a positive rapid test:

  • Employees in medical practices, hospitals, care facilities and institutions for integration who have tested positive for coronavirus by means of a rapid antigen test are required to have a PCR test carried out for clarification.
  • In the case of a positive self-test and a negative rapid test.

The free PCR tests are carried out for persons without symptoms, among other places, in Berlin’s own testing centers and for persons with symptoms they are carried out in “certain medical practices:https://www.kvberlin.de/fuer-patienten/corona/covid-19-praxen.

Can I also get tested at a pharmacy?

Pharmacies have the option to perform rapid tests, but there is no obligation for pharmacies to do so. Whether and when the pharmacies offer rapid tests can be found out from the staff of the respective pharmacy. Furthermore, many pharmacies offer free PCR retesting for symptom-free individuals who have received a positive rapid test result.

How safe are self and rapid tests?

Rapid tests for self-administration as well as those performed by trained personnel are safe as long as they are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These tests may only be marketed if they meet the requirements set out by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices and are listed here. The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices publishes a list of rapid tests and self-tests that meet the requirements.

Self-tests and rapid tests can detect a virus quite reliably in the phase in which the person tested is particularly infectious. However, a negative result does not necessarily rule out infection, especially if there is a low viral load or the swab was not performed correctly. False-positive results can also occur.

What do I do if the rapid or self-test is positive?

If the self-test is positive, this result must be verified immediately by a rapid test at a certified testing center. If your rapid test result is positive, you must immediately go into isolation at home. Separate regulations apply to the employees of hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices and similar facilities. The isolation lasts for ten days. After this period, no new test is required to end the isolation. You can leave isolation after five days if you have been symptom-free for 48 hours and have subsequently a rapid test which turned out negative.

You can have a positive rapid test result confirmed by PCR test free of charge. If the PCR test result is negative, you do not have to isolate yourself.

Businesses: shopping and services

What should I keep in mind when shopping?

Restrictions to retail outlets have been lifted. The obligation to wear a mask also no longer exists. However, companies can make use of their rights and maintain certain rules.

What do I have to keep in mind when visiting a restaurant, café and/or bar?

Restaurants, cafés and other eateries may open. There are no mask, distance, or testing requirements. However, restaurateurs may specify that a mask requirement or other requirements must be met in their restaurant. Find out exactly what regulations apply before you visit.

What body care services can I use?

Hairdressers, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios, solariums and businesses in the field of personal hygiene are allowed to open without any restrictions. Sometimes, however, those responsible stipulate that the wearing of masks or other requirements must be complied with in their premises. Please find out in advance which specific regulations apply.

Compulsory wearing of masks

Where must I wear an FFP2 mask?

Pursuant to the Infection Protection Measures Ordinance, FFP2 masks are protective masks without a valve which comply with the FFP2 standard or similar standards (KN95, N95 or KF94).

An FFP2 mask must be worn in the following areas:

  • On public transport
  • In doctor’s offices by patients and visitors
  • In doctor’s offices by staff with direct contact with patients
  • In hospitals by visitors and by patients who are outside of their room
  • In care facilities by visitors

Children under the age of 6, do not have to wear a mask. Children between the ages of 6 and 13 do, however, have to wear a medical face mask at the specified locations.

A list of the areas for which there is an obligation to wear a mask can be found in the SARS-CoV-2 Basic Protective Measures Ordinance.

Where must I wear a medical mask?

Wearing a medical mask is mandatory for residents of care facilities who receive visitors.

Children under the age of 6 do not have to wear a mask.

The list of areas in which a mask is required can be found in the SARS-CoV-2 Basic Protective Measures Ordinance.

Do children also have to wear a mask?

Children up to the age of six are exempt from the mask requirement. For children and adolescents from the age of 6 up to and including 13 years of age, there is only an obligation to wear a medical face mask at locations where FFP2 masks are mandatory.

Will I face a penalty if I don’t wear a mask in the prescribed areas?

If you do not comply with the obligation to wear a mask, you can be fined €100 or more. Children who are age six and under, people who cannot wear a mask due to a health impairment or disability and can provide a doctor’s certificate confirming this, and people with a hearing impairment and those accompanying them are exempt from this obligation.

