Explained: What are Germany’s new coronavirus rules where you live?

It can be hard to keep up with what the current coronavirus restrictions in place across Germany's states are. Here's a breakdown of the latest rules.

Explained: What are Germany's new coronavirus rules where you live?
A bar worker serving customers in Berlin with a face mask. Photo: DPA

States across Germany have been loosening their coronavirus restrictions since the lockdown and closure of public life in March and April.

What is the current coronavirus situation in Germany?

As of Thursday July 16th, the number of registered coronavirus infections in Germany since the start of the epidemic exceeded the 200,000 mark, reported the Robert Koch Institute.

READ ALSO: Germany reports over 200,000 coronavirus cases since start of pandemic

The government is also drawing up plans on how to ward off a possible second wave of coronavirus. However, there are still strict rules in place at the moment.

Across Germany, everyone has to wear a covering over their nose and mouth when travelling on public transport, or while in shops.

Hotels, holiday homes and camping sites are allowed to reopen in all federal states. Restaurants and cafes are allowed to open but with regulations such as a maximum number of guests and in some states, you have to give your contact details.

With the exception of Bavaria, bars have also reopened nationwide – again there are rules in place, such as distancing and mask requirements when away from tables.

Special rule for travellers from risk areas

On June 26th, the federal government and states agreed on a common approach to dealing with travellers from risk areas. According to the agreement, people coming from districts with a high incidence of infection may only be accommodated in a hotel if a medical certificate confirms that they do not have coronavirus. The test must not be more than two days old on arrival.

Thuringia is an exception – this state did not impose any ban on people entering the state or on staying in a hotel.

Here's an overview of state rules as of mid-July:


Contact restrictions: Since July 1st, 20 people from different households have been allowed to meet in public. For private gatherings there are no restrictions if everyone is related to each other.

Parties and events: Public meetings, congresses, trade fairs and smaller sporting events with up to 100 people are again possible – even with up to 250 people if there are fixed assigned seats and a programme. From August 1st, up to 500 people are allowed.

From September 1st, trade fairs with more than 500 people will also be allowed to open again. Large events such as public festivals, where hygiene measures cannot be enforced will remain prohibited until the end of October.

Demonstrations: Meetings are permitted – with conditions to ensure protection against infection.

Schools and daycare centres: All pupils can return to school and Kitas can open again.


Contact regulations: From Wednesday July 15th, groups of up to 10 people from different households were able to meet again in public spaces. In private indoor spaces and gardens, there is no longer a strict limit, but the number of people should be limited so that a minimum distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained between people not from your household.

READ ALSO: What's allowed (and what isn't) in Bavaria?

Festivals and events: Also from July 15th, cinemas and cultural events could accommodate more people: if there are allocated fixed seats up to 400 people outside can gather, and up to 200 people indoors. Major festivals are banned until at least October 31st as is the case throughout Germany.

Without assigned and marked seats, up to 200 people will be allowed outdoors and up to 100 people indoors. The same restrictions will apply to professional events such as conferences or congresses.

– Restrictions will also be eased for sports competitions in closed indoor spaces. If there are marked areas that allow for distance, 200 people will be allowed; otherwise the limit is 100 people. For the time being, however, spectators remain excluded.

Bars are still not open in Bavaria.

For more details on Bavaria, where rules are slightly stricter than the rest of the country, click here.

A teddy bear helps with social distancing at Beef n Beer restaurant in Hofheim, Hesse. Photo: DPA


Contact regulations: There are no more contact restrictions in the capital. However, distance and hygiene rules still apply.

Parties and events: The maximum number of people allowed at trade fairs, conferences and commercial indoor leisure activities will be gradually increased to 1,000 by October 1st; currently 300 are permitted. Outside, such events are currently allowed with up to 1,000 people and, from September 1st up to 5,000. These upper limits also apply to private/family events.

Demonstrations: There is no longer a limit on the number of participants in demonstrations.

Schools and daycare centres: Kitas are fully open. Schools are to return to normal operation after the end of the summer holidays in August.


Contact regulations: There are no more contact restrictions in the capital. However, distance and hygiene rules still apply.

