Coronavirus in Berlin: the current situation, how to prepare and more

A complete guide about COVID-19 in Berlin. Updated every day. Information about symptoms, testing centres, what to do if you are infected, how to get sick leave and more.

This guide gives clear instructions on how to protect yourself from the Coronavirus (also called COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) in Berlin.

This page is updated frequently. Refresh the page to see the latest changes.

Latest Coronavirus updates for Berlin

  • April 2, 2020
    Supermarkets ask their customers to wear face masks if they can1. Berlin announces fines for Coronavirus offences: 500€ for leaving your apartment without a reason. The fines are effective from April 3. You do not need to carry your ID or Meldebestätigung when you leave your home1.
  • April 1, 2020
    We have confirmed that it's not possible to do your Anmeldung by email or by post. More information here.
  • March 30, 2020
    Berlin wants to introduce a 50€ to 500€ fine for leaving your house without a reason1, 2. This will be decided Thursday. The city raised its relief fund for freelancers and small businesses to 1 billion euros.
  • March 27, 2020
    Many people are outside because of the nice weather. Walking or doing exercise is allowed. Picnicking and sitting in parks is not allowed1. The Berlin police is telling people to stay home1. They will patrol the parks this weekend.
  • March 23, 2020
    You can only leave your house if you have a good reason1, 2, 3. You can leave your house to go to work, to go shopping, to walk your dog, to get exercise, to care for other people, etc. You must bring your ID and your Meldebestätigung when you go out. More information below.
  • March 22, 2020
    Germany bans gatherings of more than two people, unless they live in the same house1, 2. Restaurants can only offer delivery and takeout, no table service1, 2. Hair salons and cosmetic studios must close1.

What is the Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus (also called COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2) is an infectious disease that appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since December, the disease has spread to other continents, including Europe.

What are the Coronavirus symptoms?

The most common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients have aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea1, 2.

Symptoms take up to 14 days to appear. The symptoms are usually mild, and gradually become worse. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. They are still contagious.

How do you catch the Coronavirus?

People can catch the virus from other infected people. The virus spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The water droplets that come from their nose and mouth go in the air, and infect other people1, 2.

Who is at risk of catching the virus?

Everyone can catch the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus symptoms are usually mild. Children and young adults are less at risk. Older people and pregnant women are more at risk. If you already have high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, you are more likely to be really sick.

80% of infected people recover without needing special treatment1. 20% need hospital care1. Around 15% of infected people become seriously ill and develop difficulty breathing1.

Is there a Coronavirus vaccine?

No. There is no vaccine against the Coronavirus at the moment1.

The Coronavirus situation in Berlin

As of April 3, there are 3223 confirmed Corona virus cases in Berlin, and 84794 in Germany1. There are 20 Coronavirus deaths in Berlin, and 1107 Coronavirus deaths in Germany. This Coronavirus map shows the number of reported cases in Berlin, Germany and the world.

Berlin opened a Coronavirus prevention hotline and 6 examination centres. The prevention hotline is difficult to reach.

Here is what changed in Berlin:

