New "emergency brake" corona restrictions apply from Saturday in Germany

New "emergency brake" corona restrictions apply from Saturday in Germany

New "emergency brake" corona restrictions apply from Saturday in Germany

New coronavirus restrictions will apply in Germany from this Saturday, as the country’s “emergency brake” law comes into effect. 

New coronavirus restrictions coming to Germany this weekend

The controversial amendment to Germany’s Infection Protection Act, which gives Angela Merkel’s government the power to impose tougher measures against COVID-19 nationwide, will go into effect on Friday, having cleared the Bundestag on Wednesday and the Bundesrat on Thursday

By far the majority of the population will therefore have to prepare for tougher coronavirus restrictions from this weekend. The Interior Ministry has confirmed that, in all districts and cities in Germany with a seven-day incidence rate of more than 100 over the past three days, the federal “emergency brake” coronavirus measures will take effect automatically on Saturday. 

According to ministry spokesperson Steve Alter, state law dictates that the responsible authorities in the affected districts and cities must announce that the emergency brake will be implemented on Saturday before the end of the day on Friday. 

What are the new rules and which regions are affected?

Data from the Robert Koch Institute’s coronavirus dashboard shows that around 351 districts and cities in Germany currently have a seven-day incidence rate above 100 - and will therefore be obliged to impose tougher restrictions, including: 

  • 10pm - 5am curfew: With exceptions for emergencies, people going to work or to care for someone, and for walking and jogging alone outside until midnight 
  • Tougher contact restrictions: Each household may only meet up with one other person, not including children under the age of 14
  • Non-essential shops closed: Customers may shop by appointment and with a negative COVID-19 test; if incidence rate rises above 150, shops may only offer Click & Collect
  • Cultural and leisure facilities closed: Exceptions for outdoor areas in zoos and botanical gardens
  • Schools must offer alternating distance and classroom learning: Above incidence of 165, face-to-face teaching must be suspended
  • Working from home: Employers must allow people to work from home

Note that the above is only intended as a general guide. Make sure you check with your local government for any regional variations. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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