Coronavirus regulations : Berlin's corona rules at a glance
We decipher the guidance so you don’t have to – bookmark this page and keep checking back for the up-to-date lowdown on all the rules you need to follow in Berlin to keep yourself and others safe.
BerlinUpdated 10.30am, 21 October 2020
Bars and restaurants
- Restaurants, bars and Spätis must close between 11pm and 6am. The rule is valid until 31 October but could be prolonged.
- Eleven bars challenged the rule in court and won. Those bars can stay open later, but cannot serve alcohol. The city says other establishments must stick to the "bar curfew", despite the judgement.
- If you don't accurately provide your name and contact details when visiting a restaurant or bar, you could be fined €50. Managers must destroy your data four weeks after your visit.
- A maximium of five people can meet as a group in public between 11pm and 6am - or the members of two households.
- As of 20 October, the members of a household plus five other people can meet for private indoor gatherings. The upper limit for private outdoor events is 25.
Culture and nightlife
- In cinemas guests must wear face masks while not in their seats.
- Museum and gallery visitors must cover their nose and mouth for their entire stay.
- All cultural institutions are required to record visitors' contact information and keep it for four weeks.
- Discos and night clubs must remain closed, and restaurants may not hold dance events.
- 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 14 days after entry - and inform the local Gesundheitsamt of their arrival. Excluded from the quarantine requirement are people with both a medical certificate (doctor's note) and a negative test result. The test must be performed within 48 hours of departure or 72 hours within arriving in Germany – though you'll have to remain in quarantine until you have a negative result. We must add here that Berlin has been notoriously incompetent about enforcing these rules and is relying on people to do the right thing.
- Travel within Germany: Berlin is now also considered a "risk area". Therefore, special corona rules apply to Berlin residents who want to stay the night in hotels, pensions, hostels or similar accomodations in other parts of Germany. Virtually each of the 15 other states has separate rules. Some require hotel guests to show a negative corona test not older than 48 hours. A handful require people to quarantine for two weeks. Best look up the rules for individual states. The ADAC has a decent explanation of the rules of each Bundesland (in German). To add to the confusion, word on the street has it that some states are being very lax about enforcement, while others aren't.
- Visiting family in Germany: According to the information available to us, Berlin residents visiting immediate family members in other parts of Germany are exempt from the German domestic travel rules.
- Wearing a mask is compulsory in office and administrative buildings if you're not at your desk.
- 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.
- Keep social distancing of at least 1.5 metres from anyone outside your own household, and practice basic hygiene like hand washing.
- Wearing a mask is compulsory in shops, on public transport and in taxis, in schools (outside of lessons and other activities), in medical practices including hospitals and nursing homes, in museums, cinemas and theatres, and at demonstrations with more than 100 participants - pretty much anywhere where people gather for a longer period of time.
- Under a regulation passed on 20 October, masks must be worn in shopping malls, at outdoor markets and on the following shopping streets and areas: Tauentzienstraße, Kurfürstendamm, Schloßstraße, Wilmersdorfer Straße, Bergmannstraße, Karl-Marx-Straße, Bölschestraße, Alte Schönhauser Straße, Friedrichstraße and Altstadt Spandau.
- Paid sexual services have been permitted since 8 August, but client contact details must be recorded and kept for four weeks.
Get more Berlin news in English at Berliner Zeitung English Edition.