The mask must be worn in such a way that the mouth and nose are completely covered reducing the emission of aerosols and droplets when breathing, coughing, sneezing or speaking.

You can find the basic text of the regulations on medical and FFP2 masks in the SARS-CoV-2 Basic Protective Measures Ordinance under Section 2.

Traffic, travel, quarantine and Corona testing

What should you take into consideration when using public transport?

In Berlin, an FFP2 mask must be worn when using public transport.

Do children also have to wear an FFP2 mask on public transport?

Children under the age of six do not have to wear a mask on public transport. Young people from the age of six up to and including 13 years of age can wear a medical mask as an alternative to the FFP2 mask. These regulations apply in all areas where an FFP2 mask is mandatory.

Can I take a vacation in a Berlin hotel?

Yes. Tourist overnight stays in hotels, vacation apartments and guesthouses are possible without any restrictions. However, sometimes those responsible specify that masks or other requirements must be observed in their accommodation. Please find out in advance which specific regulations apply.

What countries have a particularly high concentration of coronavirus cases?

Germany’s government is constantly examining which countries should be classified as high-risk areas or virus variant areas. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) publishes a list of the areas affected which is constantly updated. If you would like to obtain further information about the current number of cases in Germany, the RKI uses an interactive dashboard to show the changes to the infection rates in the German states.

The WHO and Johns Hopkins University also have interactive websites that offer information about the global spread of the coronavirus.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) provides details on the number of cases in Europe.

Do I need a negative test to enter Berlin?

When entering from abroad, you will need proof that you have been tested, vaccinated or have recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection. The tests must not be older than 48 hours. If you enter the country using the services of a transport company and took a PCR test, the test may not be more than 48 hours old at the departure time of the journey. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from having to provide proof of testing. If you are traveling from a virus variant area listed by the Robert Koch Institute, you must present a current negative test even if you have been vaccinated or have recently recovered from a Covid-19 infection. This is regulated by the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance of the Federal Government.

In addition, depending on the area you are traveling from, registration requirements, isolation requirements and a transport ban may apply. You can find more information on the topic ‘Entering from Abroad’ on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Do I have to register my entry into Berlin?

If you want to enter Berlin from a high risk or virus variant area from abroad, you must comply with the registration obligation. To do this, you must fill out the digital entry form. The data stored there will be forwarded in encrypted form directly to your local health department. If it is not possible for you to fill out the digital entry form, you can also print out a hand-written form and submit the completed form to the airline /other transporter or the relevant authority upon request.

Do I have to go into quarantine after entering Berlin?

If you are traveling to Berlin from a virus variant or high-risk area, quarantine obligations apply to you.

  • After entering from a high-risk area, you must immediately go into domestic isolation for ten days. You have the option of shortening the quarantine period. For children under twelve years of age, the quarantine period ends automatically after five days or upon presenting a negative Corona test result. This must be submitted to the federal government’s entry notification portal. Vaccinated and recently recovered people as well as children under the age of six are exempt from the quarantine requirement.
  • After entry from a virus variant area, the period of quarantine must be 14 days. Vaccinated persons are only exempt from quarantine if they have been immunized with a vaccine that is effective against the respective virus variant. In this respect, the assessment of the Robert Koch Institute is decisive.

The quarantine obligation also applies if you initially entered the country via another German federal state. During quarantine, any contact with persons not belonging to your own household is prohibited.

Can I shorten the quarantine period after entering from a risk area?

You have the possibility to end your home quarantine earlier after your stay in a high risk area if you take a Corona test after five days at the earliest and the result is negative. If you are without symptoms, you can visit one of the testing centers in Berlin, or you can contact your general practitioner or the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians also provides information about testing in Berlin medical practices. Usually, the tests are subject to a fee. You will have to remain in quarantine until you have the test results. For children under twelve years of age, the quarantine obligation ends after five days or upon presenting a negative Corona test result. There is no quarantine obligation for children under six years of age. If you show any symptoms, you must immediately notify your local health department and go into quarantine again.

After a stay in a virus variant area, you generally cannot shorten the quarantine period of 14 days. However, if the area is downgraded during these 14 days, i.e. it is no longer considered a virus variant area, the respective regulations for the new classification apply from the time of the downgrade.

