Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers

LATEST INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus - information and links in multiple languages

With our behaviour, everyone of us can contribute to protecting ourselves, the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions against the coronavirus. The government has taken measures to contain the spread of the virus, to avoid a breakdown of the healthcare system and to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. The federal government publishes information on the current state of affairs regarding the coronavirus on various channels and in various languages. Here’s an overview of the most important information.

Health and tips on conduct

Just like previously, the following applies: Keep contact with others to a minimum wherever possible and limit yourself to a constant group of people. Private gatherings are only allowed with 1 more person that is not from one’s own household (children up to the age of 14 are not counted). If the pandemic situation in the respective area allows it, the federal states can adopt deviating regulations.

What remains important: Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres to other people, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cover your mouth and nose and air rooms regularly. When using public transport and entering shops, you must wear a medical mask or so-called surgical masks or respirator masks in accordance with the FFP2 or a similar standard.

Regular coronavirus tests: 

Quick tests are an important element when it comes to achieving more normality and safe interactions. From April 2021, everyone in Germany should therefore have the opportunity to benefit from a quick test at least once a week. This will also be possible in schools and day-care centres. The details on this are regulated by the federal states.

Tips on health and on conduct can be found in several languages at the Federal Ministry of Health.

Use the federal government’s Corona Warning app like millions of other people in Germany. The more people participate, the more effectively the app can protect us.

Grafische Darstellung des Coronavirus mit dem Text "Was Sie jetzt über Corona wissen müssen" - Verhaltenstipps, Arbeitsrecht und Reisebestimmungen auf einen Blick" Flyer mit wichtigen Informationen in mehreren Sprachen © Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration

Back to normality - the Corona Warning app for Germany
(Source: Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration)

Advice for people who are not sick and are in quarantine following consultation with the health authority
(Source: Robert Koch Institute)

Self-isolation at home in case of confirmed infection with COVID-19: Flyer for patients and their relatives
(Source: Robert Koch Institute)

Tested positive for coronavirus - what now?
(Source: Commissioner for Integration of the Bavarian State Government)

The Top 10 tips for hygiene
(Source: Federal Centre for Health Education)

Coronavirus protective vaccine

By getting vaccinated with the coronavirus protective vaccine, you help protect yourself, your family and the most vulnerable members of our society. Germany started administering the vaccine on 27 December 2020. The vaccination ordinance determines who is vaccinated when:

  • initially, for example, people over the age of 80, residents and employees of care homes and facilities for the mentally handicapped, people working in medical facilities who have a very high risk of getting infected
  • subsequently, for example, people aged 70-80, people with trisomy 21, dementia, people with mental disabilities or very severe pre-existing conditions, organ transplant patients, people living in communal accommodation, certain contact persons. Employees in day-care centres and primary schools are also to be vaccinated quickly
  • subsequently, for example, people aged 60-70, people with severe pre-existing conditions, the police and fire brigade, people working in the retail sector

Anyone who resides in Germany, is ordinarily resident in Germany or works in certain care facilities in Germany but does not live in Germany has the right to get the vaccine.

Getting vaccinated is voluntary and the vaccine is administered free of charge in vaccination centres. The federal states and the councils/municipalities are setting up the vaccination centres and are allocating time slots. Anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated will be informed by them. All of those eligible to get vaccinated will be vaccinated twice within a few weeks. 

The vaccines have been checked thoroughly with regards to tolerability, safety and efficacy. Even after vaccination, the following applies: Keeping your distance and wearing a mask is mandatory!

Preferential vaccination access: Working and living conditions with a significantly increased risk of infection: If you work in sectors with special requirements, you can have preferential access to vaccination in Germany. These include, for example, the meat industry, parcel services and seasonal work. You can find detailed information on the requirements here.

Information on the vaccination ordinance
(Source: Federal Ministry of Health)

Information on vaccination
(Source: Robert Koch Institute)

Everyday life and public life

The federal states have adopted regulations aimed at restricting contacts in everyday and in public life. Additionally, from 24th April 2021, nationwide regulations apply to contain the coronavirus pandemic:

If, for three consecutive days, the number of new infections in one county or a city not associated with a county exceeds 100 per 100,000 residents in the last 7 days (incidence rate over 100), stricter rules apply automatically:

  • Private gatherings: 1 household may only meet with one more person (children up to the age of 14 are not counted).
  • Curfew: Leaving one’s home is not allowed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Exceptions: Going for a walk alone or exercising alone is allowed until 12 a.m or going out for an important reason (work, medical emergency).
  • Food shops and shops selling items for urgent daily needs remain open (pharmacies, opticians, drug stores, post offices, banks, bookshops and garden centres). Other shops may only be visited with an appointment and a negative test result and they must close if the incidence rate exceeds 150.
  • Schools and day-care centres: In case of face-to-face sessions, teachers and students must be tested twice a week. If the incidence rate exceeds 165, no face-to-face sessions (possible exception: graduating classes) and no regular care provision in day-care centres.
  • Hairdressers remain open, but negative test required.
  • Eateries remain closed, but pick-up and food delivery possible.
  • Culture and leisure facilities remain closed, e.g. cinemas theatres, museums.
  • Religious services in churches, mosques and synagogues continue to be allowed subject to the following rules: Keeping a distance of 1.5 metres, wearing a medical (surgical) is mandatory, no singing by the congregation.

