SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Coronavirus forces Germany friendly and Bundesliga games behind closed doors

The Euro2020 warm-up match between Germany and Italy in Nuremberg on March 31st will be played behind closed doors, the German Football Association (DFB) announced on Tuesday.

Coronavirus forces Germany friendly and Bundesliga games behind closed doors
The Bundesliga derby between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 this Saturday will take place without spectators. Photo: DPA

The measure followed a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people issued by the Bavarian government on Tuesday in response to the spread of coronavirus.

The game is one of several high-profile fixtures in Germany to be played without fans in the coming weeks, including Saturday's Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, and Bayern Munich's Champions League clash with Chelsea next week.

Wednesday's Rhine derby between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Cologne will be the first game in Bundesliga history to be played without fans.

READ ALSO: What's the latest on coronavirus in Germany and what do I need to know?

Bundesliga fixtures had been going ahead as usual, even as the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus continued to rise in Germany, passing 1,000 on Monday.

Yet on Sunday, the country's Health Minister Jens Spahn requested that all events with more than 1,000 people be cancelled “until further notice”.

The decision to close stadium doors will ultimately be made on a case-by-case basis by regional authorities.

The state of North-Rhine Westphalia, where both the Rhine and Ruhr derbies take place, has been Germany's worst hit region, with nearly half of all coronavirus cases.

Authorities have also moved to prevent events exceeding 1,000 people in other states, such as Bremen and Bavaria.

On Wednesday it was announced that the Bundesliga match between Union Berlin and Bayern Munich on Saturday will be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus scare.

“The match will be played without spectators,” the city deputy health chief Dilek Kalayci told Spreeradio station despite Union Berlin's statement Tuesday saying the match would be open to an expected 22,000 fans.

German Football League (DFL) chief Christian Seifert warned Sunday that “the season must end by mid-May” in order to ensure clarity over promotion, relegation and qualification for international competition.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: The everyday precautions to take if you're in Germany

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

HEALTH

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point. 

SHOW COMMENTS