All requirements for shortening domestic quarantine can be found in the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance under Section 4.

Finding out if you have Corona in suspected cases and quarantine

What do I do if I’m unsure if I have a cold or corona?

Persons who have symptoms should always see a doctor for testing.

Since the symptoms of a cold and a corona infection are similar, please first call your family doctor. The further procedure will be discussed there. If your symptoms worsen, you can also call the medical on-call service under 116 117. The Robert Koch Institute recommends that people with respiratory symptoms, even if they only have a cold should stay at home for at least 5 days and isolate themselves there.

Who should get tested in the case of a suspected coronavirus infection?

The Senate Department for Health recommends, corresponding to the test criteria of the Robert Koch Institute, that you should get tested if

  • … you show severe symptoms typical of COVID-19 (acute bronchitis or pneumonia, respiratory distress or fever).
  • … you have an acute disorder of your sense of taste and smell
  • … you had close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of Covid-19, such as someone in your own household and have unexplained symptoms that indicate a disease
  • … you have acute symptoms of respiratory disease and if you belong to a risk group or are in close contact with risk groups
  • … you have acute symptoms of respiratory disease and had or have had contact with many people (e.g., at an event or during your work as a teacher, a trainer, or a sex worker).
  • … you and people around you have acute symptoms of respiratory illness and there is a high 7-day incidence of Covid-19 in Berlin, or
  • … your state of health deteriorates due to acute respiratory symptoms
  • … you are considered a close contact person of a confirmed Corona case

As a precautionary measure, those who meet the criteria above should self-isolate at home and contact their doctor, a Corona practice or the relevant health department by telephone so their case can be evaluated. If a test is done and you are waiting for the results, please continue to stay at home and follow the general rules on hygiene. Direct contact with other persons should be avoided.

The Robert Koch Institute makes separate recommendations concerning testing in nursing homes, hospitals, schools and medical practices and other institutions.

The Senate Department for Health has set up a hotline that you can reach at (030) 9028-2828. In addition, you may call the association of statutory health insurance physicians at 116117.

Do I have to go into quarantine as a contact person of a confirmed Corona case?

There is no general quarantine obligation. In individual cases, the health authority responsible may request you to go into quarantine.

If you are the contact person of an infected person, you are strongly advised to reduce your own contacts over a period of five days. This applies especially to contacts in risk groups. In addition, you should test yourself daily over this period with an antigen test and observe whether you develop Corona-specific symptoms.

How long can it take before symptoms appear?

The time symptoms take to appear varies greatly. There are some people who have been infected with Corona who have no symptoms at all. It is possible that symptoms may still develop up to 14 days after infection. More often, however, the symptoms appear early after infection, on average after 3 days.

Can I also take an antigen rapid test in the case of a suspected coronavirus infection?

As a rule, rapid tests will be used to clarify suspected cases. PCR tests will only be carried out in specific cases, for example to verify the positive self-test or rapid test results of employees in care facilities, hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and similar institutions. A PCR test must also be taken if you have had a negative rapid test after a positive self-test.

If your rapid antigen test is positive, you must immediately go into isolation at home for ten days. If a rapid test performed after seven days is negative and you do not have any symptoms, you can end the isolation from that point. You can have your positive rapid test result verified by PCR testing free of charge. The quarantine obligation ends if the PCR test is negative.

Am I healthy if I was tested negative as a close contact person?

The result says that you were negative at the time of the test. But this is only momentary. It cannot be ruled out that you will be tested positive at a later date because, if you have been infected, the viral load in your body will have increased.

What do I do if I have tested positive for Corona?

If you have a positive test result, you are required by the German Infection Protection Act to isolate yourself at home.

If you have been tested positive for coronavirus, there are additional responsibilities for you depending on the type of test:

  • You have privately taken an antigen self-test and tested positive: In this situation, you are obligated to have the test result verified immediately by taking a PCR test. In addition, you should avoid all contacts with people as a precaution until the result of the test.
  • You have received a positive result following a rapid test or self-test taken under supervision: You are now subject to both an obligation to self-isolate and an obligation to take a PCR test for confirmation. You may only leave self-isolation to take the PCR test. If this is negative, you are no longer required to isolate yourself. You can have your positive rapid test result verified by PCR testing free of charge. The quarantine obligation ends if the PCR test is negative.
  • You have tested positive by PCR test: In this case, you must immediately isolate at home.

