This guide explains the Coronavirus situation in Berlin. The official information is not very clear, and the English translation is often outdated. This guide is updated every day.

Coronavirus restrictions in Berlin

The official resources are updated very slowly, sometimes over a week after the changes.

Coronavirus and the holidays

In Berlin, the coronavirus restrictions will not be relaxed for Christmas and the New Year (December 23 to January 1)1, 2. You can meet with up to 5 people from two households1. Children up to 12 years old are not counted1. This means there can be 5 people from 2 different household, plus their children.

If you visit family in a risk area, you must still quarantine when you return. If you have visitors from a risk area, they must still quarantine. Visitors can sleep in hotels, but they can't visit the city or go shopping1.

Fireworks will not be banned1, 2. Museums, theatres,

Travel restrictions in Berlin and Germany

Non-essential travel is strongly discouraged. It's not a good time to visit Berlin. Restaurants and bars only offer take-out1, 2. Theatres, amusement parks and cinemas are closed1. There will be no Christmas markets1. Tourism is forbidden1, §7.

These resources have more information:

Coronavirus tests in Berlin

Getting tested for coronavirus is confusing and difficult1. It's hard to know if you should get tested, if you can get tested, and where to get tested1. The phone hotlines are very busy. There are long queues at the testing locations. The test results take days to arrive. I hope this section makes things a little easier.

Testing for travellers

  • If you travel from Berlin...
    Your destination could require a test.
  • If you travel to Berlin...
    • ...and you were NOT in a risk area in the last 10 days
      You do not have to get tested. You do not have to quarantine.
    • ...and you were in a risk area outside of Germany in the last 10 days
      You do not have to get tested, but you must self-quarantine. You can only get tested 5 days after you arrive§9a, 2. You must quarantine for 5 days before you get tested1.
    • ...and you were in a risk area inside Germany, in the last 10 days
      You do not have to get tested1, 2, 3. You do not have to quarantine. There are no special rules.
    • ...and you have a negative test that is less than 48 hours old
      You do not have to get tested again1, §9, 2. You do not have to quarantine. The test certificate must be in English, German or French1, §9a.
  • If you stay less than 24 hours in Germany...
    You do not need to get tested§9.

To get tested, you must go to a testing centre for travellers1:

  • Berlin-Brandenburg airport (BER)
    The testing centre is in Terminal 1, on level E01, 2. It's open every day from 7:00 to 19:001, 2. You must pay 59€ for the test1, 2. You will not get tested for free1, 2, 3. The test results arrive in 24 hours1.
  • Clinics that offer coronavirus tests (in German)
    See the "List of test locations" section below.
  • Schönefeld airport / SXF (CLOSED)
    This testing centre is closed since November 21. There is a testing centre in BER, Terminal 11.
  • Berlin Hauptbahnhof (CLOSED)
    This testing centre is closed since November 21, 2, 3.
  • Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Berlin / ZOB (CLOSED)
    This testing centre is closed since November 21.
  • Tegel airport / TXL (CLOSED)
    There are no tests at Tegel airport1. This airport is now closed.

Testing for Berliners

Official page: What to do if you suspect you have symptoms (the official page not always up-to-date)

  • If you have acute coronavirus symptoms1, or if you were in contact with an infected person, call your local Gesundheitsamt, or 116 1171, 2. They will decide if you need a test, and tell you where to go.
    • If they decide you need a test...
      You must self-quarantine until you get tested1. You health insurance pays for the test1.
    • If they decide you don't need a test...
      You can get tested by your family doctor (Hausarzt), your employer, or a medical clinic. See the "List of test locations" section below.
  • If you do not have symptoms...
    It's hard to get tested, even if you were in contact with an infected person1, 2. You might need to go to a clinic, and pay for the test. See the "List of test locations" section below.
  • If you work in a school, a healthcare facility or a Kita...
    You can get tested at a Vivantes clinic, even if you don't have symptoms1, 2. You need an appointment first.

If you need a sick note (Krankschreibung) for your employer, just call your doctor. Your doctor can give you a sick note over the phone1. Always call before going in person.

List of test locations

How much does a test cost?

  • If you have coronavirus symptoms, the test is free. Your health insurance pays for it.
  • If you travel from a risk area, you must pay for your test. The test at BER costs 59€1. At the doctor, it costs 140€ to 180€1.
  • If your family doctor prescribes a test, your health insurance pays for it1.
  • If you do not travel from a risk area, and you do not have coronavirus symptoms, you must pay for your test1. The coronavirus test costs 59€1 at the official testing centres. At the doctor, it costs 140€ to 180€1.

