Current language: English

Basic coronavirus protective measures

Basic protective measures and federal legal requirements are currently in place in Berlin to contain the Corona pandemic. These include, in particular, mask wearing and testing obligations in certain situations.

Who is considered vaccinated, tested, recovered?

Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated if the following applies:
  • They have received three doses of vaccine and the third vaccination occurred at least three months after administration of the second dose of vaccine, or
  • They have received two doses of vaccine and can also prove with a positive PCR test that they have had a Covid-19 infection. If the infection occurred after the vaccinations, it must have been at least 28 days ago, or
  • They can show a specific positive antibody test that meets the criteria of the Paul Ehrlich Institute and were subsequently vaccinated with two doses of vaccine.

Persons are considered to have recovered if they have proof of recovery. This is a positive PCR or PoC NAT test (rapid PCR test) that was performed at least 28 days and no more than three months (90 days) ago.

Individuals are considered to have tested negative if they can provide evidence of a negative Corona test that is no more than 24 hours old.

Mandatory wearing of masks: medical masks and FFP2 masks

It is recommended to wear a medical mask (surgical mask or FFP2 mask without valve) in public indoor areas if several people are present.

Wearing an FFP2 mask without a valve (or comparable mask) is mandatory:
  • On buses, subways, commuter trains, trams and ferries
  • In long-distance public transport
  • In medical practices for visitors and patients
  • In hospitals for visitors, staff and patients who are not in their rooms.
  • In nursing facilities for visitors, staff and patients who are not in their rooms.
  • In enclosed spaces in homeless shelters and community housing.
    Children who are 6 years and older and adolescents under 14 years of age must wear a medical mask in these places.
Wearing a medical mask (surgical mask or FFP2 mask without a valve) is mandatory:
  • In public transport for the drivers, if there is physical contact with other persons

The Senate Department of Education, Youth and Family Affairs regulates the extent to which a medical mask must be worn in child and youth care facilities.

The masks must be worn in such a way that the mouth and nose are completely covered and the emission of aerosols and droplets is prevented.

The mask requirement does not apply to children up to the age of six, persons who cannot wear the appropriate protection due to a medically certified health restriction, to deaf and hard of hearing persons, and to persons who use some other device to prevent the emission of droplet particles and aerosols.

Test offers and test obligations

Test offers

The following persons are still entitled to a free rapid test until 28 February 2023:

  • Visitors, residents and patients in hospitals, care facilities and similar institutions.
  • People who look after people in need of care in their home environment, such as caregiving relatives
  • People with disabilities who receive a Personal Budget in accordance with the Social Code and their employees within the framework of the Personal Budget.

All other persons have to pay for the tests. The costs may vary depending on the testing center. A list of certified providers can be found at direkttesten.berlin. The webpage is constantly updated. From 1 March 2023, free tests will no longer be offered.

The following groups of people are entitled to a free PCR test:

  • Individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus using a rapid test at a certified testing site
  • Individuals who tested positive using a rapid self-test
  • Persons who have been officially identified as contacts by the public health department, by their doctor or by hospitals, clinics, outpatient care services or similar institutions, whereby a rapid test can first be carried out for clarification purposes

The testing centers do not usually perform free PCR retesting. The only exception is if a person has tested positive after a rapid test at a testing center and now receives a free PCR test directly on site. Those persons who present a positive rapid test can receive free PCR retesting at numerous pharmacies. Persons with typical Covid-19 symptoms can be tested by a PCR test at a doctor’s practice.

Testing obligations

In most areas of public life, testing is no longer mandatory. In hospitals, testing is mandatory for visitors, patients and employees. In emergency situations, testing is suspended for all parties involved.

In care facilities, testing is mandatory for employees and visitors. The facilities provide the appropriate tests.

A testing requirement also applies for entry into prisons, detention facilities for deportees, psychiatric hospitals, and similar facilities.

As a rule, mandatory testing applies to everyone, including fully vaccinated and recovered persons. Visitors to hospitals and care facilities are entitled to a free rapid test at a certified testing center.

Reporting your test results

You can report a positive rapid test or PCR test result online to the relevant health authority. Only positive tests from certified testing centers can be reported, it is not necessary to report self-tests.