This measures apply until the incidence rate is below 100 for five consecutive working days. Important to bear in mind: If the incidence rate is below 100, the rules and restrictions adopted by the federal state in which you reside apply.

New from May 2021: If you were fully vaccinated against coronavirus or recovered from a coronavirus disease no longer than six months ago, you are subject to fewer restrictions: You can meet with an unlimited number of people who are also vaccinated or recovered. During gatherings with non-vaccinated people, you are not counted. You do not have to observe a curfew and are treated the same way as people who were tested negative, for example when shopping, going to the hairdresser’s or entering Germany from abroad.

You also do not have to quarantine after entering Germany from abroad. Exception: There is still a mandatory quarantine of 14 days when arriving from an area with mutated virus strains.

A lab test (PCR, PoC-PCR) is accepted as proof for having recovered from coronavirus, provided that the test is at least 28 days old and not older than 6 months. The full vaccination must have been received not earlier than 14 days.

Frequently asked questions
(Source: Federal government)

General information on the coronavirus
(Source: Handbookgermany.de)

Work and money

Protection against dismissal also applies during the coronavirus pandemic. If your employer has mandated short-time work, you can receive a short-time allowance for up to 24 months. It can be up to 87% of your loss of earnings. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs provides information on labour law issues in several languages.

There is also support for companies, regardless of how big they are. There are loans, subsidies or tax concessions. All information on this is available from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

Students under acute financial strain can apply for a subsidy from their student services (Studierendenwerk). It amounts to up to 500 euros each month. Furthermore, there is the KfW student loan, which is also available to foreign students.

Information for workers

For many people, change the situation at work because of the corona pandamic: employers orders short-time work, order homeoffice or people have to look to their children which at home. All information are here:

Questions and answers relating to short-time work (Kurzarbeit) and skills development 
(Source: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs)

Information about corona and labour law 
(source: Fair mobility)

Multilingual information about Corvid-19 and mini-job
(source: BemA Sachsen-Anhalt)

Information for self-employed and companies

You are self-employed and need support to survive the economic bottlenecks caused by the corona pandemic: Here you can find information on measures such as short-time work benefits, liquidity support and tax deferral.

Advice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) & self-employed persons
(Source: Competence Centre on Migrant Entrepreneurship in the network “Integration through Qualification (IQ)”)

SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard
(source: Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs) 

Funding instruments of the Federal Government and the Federal States to overcome the corona crisis
(source: IQ Fachstelle - Migrantenökonomie)

Information on support available to companies and workers
(source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) 

KfW coronavirus aid: loans for companies
(Source: KfW group)

Travelling

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Video Informationen zum Reisen

Generally, travel that is not essential should be avoided. Individual states, even within the EU, may continue to restrict entry or prescribe quarantine upon entry. Before you travel, please familiarise yourself with the current entry restrictions and border controls with the Federal Foreign Office and with the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Anyone wishing to enter Germany from a region designated as a risk area must complete a digital entry registration form before entry. In addition, they must undergo a coronavirus test within 48 hours prior to entry or undergo a test immediately thereafter, self-quarantine (for 10 days;if the person then tests negative, the quarantine can be ended from the 5th day after entry. They may not receive guests and must report to the local health authority! Fines will be imposed for violating the obligation to quarantine. Find out where you can get tested after entry by calling 116 117. 

When entering Germany from a region designated as a high-risk area, a test must be conducted before entry and you must present evidence that the test was carried out. High-risk areas are areas with a particularly high number of cases (areas with a high incidence) and regions in which certain virus variants (areas with virus variants) have spread.

The list of countries designated as a risk and high-risk area is updated daily at the Robert Koch Institute.

Current Information on entry restrictions and quarantine regulations in Germany
(Source: Federal Foreign Office)

Protection against violence

An exceptional situation for the whole family - Tips for preventing violence in the family caused by coronavirus contact restrictions
(Source: The Federal Government’s Representative for Migrants, Refugees and Integration and Ethno-Medizinisches Zentrum e.V. (Ethno-Medical Centre)

Free support hotline (08000 116 016), consultation via chat and email  on domestic violence
(Source: Bundesamt für Familie und zivilgesellschaftliche Aufgaben - Federal Office for the family and duties related to the civil society)

Advice in case of physical and sexual abuse
(Source: The Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues (UBSKM))