Content

Measures against the corona virus

11.02.2021

The Senate has adopted the following measures to contain the coronavirus:

General rules of conduct and hygiene

Currently, all residents of Berlin must follow general rules of conduct and hygiene. Everyone is urgently required to reduce physical social contact with people from outside the home to the absolute minimum. People should only leave their home for important reasons – for example, to go shopping, to do sports or to work. All Berliners are also urgently advised to avoid travel.

If possible and reasonable to do so, a minimum distance of 1.5 meters is to be maintained from all persons who do not belong to your own household. This is especially important for people with typical Covid-19 symptoms. Exceptions are made for spouses and life partners as well as persons for whom you have custody or access rights. Deviating from the minimum distance is permissible if a general hygiene policy of the relevant Senate Department allows it as an exception and other measures are in place to protect against infection.

Strict contact restrictions apply in public and private spaces until the end of March 7, 2021. You can only be there alone, with members of your own household and at most one person from one other household. For single parents children up to 12 years are not included.

In addition, the Berlin Senate strongly recommends that you wear a medical face mask or other mask . This recommendation applies in public places and especially when you are coming into contact with persons who are at particular risk.

You are required to wear a medical face mask (surgical mask, FFP2 or KN95 mask without ventilation valve) in the following places:

  • When shopping: For example in supermarkets, pharmacies or drugstores
  • On local public transport
  • At railway stations
  • At airports
  • In commercial enterprises
  • In medical practices
  • In hospitals and nursing homes
  • In office and administrative buildings – this applies to employees if the minimum distance cannot be safely maintained. This obligation does not apply to employees when they are in their normal place of work.
  • In taxis and on private journeys for persons from another household. (Car drivers do not have to wear a mask.)
  • At religious services and events

You are required to wear a mask (medical face mask or everyday mask) in the following places:

  • At markets (weekly markets, etc.) in parking lots, in queues and on sidewalks in front of buildings with retail stores or service providers or small businesses
  • In busy streets – such as Bergmannstrasse, and Kurfürstendamm – as well as in certain busy public squares – such as Alexanderplatz. To the overview of all areas where masks are mandatory (link to the attachment). This obligation to wear masks does not apply to cyclists.
  • In all vocational and secondary schools in the whole of the school campus
  • In offices and administrative buildings – for visitors
  • Where food is served
  • In all other schools except during lessons and extracurricular activities, mentoring support and supervision. From grade 5 onwards students also have to wear a mask during lessons.
  • At demonstrations

The mask must be worn in such a way that the mouth and nose are completely covered preventing the emission of aerosols and droplets. In addition, in the case of normal masks the type of material used must be able to prevent the spread of droplets and aerosols. Anyone who does not comply with the obligation to cover their mouth and nose risks a fine.

Assemblies and religious events

Public assemblies may take place outdoors and in enclosed spaces without limitation of the number of participants, provided that the applicable hygiene and social distancing rules are obeyed. Singing together in enclosed spaces is only permitted if the hygiene and infection protection standards laid down in the framework hygiene plan of the responsible Senate Department of Culture and Europe are observed. In addition, participants must maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters from persons from other households and wear a mask. The person in charge of the assembly must make sure that the assembly does not have more people in attendance than what is permitted according to the usable area of the place of assembly. Furthermore, organizers must draw up a hygiene plan that ensures compliance with the social distancing and hygiene rules.

Worship services and religious or similar events held outdoors and in enclosed spaces are permitted with an unlimited number of people. It is required that the minimum distances between all participants are maintained and the general hygiene guidelines are observed. All participants must wear a medical face mask. In addition, religious or similar events with more than ten participants must be registered if the religious community has not established a hygiene concept that meets the requirements of the cultural administration. This registration must take place two days in advance at the respective public order authority.

Public and private events

Events that belong to the culture, entertainment or leisure sector – such as concerts, operas, theater performances and dance events – are generally not permitted until the end of March 7, 2021.

Public events in enclosed spaces may only be held with no more than 20 persons until the end of March 7, 2021.

Outdoor public events may take place with a maximum of 50 persons.

In private spaces, you may only be alone, with members of your own household and a maximum of one external person. For single parents children up to 12 years of age are not included.

For funerals and related events, the permitted number is 20 persons in enclosed spaces and 50 persons outside.

