Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: German authorities extend restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19 through at least May 4. Transport and business disruptions likely.

This alert affects Germany

This alert began 16 Apr 2020 10:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 4
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
German authorities have extended the restrictions introduced to stem the spread of COVID-19 through at least May 4. The extended measures include:

  • Ban on nonessential movement outside the home
  • Ban on public gatherings of more than two people
  • Requiring individuals to observe social distancing by remaining at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart
  • Closure of many non-essential businesses, as well as entertainment and cultural venues; some small business will be permitted to reopen from April 20 provided they adhere to strict social distancing measures
  • Restricting all restaurants to providing carry-out or delivery services only


Authorities have also extended temporary entry and exit restrictions at the country's land, air, and sea borders. Furthermore, a number of land border crossings have been closed to funnel travelers to specific crossings where officials can carry out checks more effectively. Authorities will deny entry to individuals without a necessary reason for travel; travelers should bring evidence of valid travel reasons to present upon arrival. Valid reasons for travel include nationals and residents returning home, cross-border commuters, and freight transport. Processing delays at checkpoints are likely.

All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice in response to government reviews and may receive updates or extensions in the coming days.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Germany are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel plans and business appointments. Carry proper identification and other necessary travel documents to present at security checks. Plan for processing delays if traveling or routing freight across German borders. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
Government of Germany: https://www.bundesregierung.de/

World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int