When will I get test results?

You will get results in 3 to 5 days1, 2, 3, 4, 5. You can see your test results on the MDI website (click COVID-19 Testergebnisse MDI-Limbach), or in the Corona-Warn-App. The app does not always shows the results quickly; the website is faster.

If you got tested at BER, you will get results in less than 24 hours. your results will appear on the Centogene website. You will also get the results by email1.

  • If your test is positive...
    You must stay in self-quarantine for 10 more days§8.
  • If your test is negative...
    You might be able to leave quarantine. The quarantine rules are different in each borough (Bezirk). You must contact your local Gesundheitsamt to know if you can leave quarantine.

Quarantine requirements in Berlin

The quarantine rules are different for each borough (Bezirk), and the rules change every few days. You must look at the quarantine requirements for your borough. If you do not understand the rules, call the coronavirus hotline or contact your local Gesundheitsamt.

  • If you travel to Berlin...
    • ...and were NOT in a risk area in the last 10 days
      You do not need to quarantine, unless you have coronavirus symptoms.
    • ...and you were in a risk area outside of Germany in the last 10 days
      You must go directly to your accommodation, and self-quarantine for 10 days§8. If you have a negative test result, you can leave quarantine 5 days after you arrived§9a. In other words, even with a negative test, you must quarantine for 5 days1. It does not matter if you arrive by plane, train, bus or car; the rules are the same1. Before your flight, you must also register with the Gesundheitsamt on this website.
    • ...and you were in a risk area inside Germany, in the last 10 days
      You do not need to quarantine1, 2, 3. There are no special rules.
    • ...and you have a negative test that is less than 48 hours old
      You do not need to quarantine1, §9.5, 2. The test certificate must be in English, German or French1, §9a.
  • If you stay less than 24 hours in Germany...
    You do not need to quarantine§9, 1, 2.
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms...
    You must self-quarantine for 10 days§8.

If you must quarantine, you must do it yourself, at home. No one will verify that you quarantine correctly.

    Contact tracing app for Germany

    Germany has a contact tracing app. It's called Corona-Warn-App. It shows you if you have been in contact with infected people. It's very easy to use.

    If you can't install the app, change your app store country to Germany (Android instructions, iOS instructions).

    Corona hotlines for Berlin

    If you have coronavirus symptoms, or questions about getting tested, call one of the coronavirus hotlines.

    • Coronavirus hotline for all of Berlin
      Every day from 8:00 to 20:00
      030 / 9028 2828

      The hotline is open from 8:00 to 20:00. The phone number is +49 30 9028 2828. The phone menu is in German, but they speak English1. The line is very busy1, 2, 3, 4. You might need to call dozens of times. They can only give you information. They can't give you a test appointment.
    • Medical call service (ärztliche Bereitschaftsdienst)
      116 117
      , or +49 116 117
      They can answer your questions, and help you get tested1. The line is very busy1. They also have a coronavirus test appointment service on their website. The phone menu is in German. Press "1" for Coronavirus information, then wait until the phone rings.
    • Emergency services
      If you have serious symptoms, and you need medical help, call the emergency number: 112.

    You can also call your local Gesundheitsamt:

    Change history

    These are the recent changes to the regulation, and to this guide.

    • November 27
      • Berlin: The relaxed restrictions (for Christmas and the New Year's Eve) will not apply in Berlin1.
      • This page: Updated the "Coronavirus and the holidays" section.
    • November 26
      • Germany: The current restrictions ("partial lockdown") are extended until January1, 2, 3. After December 1, there will be stronger contact restrictions. You can meet maximum 5 people from 2 households (not counting children under 15 years old). You must also wear a mask near businesses, and in the parking lot. Stores can allow one customer per 20 square metres, instead of one customer per 10 square metres. In Berlin, the customer limits are a bit more complicated1.
      • Germany: During the holidays (between December 23 and January 1), the restrictions will be relaxed, but not in Berlin1. You can meet maximum 10 people, only close friends and family. Children under 15 years old are not counted. Fireworks are banned in public areas.
      • Germany: Financial help for freelancers and businesses will be extended1.
      • This page: Added a "Coronavirus and the holidays" section
    • November 24
      • Added a new, cheap testing location
      • Added KCRW's summary of coronavirus rules
    • November 16
      • Added clarifications to quarantine requirements, and leaving quarantine early.
    • November 11
      • Added clarifications to quarantine and testing requirements.
    • November 9
    • November 7
      • You should only get tested if you have acute coronavirus symptoms
    • November 4
      • Quarantine requirement reduced from 14 days to 10 days