03.09.2020 – Regulations update

Local News in English. Every Weekday.

Corona regulations

Contact restrictions and compulsory masks

The contact restrictions were removed on June 27th. As before, any number of individuals living in different households may meet. That said, according to the Senate, the previous obligation to reduce contacts to “an absolute minimum” will now become a recommendation and the distance rule of 1.5 meters continues to apply. Physical social contacts as well as social groupings should also be avoided or further reduced to an absolute minimum. According to the Senate, the minimum distance can be reduced “if necessary” in public transport, sports, body care services and daycare centers.

Wearing a mask is mandatory in stores, schools (except during lessons), museums, cinemas and theaters, public transportation, train stations and airports, commercial enterprises, restaurants (if you are not at your table), doctors’ offices, hospitals and nursing homes, cabs and when making private trips with people from another household, indoor sports facilities (but not during sports activities).

Anyone who violates this rule risks a fine of between 50 and 500 euros.

As of September 5th, the obligation to wear masks will also apply to demonstrations with more than 100 participants. However, it can also be ordered for fewer participants if during the event there is shouting, chanting or singing, violating the infection protection ordinance.

Culture and public celebrations

Public events may take place. The permitted number of persons will be increased by the Senate in phases. From September 1st, events with a maximum of 750 persons are permitted. From October 1st, indoor events with no more than 1,000 persons will be permitted again. Open air events with up to 1,000 persons are permitted.

These upper limits apply only if compliance with distance and hygiene rules can be guaranteed. In addition, all indoor spaces must be well ventilated. For all cultural events, guests must leave their contact details for possible tracing of chains of infection, and operators are obliged to destroy this data after four weeks.

Museums, galleries and similar educational institutions may reopen to the public if hygiene standards are observed. Cinemas, trade fairs and special markets as well as theaters and concert halls that are not predominantly publicly funded may also receive visitors again. Visitors must wear a mask in the mentioned facilities if they are not sitting in their seat.

Clubs and discotheques however are not yet allowed to resume their regular services, and the organization of dance parties is still prohibited. Large events with more than 5,000 people are prohibited until at least the end of the year. The Senate has extended the ban due to the renewed sharp rise in the number of infections.

Private celebrations

Private events may take place. The permitted number of persons will be increased by the Senate in phases. From September 1st, events with a maximum of 750 persons are permitted. From October 1st indoor events with no more than 1,000 persons will be permitted again. Open air events with up to 1,000 persons are permitted.

These upper limits apply only if compliance with distance and hygiene rules can be guaranteed. In addition, all interior rooms must be well ventilated.

For private celebrations, From September 5th onwards, a hygiene concept must be drawn up if more than 50 people are attending. This applies to both indoor and outdoor events. The hosts must also ensure that contacts can be traced if one of the guests should test positive for Covid-19.

The regulations for restaurants are now being extended explicitly to include not just public spaces in restaurants, but also in rooms rented for private parties. This includes, for example, the obligation of a mask for personnel with guest contact and for guests, if they are not seated at their designated table.

Retail trade

All stores are allowed to open regardless of the size of the sales area. Since June 27th, a maximum of one person per ten square meters has been permitted and customers must cover their mouth and nose when shopping. Exceptions to this rule are children under the age of six and people who cannot wear a mask due to physical disabilities.

When stores are open, no incentives such as seating is permitted to keep customers in the store longer than necessary. This also applies to shopping centers and malls.

Services and hospitality

Restaurants and snack bars are open again. Since June 2nd, pubs and shisha bars have been permitted to serve food again and buffets are allowed, but guests and wait staff must observe rules of distance and hygiene. The consumption of food and drinks must take place at tables or sitting at a bar or counter. When guests leave their table, they must always wear a mask inside, for example when going to the toilet.

Groups of up to six people may sit at a table together at limited distances. Outside, the minimum distance may be less, provided that protection against droplet infections and aerosols is ensured. Guests in the interior (and from September 5th, also the exterior) of restaurants must provide their contact details so that health authorities can trace possible chains of infection, and after four weeks, the data must be destroyed. In addition, per the Corona Ordinance, which comes into force on September 5th, guests are required to provide complete and truthful information. Otherwise, a fine of between 50 and 500 euros can be issued. Restaurateurs are also permitted to deny access to guests.

Canteens in businesses may also open, provided that hygiene measures are observed.

