Authorities tighten certain COVID-related restrictions in Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany, from Oct. 9. Other restrictions remain in place.
Alert Begins 06 Oct 2020 11:49 PM UTC
Alert Expires 16 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions
Authorities in Germany will tighten certain coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions in Berlin and Frankfurt due a rise in infection rates in the cities. Effective Oct. 9, a nightly 2200-0600 curfew will be in force in Frankfurt. Moreover, the number of participants at private events in public or rented venues will be limited to 25, while a maximum of 10 people will be allowed at parties in private homes. Consumption of alcohol will be banned outdoors. Furthermore facemasks will be mandatory along major shopping streets and at malls. These measures will remain in effect until at least Oct. 17.
New measures introduced in Berlin will be in effect from Oct. 10 through at least Oct. 31. The new directives will require all restaurants, bars, local shops, and other businesses - with the exception of gas stations - to remain closed between the hours of 2300-0600. Tighter limitations on the size of gatherings will also be implemented. Furthermore, the state of Schleswig-Holstein requires travelers from the Schoneberg-Tempelhof, Neukolln, Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain, and Berlin-Mitte districts in Berlin to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival or provide two negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Nationwide, authorities in Germany are maintaining restrictions and updating the list of high-risk areas abroad where new COVID-19 cases exceed 50 per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period. Most travelers from outside of the EU and Schengen Area, with the exception of those from Australia, Canada, Georgia, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia, the UK, and Uruguay, remain prohibited from entry. Limited exceptions are made for EU citizens and residents, diplomats, essential workers, students, freight and transport workers, individuals in transit, and for urgent reasons decided on a case-by-case basis. All such arrivals are subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period, though this can be avoided by individuals in possession of a medical certificate issued within the previous 48 hours by an EU member state or by a state listed by the Robert Koch Institute declaring them to be COVID-19-free. This measure does not apply to transport and freight workers.
The Robert Koch Institute lists all current high-risk locations. Recent additions are the Hovedstaden region in Denmark; the regions of Brittany, Center-val de Loire, and Normandy in France; Dublin region in Ireland; Lika-Senj County in Croatia; Utrecht province in the Netherlands; the state of Vorarlberg in Austria; Lisbon Metropolitan Area in Portugal; Covasna district in Romania; Primorsko-Notranjska region in Slovenia; all of the Czech Republic excluding the regions of Aussiger and Moravian-Silesian; the Gyor-Moson-Sopron region in Hungary; and the UAE. Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka are no longer considered as high-risk areas.
Testing is mandatory for travelers arriving from high-risk areas. The testing will be free of charge and take place at international travel hubs, including airports and railway stations. Where necessary, testing facilities will also be available for those arriving by car. Quarantine requirements will be waived for travelers who are found to be COVID-free. As a result of the new testing, processing delays are possible for travelers arriving from high-risk areas.
Authorities have eased most internal COVID-19 measures, though protective face coverings are required in most public spaces, including on public transport and in retail shops; where possible, people from different households should remain a minimum of 1.5 m (5 feet) apart. Major public events, where contact tracing and social distancing compliance is not possible, will remain banned through 2020. Hotels and other short-term accommodations have reopened; hygiene and social-distancing guidelines must be observed. All retailers and nonessential businesses are permitted to reopen; however, limits have been placed on the number of customers in the store, and queues should be avoided. In areas where the cumulative rate is more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within the last seven days, private celebrations, parties, and gatherings are limited to 25 persons; similar events hosted in public spaces are limited to 50 people. Additionally, authorities will fine with 50 EUR (58 USD) any individual that provides false information at an establishment that requires their customers to leave contact information for tracing purposes.
The power to ease or reimpose COVID-19 measures largely rests with German states. Accordingly, regional restrictions can vary. Outdoor demonstrations are permitted under certain conditions, including the requirement that the meeting place offers enough space to maintain social distance. Local authorities will reimpose measures if local case numbers exceed 50 per 100,000 people in a seven-day period. Some areas have seen localized stay-at-home orders in response to spikes in case numbers.
Authorities could further ease, tighten, or otherwise amend restrictions with little-to-no notice based on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel plans and business appointments and allow additional time for processing if arriving from an area of high COVID-19 activity. Carry proper identification and other necessary travel documents to present at security checks. 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.