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Doctors and nurses at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) in Kiel campaigning for residents to stay at home to protect themselves and others in April 2020. The university teaching of hospital is one of the centres of excellence in the ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic in Germany. Scientists say the best way to contain the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid unnecessary physical contact with other persons/Photo: UKSH

Corona Lockdown: These rules apply in Germany in November

The hairdresser stays open, restaurants have to close: strict restrictions in everyday life apply nationwide from Monday until the end of November as part of new wide-ranging measures to fight Covid-19 by significantly reducing person-to-person contacts in Germany. The corona containment measures at a glance.

Who can still meet now?
In principle, the Federal Government and the Länder have decided that only members of two “households”, i.e. from two flats, and a maximum of ten people in total may meet in public. Groups of people celebrating in flats are “unacceptable”. The rule applies to individual meetings as well. However, there are differences in how the regulations will be enforced in some states:

  • Hamburg and Berlin, for example, do not include children under twelve in the two-home rule for meetings.
  • Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria also want to apply this rule to meetings in private homes.
  • In Bremen, two households will be allowed to meet outdoors, but only up to five people who do not live together.
  • In Saxony, members of two households will be allowed to meet, or one household and five other people – even from different households.

Unnecessary travels

In principle, citizens should avoid “unnecessary” trips and visits as far as possible – it may be necessary however to help a mother or grandfather who has fallen down the stairs. This also applies to visits to hospitals, old people’s homes and nursing homes. Different regulations apply here. Social and youth welfare services and counselling centres also remain open to help with or prevent emergencies as far as possible.

Is it still possible to go on a journey?  Citizens should refrain from private trips, day trips and visits to relatives – even within Germany. Hotels and guesthouses are not allowed to offer accommodation to tourists. 

Is it still possible to eat, drink and celebrate outdoors?
No – restaurants, bars and pubs may no longer receive guests. However, clubs and discotheques have already been closed since March anyway and must remain closed. However, delivery services and take-away sales remain permitted. Canteens, on the other hand, remain open.

What about sport?
Professional sport – such as the Bundesliga – has to do without spectators again. Fitness studios, swimming and fun pools and other sports venues have to close. Most amateur sports are also being closed down. Individual sports such as jogging, walking or inline skating, alone or in pairs or with your own household, are still allowed. Once again there are exceptions: Berlin wants to allow children up to twelve years of age to train in the fresh air in fixed groups of up to ten people.

In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, children and young people are generally allowed to continue training. The decision on this is to be made at municipal level depending on the incidence of infection.

Theatres, operas, concert halls, cinemas, leisure parks, saunas, amusement arcades, casinos, betting shops, dance schools, brothels must close.

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Can you still go to the hairdresser or barber shop?
Yes, hairdressing and barbing salons may – under certain conditions – can remain open. However, massage parlours, tattoo studios and so on have to close. However, medically necessary treatments such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and logotherapy as well as medical foot care are allowed.

Again, there are some differences in some states. Saxony-Anhalt, for example, wants to keep cosmetics and tanning studios open, while Thuringia is keeping a similar approach – here too, it is worth taking a look at the details in your own state.

Religious gatherings
Churches can hold service, subject to the usual protective regulations.

Schools and kindergartens remain open?
Yes, schools and kindergartens remain open. So are social and youth welfare institutions.

Why is there a partial lockdown?
The number of corona infections is rising and more and more people are becoming seriously ill. Health authorities no longer able to keep track of contacts of infected people. Before the health system becomes overwehlmed and the situation gets out of control, there should be a “breakwater”: Four weeks of strict restrictions with the aim of reducing the number of personal contacts.

Vivian Asamoah

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