Hairdressing establishments will remain open. In addition, medically necessary treatments can be carried out, for example in medical practices. Cosmetic, sun and tattoo studios as well as massage practices also can remain open.

Driving schools may open, but driving instructors must wear a mask.

Clubs and discos, steam saunas and baths must remain closed.

Schools and universities

Schools have been in regular operation since the end of the summer vacations. Masks are not required in classrooms or after-school care, but are required in the corridors and rooms outside class. Employees of all Berlin schools who are free of symptoms can be tested free of charge, for example at the Charité test center on the Virchow Clinic campus, at the three test centers of the Vivantes Clinics in Prenzlauer Berg, Tempelhof-Schöneberg and Spandau, and at the Havelhöhe Community Hospital. School trips may take place.

For pupils who belong to a risk group or who live with a person from a risk group, school-guided learning is possible at home, provided appropriate medical evidence is presented.

At Berlin’s universities, libraries are allowed to open for lending. For the coming winter semester, a mixture of digital and classroom teaching is planned, as far as the infection situation permits. Until the end of the summer semester on September 30th, most courses will be held digitally.

Kitas

Since June 22nd, parents again have a full care entitlement for their children. The specific arrangements must be made in close coordination between the providers and parents and in consideration of the local conditions. New children can also be accommodated.

Public transport and car trips

In all public transport, masks are mandatory, and if possible a minimum distance of 1.5 meters should be kept. This also applies to ferries, airports, cabs, stations and trains. Anyone who travels on buses and trains without a mask must expect to be fined between 50 and 500 euros. Anyone who travels in a car with friends, acquaintances or other persons must also wear a mask if the driver lives in a different household.

Contact with BVG bus drivers is prohibited, the front door area is locked and tickets cannot be purchased on buses.

Sports

Sports are permitted and sports clubs may train outdoors and in gyms and minimum distancing applies. Contact sports are also permitted in some cases, such as for the Bundesliga, and professional athletes and for training in group and team sports, provided that this takes place in fixed groups of no more than 30 persons. For those in dancing couples, martial artists and those who participate in water sports contact is possible again – the Senate Administration provides information about the exact regulations for the respective sports on its website at berlin.de.

Since August 21st, competition is once again permitted for all sports as long as the rules of hygiene and distance are observed.

Fitness studios, beaches, outdoor and indoor swimming pools are also open, although guests must usually book their tickets online beforehand, tickets are limited, and distance rules apply to sunbathing areas and in the pools.

In closed rooms, visitors must wear a mouth and nose protector outside of sporting activities. Singing and chanting in fan stands is not permitted.

Church services

Since August 1st, 500 people are allowed in one room or hall if the distance rules are observed. A prerequisite is sufficient ventilation. From September 1st, events with a maximum of 750 people are permitted. From October 1st indoor events with no more than 1,000 people will be permitted.

Physical contact and the passing around of objects is prohibited as well as singing together in closed rooms. Open-air events with more than 5,000 people are prohibited until at least the end of the year.

Hospitals and nursing homes

Visiting people in hospitals and nursing homes is allowed, but masks must be worn indoors. Depending on the individual circumstances, the facilities must create an individual protection and hygiene concept and ensure an adapted disinfection and cleaning regime. Visitors must be informed about the applicable hygiene rules via clearly visible notices.

Hospitals are allowed to carry out elected admissions, operations and interventions as long as they keep space available for corona patients and a return to a crisis mode can be implemented at short notice at any time due the pandemic situation intensifying.

Travel

Berlin hotels, vacation apartments and other accommodations are limited in Berlin for tourist purposes. Dry saunas may open. Moreover, many German states have reopened hotels, restaurants and camping sites under certain conditions, but sometimes with a restriction on the number of guests. Hotel guests must leave contact and attendance data, which must be deleted after four weeks.

Spa and wellness areas must remain closed.

Demonstrations

Public gatherings are allowed both outside and in closed rooms and the number of participants allowed varies depending on the usable area of the meeting venue, hygiene guidelines must be observed and the minimum distance of 1.5 meters applies among participants who do not live together in the same household. Demo organizers must explain in advance how they intend to ensure compliance with these rules. If requested, this concept must be handed over to the authorities. As of September 5th, the obligation to wear masks will also apply to demonstrations with more than 100 participants. However, it can also be ordered for fewer participants if during the event there is shouting, chanting or singing, violating the infection protection ordinance.


To donate click here

Berlinbriefing.de