It remains a requirement for permission for all of these events that the organizers ensure compliance with the current social distancing and hygiene rules

At private and public events, the organizers must create an attendance list in which the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all participants are recorded. The list must be retained for four weeks and handed over to the competent authority on request if one of the participants was infected at the time of participation. Organizers of permitted public events and organizers of private events with more than 20 participants are also obliged to draw up a safety and hygiene plan.

With regard to the rules governing events and gatherings of people, there are additional exceptions for the meetings of the German Bundestag and its committees, the Bundesrat and its committees, the House of Representatives and its committees, the federal government, the Berlin Senate, the Constitutional Court of Berlin, and the borough assemblies and their committees, as well as the diplomatic missions, the courts, the bodies and authorities of the federal government and the German states, and other bodies and institutions that perform public-sector tasks.

Employment and home office

Employers must allow office workers, and employees who do similar work, to work from home or on a mobile basis, unless there are absolutely necessary work-related reasons not to do so. Every employee is strongly recommended to work from home whenever possible and to reduce the hours they spend in their normal place of work to the minimum necessary.

If it is not possible to keep to the minimum distance of 1.5 meters or the guideline amount of 10 square meters of office/workspace per employee cannot be maintained, employees must wear a medical face mask (i.e. a surgical mask, a FFP2 mask without valve, or KN95 masks without valve or comparable masks). Employers must provide the appropriate masks if it is not possible to keep to the minimum distance or if the guideline amount of 10 square meters of office/workspace per employee cannot be maintained.

Cultural institutions

Open-air cinemas, drive-in cinemas, indoor cinemas, trade fairs, museums and memorial sites must remain closed to the public. The same applies to amusement arcades, casinos, betting shops and similar places.

Libraries are permitted to lend. Library users must wear a mask or otherwise cover their mouth and nose.

Discos, clubs, and similar establishments and places of entertainment must remain closed. Dance events may not be held in restaurants.

Restaurants, bars, and hotels

Restaurants and canteens may not open to the public. However, offering food and beverages for collection and delivery remains permitted. Customers are obliged to wear a face mask when picking up orders at the premises and while waiting in queues. In addition, sellers must take suitable precautions to regulate the sales process and in particular to ensure compliance with distance and hygiene rules.

Canteens may offer food and beverages on site if it is not otherwise possible to adequately cater for employees. However, this does not apply to guests and visitors.

In the time between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. it is forbidden to serve, dispense and sell alcoholic beverages. This regulation applies until the end of March 7, 2021.

Hotels and proprietors of vacation homes and similar establishments may not offer overnight stays to tourists.

Retail

The retail trade must remain closed. Among others, food retailers, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drugstores, gas stations and banks are exempt from the closure.

The shops that are allowed to open must take precautions to ensure hygiene, control access, and prevent lines from forming. Shopping malls and department stores may also open if they adhere to the guidelines for hygiene, but anything that encourages customers to remain longer than required should be avoided and such areas and facilities should be cordoned off if necessary. Visitors must wear a medical face mask. Operators of retail establishments are required to draw up a safety and hygiene plan and to submit it to the competent authority on request. In addition, notices indicating the applicable rules must be posted in a clearly visible manner. When deciding the permitted number of persons, the 10 square meters per visitor guideline must be observed. For stores, sales outlets, shopping centers and department stores with more than 800 square meters of sales area, the following applies: for areas exceeding 800 square meters, the standard measure of 20 square meters per visitor must be observed.

The serving, dispensing and sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. in retail outlets of all kinds. This regulation applies until the end of February 14, 2021.

Sport and leisure

Sports activities are only permitted to a limited extent. Fitness studios, dance studios and similar facilities must remain closed until the end of March 7, 2021.

Contact-free sports are only permitted alone, with members of your own household, your spouse or life partner or with one person from another household, provided the minimum distance is observed.

This restriction on contact during sports does not apply to medically prescribed sport therapy or medically prescribed training, provided that the training takes place outdoors in fixed groups. In this case, the group may have up to 10 participants plus one supervising person. Federal and State team athletes, athletes in professional leagues and professional athletes are also exempt from the contact restriction.

Sporting competitions in the Bundesliga, international leagues and comparable competition systems are permitted, provided a usage and hygiene concept is established by the respective sports association. Spectators are not permitted.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools may only be opened for use by Federal and State team athletes, for sports teaching in schools or during vocational training and for medically prescribed sport therapy. Open-air swimming pools and outdoor beaches must remain closed.