Festivals and events: Public and private events may again take place with up to 1,000 people, including church services and concerts. However, distance and hygiene rules as well as regulated access outdoors and sufficient ventilation in rooms must apply. Plus the recording of personal data must be ensured for contact tracing. Large events with more than 1,000 people remain prohibited until the end of October.

Demonstrations: Outdoor demonstrations are possible with any number of people, but the minimum distance must be maintained and access must be controlled.

Schools and daycare centres: Kitas can reopen and schools should return to regular operation after the end of the summer holidays in August. In schools and Kitas, the general minimum distance will no longer apply, except between teachers. Hygiene rules such as washing hands must be observed.


Contact regulations: Any number of relatives from two households may meet in public spaces. Meetings of up to 10 people from different households are also permitted.

Parties and events: Events with up to 250 people indoors are permitted. In the open air, up to 400 people can come together for an event. Prerequisites for gatherings are a hygiene concept and keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between each other. The organisers must also record the names of the participants.

Demonstrations: Meetings must be announced and may be officially prohibited, restricted or subject to conditions to prevent infection.

Schools and daycare centres: Kitas and primary schools are open in the state of Bremen with limited regular operation. Attendance at other schools is severely restricted and is to be gradually expanded.


Contact regulations: In a private setting, up to 25 people can come together for celebrations, no matter how many households. Meetings in public are limited to 10 people from any number of households.

Celebrations and events: in Hamburg, events with up to 1,000 participants in the open air and 650 participants in closed rooms are again permitted under certain conditions.

Demonstrations: For larger gatherings there is no longer a limit on participants. Each individual case will be examined with regard to hygiene and distance rules.

Schools and daycare centres: All children can again attend Kitas and schools should return to normal operation after summer.


Contact regulations: In public spaces, up to 10 people can meet without having to keep the minimum distance, regardless of the number of households.

Parties and events: Events with up to 250 people no longer need to be approved if a hygiene and distance concept is in place. Spectators at sporting events are permitted again, provided a hygiene concept is in place and three square metres of space are available between each spectator.

Demonstrations: Protests are permitted under certain conditions.

Schools and day-care centres: Kitas are open with restricted operation. After the end of the school holidays in mid-August, normal attendance classes with compulsory school attendance is again planned at all schools.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Contact regulations: Any number of people can meet again. However, they are required to keep the required distances as far as possible and to wear face masks.

Parties and events: Larger events are possible again – a maximum of 200 people can meet indoors, 500 in outdoor events. In exceptions, up to 400 people may be allowed in rooms and up to 1,000 people in outdoor events. Beyond this number, there will initially be no permits.

For family celebrations, a maximum of 50 people are permitted, and 75 for weddings, youth consecrations or religious celebrations, as well as for weddings and funerals. Public festivals remain prohibited.

Demonstrations: Protests and outdoor events are permitted with up to 500 participants, in exceptional cases with special permission also with up to 1000.

Schools and daycare centres: Kitas are again open to all children. After the end of the summer holidays at the beginning of August, there will be reliable and daily regular lessons for all pupils. During the summer holidays, the day care centres are to offer regular holiday care of six hours per child per day.

Lower Saxony

Contact regulations: Groups of up to 10 people may meet. If they are relatives or members of two households, there may be more.

Parties and events: Fairs are closed to the public. For private celebrations, for example in a restaurant, the contact regulations apply with a maximum of ten people, unless they are exclusively relatives or members of two households.

For events in the cultural sector, for example, the upper limit of 500 visitors applies.

Demonstrations: protests in the open air can take place without special permission.

Schools and daycare centres: Kitas are open again to all children with restricted operation. All classes have lessons in schools again.

North Rhine-Westphalia

Contact regulations: Groups of up to 10 people can meet outdoors. If the people are from only two households, a higher number can meet.

Parties and events: Rules have been relaxed for weddings, baptisms and birthdays: For celebrations, 150 guests are allowed, considerably more than the previous 50. The rules are in place until at least August 11th.

Demonstrations: Demos are allowed in principle – provided that the rules of distance are observed and the maximum number of participants is calculated on the total area.

Schools and daycare centres: Children can return to Kitas, but with fewer hours per week than normal.


