Slowly but surely, Berliners are getting vaccinated against coronavirus - keep yourself safe as the rollout continues with our handy rules guide.
Photo: imago images/Jürgen Held

BerlinUpdated 10am, 21 January 2021

Every day at Berliner Zeitung English Edition we sift through the official corona regulations for the state of Berlin. 

As of 16 December 2020, Germany is in a "hard" lockdown after a second spike of corona cases and deaths. On 19 January 2021 this was extended until at least 14 February, as well as extra restrictions relating to masks, Kitas and commercial events.

Bars and restaurants

  • Restaurants, bars and pubs are limited to food take-out and delivery.
  • If you buy take-away food, don't stand around to eat it - avoid the buildup of crowds by moving elsewhere.

Socialising

  • Members of the same household are restricted to meeting just one person from outside the household in public and private. This now includes children aged 14 and under, with the exception of children aged 12 and under with single parents.
  • Drinking alcohol outdoors is also banned during lockdown, as is selling it between 11pm and 6am. Anyone found in breach will face a fine.
  • From Sunday 24 January, commercial events will be capped at 20 attendees indoors (previously 50) and 50 people outdoors (previously 100).
  • Masks have to be worn at open-air events attended by 20 people or more.
  • Funerals are limited to 50 people outside and 20 inside.

Culture and nightlife

  • All entertainment and culture venues, from theatres to amusement parks, from cinemas to museums must remain closed. However, the outdoor areas of Berlin's two zoos are open.

Travel 

  • Local travel: areas with a weekly incidence rate above 200 per 100,000 people can restrict residents' movements to within 15km of their home. Exceptions can be made for valid reasons like medical appointments or work.
  • Travel within Germany: Tourists are forbidden from staying in any type of accomodation. Hotels can only cater to business travellers. Unnecessary trips and overnight stays are strongly advised against.
  • Visiting family in Germany: Berlin residents visiting family members in other parts of Germany are exempt from the German domestic travel rules. However, people are strongly discouraged from travelling within Germany for any reason. 
  • Travellers arriving from abroad: Anyone arriving in Berlin from a location on the Robert Koch Institute’s list of current risk areas must self-quarantine for 10 days after entry - and register their arrival online (website available in English). Excluded from the quarantine requirement are people with both a medical certificate (doctor's note) and a negative test result.
  • You can also get out of quarantine early by taking a corona test on the fifth day after arriving in Berlin at the earliest and producing a negative result. You can book one with your GP here.
  • Due to the emergence of a more infectious strain of coronavirus, travellers enterring Germany from the UK can only do so if they are German citizens, resident in Germany or in another EU/EEA country. A negative corona test result must be obtained in the 48 hours before entry. Read the latest full info via the British Embassy in Berlin.

Workplace 

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory in office and administrative buildings if you're not at your desk.

Hospitals

  • Patients can only be visited by one person for an hour per day.
  • Seriously ill as well as palliative patients are exempt from this rule.
  • Expectant mothers can select one person to attend the birth.
  • New mothers also have to pick a single person for a one-hour daily visit, though that person can bring the baby's under-16 siblings. 
  • Visitors to care homes must be able to demonstrate a negative test result, or be tested on arrival at the home.

Education

  • Kitas and schools remain closed, apart from those staying open to provide "emergency care" for kids (Kitas and primary schools only) - parents are asked to keep their children at home as much as possible. Lessons are once again taking place digitally.
  • Pupils in grades 1-9 will be learning from home until at least 25 January.
  • Pupils in graduating classes (grades 10, 12 and 13) may be required to attend lessons in halved class sizes.
  • Emergency care in Kitas is limited to 50 per cent of normal capacity. Children can attend if at least one parent works in a "system-relevant" profession, and children of single parents or from socially deprived families are also included.
  • As a result of school closures, parents are now entitled to double their normal number of child sick days per year. Each parent from a multiple-parent household can now take 20 days off rather than 10, while single parents get 40 instead of 20.
  • For anyone still going into school, masks have to be worn in corridors, stairways, bathrooms and during extra-curricular activities.
  • Classrooms should be aired out at least once for several minutes during every lesson.
  • University teaching is practically completely virtual under the current lockdown (notable exceptions include practical scientific and artistic teaching and induction of new students). Exams can be held digitally.

Other rules

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory in "closed spaces that are accessible to the public" - that includes public transport, taxis, and medical practices including hospitals and nursing homes, as well as at demonstrations with more than 100 participants.
  • From Sunday 24 January, medical masks such as surgical or FFP2 masks must be worn on public transport and in shops
  • Masks must also be worn in shopping malls, at outdoor markets and on the following shopping streets and areas. Mitte: Alexanderplatz, Alte Schönhauser Straße, Bebelplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt, Hardenbergplatz, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße (from Pariser Platz to Turmstraße at Alexanderplatz), Leipziger Platz, Lustgarten, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Pariser Platz, Potsdamer Platz, Rathausstraße, Rosenthaler Platz, Unter den Linden, Washingtonplatz/Europaplatz (Hauptbahnhof); Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg: Bergmannstraße, Boxhagener Platz, Kottbusser Tor, Lausitzer Platz Neukölln: Hermannplatz, Hermannstraße, Karl-Marx-Straße, Sonnenallee; Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf: Breitscheidplatz, Kurfürstendamm, Olympischer Platz, Tauentzienstraße, Wilmersdorfer Straße; Spandau: Altstadt-Spandau;  Steglitz-Zehlendorf: Schloßstraße; Tempelhof-Schöneberg: Wittenbergplatz; Treptow-Köpenick: Bölschestraße.
  • Keep social distancing of at least 1.5 metres from anyone outside your own household, and practice basic hygiene like hand washing.
  • Church services can only take place with minimum distancing of 1.5 metres. High protection masks (like FFP2) are mandatory, and singing is prohibited. Gatherings with more than ten participants must be reported to the public order office at least two working days in advance.
  • Paid sexual services are no longer allowed.

Get more Berlin news in English at Berliner Zeitung English Edition.