The zoos may open. However, distance and hygiene rules still apply. The aquarium and the animal enclosures remain closed.

Schools, daycare centers, and higher education institutions

In general, school attendance is compulsory. Attendance in schools will be mostly suspended until March 7, 2021. Emergency childcare will be provided at the primary level.

The first schools will open on February 22, 2021. Initially, in grades 1 to 3 the number of pupils in a class will reduced by half. The smaller classes will be taught on an alternating basis. This can be done either a daily or weekly, or by offering at least three hours of teaching per day for all pupils in these grades. Pupils and teachers must wear face masks at all times. Teachers and pupils can take a Corona self-test up to twice a week.

For graduation classes, the school principals will decide in consultation with the parents’ representatives whether the students will be taught face-to-face in fixed, small groups or whether there will only be school-guided learning at home.

The daycare centers for children will also be closed during the above-mentioned period. Emergency childcare will be provided for extremely urgent cases. Single parents, families in which at least one parent works in an essential profession, and families in particularly difficult social situations are eligible for emergency childcare.

The private, unpaid and non-commercial care of children under 12 years of age within a family or neighborhood circle is permitted, provided that children from a maximum of two households are supervised in fixed groups.

Teaching at public, private, and denominationally affiliated institutions of higher education in Berlin will only be carried out digitally until March 31, 2021. There will be no face-to-face events until March 7, 2021. Due to this restriction, the submission deadlines for final papers and homework assignments will be extended in accordance with the respective framework regulations of the higher education institutions.

Quarantine, testing and reporting obligations for those entering the state of Berlin

Quarantine, testing and reporting obligations apply to persons who have been in a risk area within the last 10 days prior to their arrival in the state of Berlin. There are three types of risk area: High incidence areas (areas where the 7-day incidence is greater than 200), virus variant areas (areas where certain SARS-CoV-2 mutations are prevalent), and risk areas (other areas where there is an increased risk of infection). The list of current risk areas is published by the Robert Koch Institute. View the current list of risk areas. Immediately upon entry, the aforementioned persons who have entered Berlin must proceed directly to their own apartment or house or other suitable accommodation and stay there constantly for a period of 10 days after entry. Those entering the country from virus-variant areas are required to go into quarantine at home for 14 days. During this quarantine period, all contact with persons who are not part of your household is prohibited.

In addition, people returning to/entering the country from risk areas are required to register their entry in advance. This notification must be made using the electronic registration and information system at www.einreiseanmeldung.de. The information will be forwarded to the health authority responsible. After successful digital registration, passengers will receive a confirmation which must be presented to the airline/other transporter or the relevant authority upon request.

If digital registration of entry is not possible for technical reasons, the person entering the country must carry a written substitute notification in which the following points are listed: Identity including date of birth, travel route or places of stay during the last ten days prior to entry, contact data including telephone number, e-mail address and home address or expected places of stay in Berlin during the ten days following entry and the means of travel used for entry. The replacement notification must also be presented to the airline/other transporter or the relevant authority upon request.

Furthermore, the aforementioned persons entering the country are required to be tested for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus before or immediately after entry. The test can be carried out at the earliest 48 hours before entry. Anyone entering from a high-risk area (high-incidence area or virus variant area) is obliged take the test before entering the country. The test result must be kept for at least ten days after entry and must be handed over to the relevant authority upon request.

Persons visiting first or second degree relatives, spouses, life partners or persons for whom there is a joint or shared right of custody or visitation are also exempted from quarantine. Visits for urgent medical treatment are also exempt as are commuters and persons in transit. As a rule, the exceptions do not apply to persons entering from areas in which variants of the virus are prevalent.

In addition, there are further exceptions for essential business visits as well as for the maintenance of critical infrastructure; health care, public security and governing institutions. However, curfews and hygiene concepts must also be observed.

The period of quarantine can be terminated at the earliest five days after entering the country. Those entering from virus-variant areas are excluded from this regulation. The requirement for the shortening of quarantine at home is that the person provides a negative test for the corona virus, which was carried out on the fifth day after entry at the earliest. The test result must be written in German, English or French and be available in written or electronic form. The medical test certificate shall be kept for at least 10 days after entry and shall be presented immediately upon request of the authority responsible.

Persons who have been in a virus-variant area (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html) within the last ten days before entering Germany may not be transported to the Federal Republic by plane, train, bus or ship until February 17, 2021. 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.

