Coronavirus: How to protect yourself

Washing hands

Wash your hands, keep your distance, sneeze properly: Anyone can do something to reduce the risk of infection with the coronavirus Covid-19.

The novel coronavirus Covid-19 or Sars-CoV-2, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, is spreading rapidly worldwide. Although it is not always possible to prevent infection, each individual can do something to reduce their own risk of infection - and protect others.

1. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly

Hygiene is most important. Therefore, everyone should wash their hands thoroughly and at regular intervals: For at least 20 seconds and with soap or an alcohol-based hand wash. Special care is needed when dealing with people who are susceptible to viral infections. These include the elderly (over 60 years), the chronically ill and pregnant women. With unwashed hands you should not touch your face or food.

2. Do not cough or sneeze in your hand

Many cough and sneeze reflexively into their hands. Since the corona virus is mainly transmitted via droplet infection, one should stop this now at the latest. Those who sneeze hygienically turn away from other people and sneeze into a handkerchief or into the crook of their arm. The mouth and nose are covered.

3. Avoid contact with people who have symptoms

If possible, keep a distance of one to two metres from people who show cold symptoms such as fever, colds and coughs or sneezing. People who are affected themselves should be considerate of themselves and stay at home. This also applies to sore throats at present.

4. Cancel trips to affected areas

Wanna go on skiing holiday in Northern Italy? Better don't do it. If you don't necessarily have to travel to a risk area, you can cancel the trip to minimize your own risk of infection. A package tour can be cancelled under exceptional circumstances, the money will be returned by the tour operator. Individual travellers must hope for goodwill.

5. Wear a medical mask

Berlin Senate strongly recommends wearing a medical mask. From 24 January 2021, it will be compulsory to wear a better-protective "medical mask" on buses and trains and when shopping, but also at the doctor's or in church - on pain of a fine. These can be FFP2, KN95 or surgical masks. The widespread everyday masks made of fabric or other coverings of the mouth and nose will then no longer be permitted. Due to the corona pandemic, there is a basic obligation to wear a mouth and nose protector at markets, particularly busy streets or shopping malls, shopping malls and queues where the minimum distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.

6. Inform the health authorities

Anyone who shows symptoms and has been in one of the severely affected areas or has had contact with people who have stayed there should contact the health authorities at an early stage. For this reason, the Berlin Senate Administration has established a coronavirus hotline. It is better not to simply go to the doctor or hospital, as you could infect others on the way there and in the hospital itself. The hotline can be reached under (030) 9028 2828.

7. Get tested for coronavirus

Anyone who has symptoms, has had contact with a confirmed case or has been in a risk area himself can be tested for the coronavirus. The costs are only covered for suspected cases if the above-mentioned conditions are met.


Corona screening centers

Patients with severe symptoms should call an ambulance or contact a hospital emergency room. No one should go to a hospital emergency room without calling first.  more

Source: BerlinOnline / Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung / RKI

Last edited: 23 February 2021