Coronavirus: Germany imposes major new restrictions on public life

Coronavirus: Germany imposes major new restrictions on public life

The German federal government and heads of states have agreed to a new set of guidelines that will impose further restrictions on public life. With this uniform approach, they hope to combat the spread of coronavirus in Germany.

New measures to fight coronavirus to come into force in Germany

In a joint statement published on Monday afternoon, the federal and state governments announced that new measures, designed to drastically reduce social contact, will come into effect nationwide, as soon as possible. 

These measures include:

  • The closure of most businesses, including but not limited to, bars, clubs, theatres, museums, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, zoos and amusement parks
  • A blanket ban on gatherings in clubs, sports and leisure facilities, adult education centres and places of worship (churches, mosques, synagogues).
  • Visit regulations for hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes (one visit per day, no children under the age of 16, no visitors with respiratory infections).
  • A general entry ban in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, kindergartens, schools and universities for people who have stayed in risk areas abroad or particularly affected regions in Germany, as designated by the Robert Koch Institute.
  • Requirements for cafeterias, restaurants and hotels to minimise the risk of the spread of coronavirus, for instance by regulating the distance between tables and the number of visitors.
  • Restrictions on the opening hours of restaurants and cafeterias: open no earlier than 6 am and closed no later than 6 pm. 

“Vital” businesses like supermarkets to remain open

The closures do not, however, affect businesses like supermarkets, delivery services, beverage shops, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, post offices, hairdressers, dry cleaners and laundromats. 

On the contrary, in order to ensure the basic supply of food and other vital products, these stores will be allowed to remain open for longer than usual - until 10 pm on weekdays and - unusually for Germany - the Sunday sales bans will be lifted until further notice. All healthcare facilities like doctors surgeries and hospitals will also remain open. 

The full details of the new measures can be found on the official website of the federal government (in German)



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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Fustina Chi Orazu 08:42 | 18 March 2020

But how do I pay my rent, my landlord is threatening...."how can I stay indoors and pay rent?"This is every resident thought and that is why the infected seems to be on the rise. We dont enjoy going to work, we go there for a reason, tackle the reason and people will stay at home and take social distancing serious

Lori Bremer 20:36 | 21 March 2020

Is there any government financial aid for those over 60 with a heart condition that should not be going to work at this time of Covid19? (Non-essential job) industry.