Contact regulations: Up to 10 people can meet, regardless of the number of households.

Parties and events: Up to 150 people can gather indoors, including fairs or markets. Outdoors, events with up to 350 people are possible if the distance is maintained and contact details are recorded. Family celebrations or weddings are possible, among other things, if the group of people is determined in advance and a maximum of 75 guests come.

Demonstrations: Outdoor demos are possible under certain conditions.

Gastronomy: Cafés and restaurants are allowed to open. Now counter operation is also permitted again – subject to the rules on distance and contact recording. The limitation on earlier closing times has been lifted.

Schools and daycare centres: After the end of the summer holidays, normal attendance is planned again. Daycare centres will open again for youngsters, albeit with restrictions. They are scheduled to resume normal regular operations by August 1st.

Sports: In addition to training, competitions in small groups in contact sports is allowed.

Face masks hanging up in Erfurt, Thuringia. Photo: DPA


Contact regulations: Meetings of up to 10 people are allowed.

Parties and events: Open-air events are allowed with up to 500 people, indoor events with up to 250 people. From August 24th, the maximum number of participants is 1,000 outdoors and 500 indoors.

Demonstrations: Meetings in the open air are permitted under certain conditions.

Schools and daycare centres: After the end of the summer holidays, norma classes with compulsory school attendance will be resumed at all schools. Daycare centres have resumed limited operations.


Contact regulations: Two households can meet in the eastern state. Meetings with up to 10 people are also allowed – both inside and outside. Up to 100 people are allowed to meet in a restaurant or rented room for family celebrations. From July 18th, company and club parties, and children's holiday camps with up to 50 people will be possible.

Parties and events: At family celebrations outside private rooms, up to 100 people may meet.

Conferences, congresses and smaller trade fairs with a maximum of 1,000 visitors are permitted again – provided that appropriate hygiene concepts are in place.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about travelling from Germany to other European countries

Concerts can be held in jazz clubs or other smaller venues. From July 18th onwards, the public should again be able to watch popular and recreational sports, including football matches. However, this planned relaxation does not yet apply to professional football. Consideration is being given to making this possible from September 1st.

Demonstrations: Demonstrations are no longer limited to a certain number of participants.

Schools and daycare centres: Saxony's Kitas can return to regular operation, but with increased hygiene requirements. At primary schools, the restricted regular operation for all children will continue until the summer holidays. Pupils at secondary schools are to be taught at least in part in schools again.


Contact regulations: The state government recommends that people don't meet more than 10 people and that you keep the circle of those you meet as small as possible. There is no longer a ban on contact.

Parties and events: Up to 50 people may attend private parties. Up to 1,000 people are allowed to come to organised celebrations such as weddings, funerals or events such as conferences, club meetings or party meetings in the open air. Indoors, the number of participants for such events is initially limited to 250, but from August  29th up to 500 people may gather.

Demonstrations: Demos are possible if the assembly authority permits them together with the public health department. There is no blanket maximum limit for participants.

Schools and daycare centres: Kitas and schools can return to regular operation.


Contact regulations: Meetings of up to 50 people are allowed in private space.

Parties and events: Outdoor events are permitted for up to 250 participants, in closed rooms for up to 100.

Demonstrations: Meetings with up to 250 participants are possible, subject to minimum distance, exceptions are possible with permission.

Schools and daycare centres: Regular school operation will continue after the holidays and Kitas can return to normal.


Contact regulations: Contact restrictions no longer apply. However, a new regulation recommends that people meet only with one additional household or with a maximum of 10 people.

Parties and events: Trade fairs, special markets and other commercial exhibitions are permitted if approved infection control concepts are available.

Private celebrations in closed rooms must be registered two days in advance with the respective municipality if there are 30 or more participants. From July 16th, outdoor sporting events with up to 200 spectators will again be permitted – provided an approved infection control concept is available.

Demonstrations: Demonstrations without restrictions on the number of participants are possible.

Schools and daycare centres: Limited regular operation applies in all Kitas and primary schools open daily for all children. At secondary schools, lessons alternate between face-to-face teaching and distance learning.

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Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now