Visiting arrangements in hospitals

In hospitals and clinics, the basic obligation to wear a medical face mask applies to both visitors and patients when they are not in their room or when they are receiving visitors.

Persons who show typical Covid-19 symptoms according to the current criteria of the Robert Koch Institute are not allowed to visit patients in hospitals or residents of nursing homes.

Patients may be visited once a day by one person for one hour. The same applies to newborn babies and their mothers, whereby siblings under 16 years of age may accompany the visiting person.

Persons under 16 years of age, seriously ill and dying patients may generally be visited without restriction.

There are no restrictions on visiting rights for persons entrusted with pastoral care, notarizing officials and the necessary persons for legally required questionings in hospitals and nursing homes.

More far-reaching restrictions such as a complete ban on visits may apply in individual hospitals or wards. This decision is the responsibility of the respective hospital management and must be approved by the health authority responsible.

Residents of nursing homes are allowed daily visits. The 1:1:1 rule applies, according to which each resident can be visited once a day by one person for one hour. During this period, the visits can be arranged with the respective facilities. Visits to care facilities are possible within minimum visiting hours (daily from 10 a.m. to 6 5 p.m., on at least one day at the weekend and two further weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Nursing facility visitors must wear a FFP2 mask without an exhalation valve at all times. In addition, access is only permitted to persons who can show either a negative POC antigen corona rapid test or a negative PCR test for the coronavirus. The test result must not be older than 24 hours.

The critically ill and dying may be visited without restriction. However, increased protective measures for the protection of other residents as well as visitors and staff must be observed.

Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes

In hospitals and nursing homes, visitors must wear a medical face mask. The same applies to patients and residents if they are not in their rooms or receiving visitors.

Hospitals may carry out plannable admissions, operations, and procedures, provided that a return to crisis mode with increased capacity to treat COVID-19 patients can be implemented on short notice at any time.

Hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes are required to draw up a safety and hygiene plan.

Services

Beauty salons, solariums and all similar businesses must close. Medically necessary treatments remain permitted.

Hairdressers may open again from March 1, 2021 subject to strict hygiene measures. Customers must make an appointment in advance. A minimum distance of two meters must be maintained between customers at all times. Hairdressers and customers are required to wear a medical face mask. Customers must wait outside the premises until it is their turn.

The provision and use of paid sexual services with physical contact is prohibited.

Driving schools and all similar businesses may not open to the public.

Fines

Anyone who does not comply with the applicable rules of the ordinance is liable to receive a fine. The following is a selection of the most important fines at a glance:

  • Minimum distance of 1.5 meters not maintained: 100 to 500 euros
  • No hygiene plan prepared or submitted: 250 to 5000 euros
  • Attendance documentation not maintained: 500 to 10,000 euros
  • Incorrect or incomplete information given in the attendance documentation: 100 to 1,000 euros
  • Mask or other covering over the mouth and nose not worn: 50 to 500 euros
  • Being in public spaces with persons other than those permitted: 50 to 500 euros
  • Hygiene measures described in the hygiene plan not enforced by the person organizing an event: 250 to 5,000 euros
  • Hygiene measures not enforced by a proprietor: 100 to 2,500 euros
  • Serving, dispensing or sale of alcoholic beverages between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.: 500 to 1,000 euros
  • Quarantine not observed upon entry: 1,00 to 5,000 euros
  • Visitors received during quarantine: 500 to 5,000 euros (300 to 1,000 euros for the person visiting)
  • Noncompliance with duty to report to health authorities upon entry: 500 to 2,500 euros
  • Using sexual services that are prohibited: 250 to 5,000 euros
  • Operating a prostitution facility that offers sexual services that are prohibited: 1,000 to 10,000 euros

The amount of the fine will be based on the extent of the danger caused by the violation, the offender’s contrition, whether this is a repeat offense, and the offender’s potential economic gain from the violation. In the case of repeated violations of particular rules, the fine may be as much as 25,000 euros. That applies to violations of the rules for restaurant and sports facilities and the rules prohibiting dance events and discos.

The legal basis for these rules is the Protection against Infection Act. The ordinance was promulgated on June 26, 2020, in accordance with section 2 (1) of the Berlin Promulgation Act and went into effect on June 27. The ordinance will expire at the end of the day on February 14, 2021.

Sixth Ordinance to Amend the SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Measures Ordinance

This translation is for informational purposes only. Only the German text is legally binding. More information