Quarantine obligations

Quarantine obligation after positive test result

Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus must immediately go into domestic isolation. In the event of a positive test result, this must generally last ten days. The isolation obligation ends after this period without you having to take another test. A shortening of the quarantine period is possible from the fifth day of self-isolation at the earliest. The prerequisite is: that person has to be symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

During quarantine, all contact with persons who do not belong to the household is prohibited. Anyone who has tested positive after a rapid test can have a free PCR test to check if they are positive. If the PCR test is negative, the quarantine obligation ends.

Retail and services

Retail stores and service providers may open to the public without restriction. Neither mask wearing nor testing requirements apply. This also applies to services which are carried out close to the body.

Gastronomy and hotels

No restrictions apply in restaurants, cafés and catering establishments. The same applies to hotels, vacation apartments and other accommodation.

Events, culture, sports and leisure

Cultural, sports and recreational events can take place without restrictions on the number of people attending and without any special access requirements. There is no general mask requirement. At some cultural events and in certain museums, the organisers have decided to continue the mask requirement. Please inquire before your visit exactly which regulations apply.

Entry from abroad: Domestic quarantine, reporting and testing requirements.

Currently, two types of virus-variant areas are differentiated:
  • Virus-variant areas in which there is a risk that a variant of concern could arise
  • Virus-variant areas in which a variant of concern has arisen.
Persons who in the last ten days have stayed in a virus-variant area in which there is a risk that a variant of concern could arise, must present a current negative test that is no older than 48 hours in order to enter the country. The test can either be a PCR test or a rapid antigen test.

More comprehensive requirements such as testing and quarantine obligations continue to apply to arrivals from other virus-variant areas. Virus- variant areas are places in which SARS-CoV-2 mutations of concern are widespread, which are not yet or no longer present in Germany.

The classification is made jointly by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Home Affairs and is continuously updated and published by the Robert Koch Institute. Persons who have been in a virus-variant area within the last ten days before entering Germany may not be transported to Germany by air, rail, bus or ship. Exceptions apply to German citizens, persons who have their residence and a right of abode in Germany, as well as for urgently needed transport – such as ambulance transport or transport for humanitarian reasons. Anyone entering from a virus-variant area must:
  • have a negative Corona PCR test that is not older than 48 hours.
  • immediately go into domestic quarantine for 14 days. An exception to this obligation applies only to fully vaccinated persons who have been immunized with a vaccine that is sufficiently effective against the respective virus variant. Corresponding information is published by the Robert Koch Institute (https://www.rki.de/SharedDocs/FAQ/COVID-Impfen/gesamt.html). An early termination of the quarantine obligation is only possible if the virus-variant area is de-listed during the 14 days. In this case, the quarantine obligation immediately ceases to apply.

After arrival, the responsible authorities may carry out tests on the basis of random samples. Persons arriving from any virus-variant area must carry out the test upon request.

Detailed information on entries can be found on the pages of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Schools and daycare centers

Regulations at schools

Attendance is compulsory in Berlin’s schools. There is no general obligation to wear a mask. However, in individual cases and depending on the incidence of infection, masks may be made compulsory for pupils from 5th grade onwards and for employees. There is a testing obligation if the Senate Administration for Education, Youth and Family orders it. The tests are provided by the schools.

Regulations in daycare centers

The Berlin daycare centers are operating normally. All children who have a care contract are cared for according to their individual voucher. The daycare centers offer testing on a case-by-case basis, for example, for contact persons of Corona cases.

All information on schools and daycare centers can be found on the pages of the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family.

Hospitals and care facilities

Sick and elderly people are particularly at risk of suffering severe illness if infected with the coronavirus. Visiting rights in clinics, hospitals and care facilities are therefore subject to hygiene measures. In addition, patients are required to wear an FFP2 mask when they are not in their room or when they receive visitors. For hospital patients, visitors and staff, there is also a testing obligation in addition to the mask obligation. The above-mentioned groups of people are entitled to free rapid tests at the certified testing centers.

Visiting arrangements in hospitals

All visitors must wear an FFP2 mask and present a current negative Corona test. Further rules for visitors are set by the Berlin hospitals themselves. Please contact the hospital in advance for information on the visiting rules.

Visiting requirements in care facilities

Residents of care facilities may receive visitors on a daily basis. Visitors must wear an FFP2 mask without an exhalation valve. Testing is mandatory for visitors and staff.