The obligation to isolate at home always lasts for ten days, unless the relevant health department decides otherwise. You may leave isolation after ten days without taking a test. If you have been symptom-free for 48 hours and you can show a negative test, you may end quarantine at the earliest after five days. Employees in hospitals, nursing homes and similar facilities can end their isolation after seven days with a negative PCR test if they are free of symptoms for at least 48 hours beforehand.

During self-isolation also avoid contact at home if you live together with other people. Inform those with whom you had close contact two days before the onset of symptoms and afterwards.

What do I send to my employer in the case of a corona infection?

In the case of a corona infection, a certificate of incapacity to work is issued by the doctor and must be sent to your employer. In the case of a positive test without any symptoms orand signs of the disease, the quarantine will be ordered by the relevant health department and your certificate must also be submitted to your employer.

Coronavirus and mutations

What is the coronavirus and what are the symptoms?

The coronavirus – also known as SARS-CoV-2 – causes COVID-19 disease and can infect both animals and humans. The symptoms caused by the virus may range in severity from a sore throat to a mild cold to a severe respiratory ailment. Not everyone who is infected will develop symptoms. The symptoms can be very different. According to the Robert Koch Institute, frequent symptoms found in conjunction with a coronavirus infection are a cough, fever, a runny nose as well as loss of the sense of taste and/or smell.

Charité Berlin has developed a browser-based coronavirus app that will help you decide whether or not your symptoms indicate a coronavirus infection, before you call a screening center.

What are coronavirus mutations?

Mutations are changes in the genetic material of the coronavirus. They are a completely natural and common process that occurs constantly during virus replication. As a result, over time, many different variants of the virus come into existence. Viral mutations can become dangerous when they give rise to or cause:

  1. more severe course of the disease after viral infection,
  2. higher transmissibility, i.e. the easier spread of the virus,
  3. impaired immune response, i.e. greater likelihood of reinfection after recovery from infection or after vaccination.

For more information and recommendations on the new SARS-CoV-2 virus variants please visit the Robert Koch Institute site.

Which SARS-CoV-2 variants have been detected in Berlin?

So far five SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern have been detected in Berlin: Alpha (B.1.1.7), which was first detected in the United Kingdom, the mutation Beta (B.1.315) notified initially by South Africa, the variant Gamma (P.1), which was first detected in Brazil, Delta (B.1.617.2), which was first registered in India, and Omicron (B.1.1.529), which was first detected in South Africa.

The Delta variant was previously the main variant detected in Berlin and Germany as a whole from summer 2021 to January 2022. Omicron is now the dominant variant in Berlin. Omicron is even more transmissible than the Delta variant. All suspected cases are being fully investigated by health authorities and laboratories.

The prevalence and rate of spread of the virus variants are also monitored very closely by the Berlin laboratories.

For more information and recommendations on the SARS-CoV-2 virus variants please visit the Robert Koch Institute site.

How can I protect myself and others against coronavirus?

You can protect yourself and others if you:

  • get vaccinated
  • keep your distance – especially from persons with typical symptoms
  • observe hygiene rules such as washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, sneezing or coughing into the crook of your arm instead of into your hand, touching your face with your hand as little as possible and avoiding shaking hands.
  • Wear a mask over mouth and nose whenever you can’t maintain the minimum distance, also outside. FFP2 masks offer special protection.
  • air rooms frequently
  • get tested for coronavirus before private gatherings outside your own household.
  • Stay at home when you feel any signs of an illness even if these are mild and work from home if necessary, reduce contacts and get tested for corona
  • Download the Corona-Warn-App of the Federal Government to your smartphone and activate the app. More information can be found in the FAQ of the Federal Government.

Coronavirus hotline

The Senate Department for Health, Long-Term Care and Gender Equality set up a hotline to advise Berliners who believe they may have contracted the virus. Coronavirus hotline