  • There is are restrictions for leaving your house. You can't leave your house without a reason. You can get a 500€ fine if you leave your house without a reason. These are reasons to leave your house1:
    • exercising professional, mandate-related or volunteer activities, including if these take place at varying locations
    • using medical or veterinary services (visiting a doctor, getting medical treatment, donating blood), and visits to psychotherapists and physiotherapists
    • necessary shopping
    • visiting spouses or life partners, and exercising custody rights or rights of access
    • visiting elderly or ill persons or persons with disabilities
    • accompanying minors and people who need assistance
    • accompanying the dying, and attending the funerals in the immediate family or circle of friends
    • leaving and re-entering Berlin, on a direct route to or from your home
    • sport and exercise outdoors, alone, with members of the same household or with one other person
    • caring for animals, or for horticultural and agricultural areas
    • participating in examinations
    • attending urgently needed appointments with authorities, courts, legal application offices, bailiffs, solicitors and notaries,
    • complying with official, public prosecutor’s or police summons,
    • individual quiet contemplation in churches, mosques, synagogues and houses of other faith and world-view communities.
  • Gemany's borders with Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria are closed1, 2. Commuters and trucks transporting goods can still cross the border. Poland and the Czech Republic have also has closed their borders1.
  • The European Union's borders are closed. EU citizens and EU residents can still enter the EU1, 2. Healthcare workers can still enter the EU1. Citizens of Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can still enter the EU. German airports are turning some people back1.
  • Gatherings of more than 2 people are forbidden1. There is an exception for people who live together.
  • Most businesses are closed1, 2. Only grocery stores, Spätis, pharmacies, drugstores, healthcare facilities, petrol stations, banks, post offices, wholesalers, weekly markets, dry cleaners, hardware stores and pet supply stores can stay open. Service providers and craftspeople can continue to work1.
  • All schools, universities, kindergartens, bars, night clubs, casinos, brothels, cinemas, museums, operas, theatres, concert halls, public libraries, gyms, swimming pools, sports facilities, zoos, aquariums, hair salons and cosmetic studios are closed. Parks and playgrounds are closed many neighbourhoods.
  • Restaurants and cafés can only offer delivery and takeout. Table service is not allowed1, 2.
  • Religious service in churches, mosques, synagogues is cancelled1.
  • Hospitals visits are limited. Only very sick patients and patients under 16 years old can have visitors1. Only one visitor per patient, for maximum 1 hour per day1.
  • The Agentur für Arbeit and the Job Center want to reduce visits1. Only go if you have an emergency. If you have an appointment, do not cancel it; just don't go. You can register as unemployed by phone. Use online services for everything else.
  • The Ausländerbehörde does not allow visits without an appointment1. Residence permits are extended automatically until appointments are available again.
  • Some Bürgeramt locations are closed. Others only allow urgent appointments. It is not possible to do your Anmeldung, unless it's urgent1. More information here.
  • The Kfz-Zulassungsstelle and the Führerscheinbüro are closed1. All appointments are cancelled. Business customers can still register vehicles.
  • Hotels can only accommodate business stays and emergency stays1.
  • Some companies asked their employees to work from home, and to avoid unnecessary business trips. Some co-working spaces have closed.
  • Banks can stay open, but many branches are closed.
  • U-Bahn trains only come every 10 minutes1. BVG busses and trams only come every 20 minutes. The U55, and tram lines 16, 18, 37 and 67 are closed1. BVG busses not open their front door, to prevent the drivers from getting infected1. There are no major changes to the S-Bahn. Travel by coach is forbidden1.

What to do if you have the Coronavirus

If you feel some of the Coronavirus symptoms, use this questionnaire to know what to do.

If you have severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, get medical attention now1. Call an ambulance or call the emergency room. Do not visit the emergency room without calling1.

Where to get Coronavirus help in Germany?

If you live in Berlin, contact the Coronavirus prevention hotline for your neighbourhood. This phone line is available from 8:00 to 20:00. If the hotline is busy, try calling your local Gesundheitsamt. If you are infected, stay at home. Do not use public transport. There is a free taxi service for potentially infected people. You can get a taxi by calling 116 117.1, 2

If you live elsewhere in Germany, contact your local Gesundheitsamt.

If you think you are infected, wear a face mask to avoid infecting other people.

How to get tested for the Coronavirus in Berlin

There are 6 Coronavirus examination centres in Berlin. The centres are open to residents and to tourists. Before you go to the examination centre, call the Coronavirus prevention hotline.

The Coronavirus hotline is very busy. It can take dozens of tries to reach it1, 2, 3. You can also call your local Gesundheitsamt.

The Coronavirus test is completely free. You will only get tested if there is a good reason. If you meet any of those conditions, you can get tested:

  • You have Coronavirus symptoms
  • or you were in a risk area in the last 14 days
  • or you were in contact with a confirmed Coronavirus case

Sick leave and health insurance

For employees

German employees get sick leave. You still get paid when you are on sick leave. For the first 6 weeks, the employer continues paying your salary. After 6 weeks, the health insurer gives you Krankengeld. The health insurer's Krankengeld is lower than your regular salary.

Your employer can ask you to get a sick note (Krankschreibung). If you have mild Coronavirus symptoms, you don't need to visit the doctor. You can get a sick note by phone1. The doctor can give you up to 7 days of sick leave without a visit. This is an exceptional measure for the Coronavirus.

For freelancers

Freelancers do not get sick leave. They do not get sickness pay in the first 6 weeks. By default, they do not get sickness pay (Krankengeld) from their health insurance after 6 weeks. You can ask health insurance to add Krankengeld to your coverage. This costs an extra 15 to 30€ per month.

Berlin and Brandenburg will help freelancers and small businesses. Berlin and Brandenburg will offer 1 billion euros in emergency help. Germany will offer 50 billion euros1.

Related links:

Comments

  • MnemonicII

    "Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. They are still contagious."
    This is not confirmed by the WHO:

    "Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

    The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings."
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

  • Neutral

    116 117 is NOT the number of a Taxi service Hotline.

    It's the number for the dispatch and central information hotline for non hospital health care providers (Hausarzt, Kassenärztliche Versorgung)

  • Michael Knip

    Where did the information about "pregnant women are more at risk" come from?