Germany plans ‘forced accomodation’ for repeated quarantine dodgers

According to a report in 'Welt am Sonntag' several German states want to take tougher action against those who repeatedly ignore mandatory quarantine measures.

Germany plans 'forced accomodation' for repeated quarantine dodgers
A look out the window at the Moltsfelde youth detention centre in Neumünster. Photo: DPA

In Germany, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus is subject to a quarantine of two weeks. Those who are returning to the country from a risk area also have to quarantine for 10 days, although this can be shortened to five days upon receiving a negative test result.

A self-quarantine is also required for those who have come into direct contact with someone with the coronavirus, or are waiting on a test result.

In addition to high fines, in extreme cases some states are planning on forced admission to special centres, clinics or juvenile detention wards for those who don't comply with the current regulations. 

READ ALSO: Germany introduces new quarantine and testing rules for travellers from risk zones

This is already being done in individual cases, but only on the basis of judicial orders. Fines for breaking quarantine orders can also stretch as high as €25,000.

According to the report, central facilities for repeat quarantine offenders will soon be set up Baden-Württemberg

“These segregation places will be permanently controlled by a guard service,” the paper quoted a spokesman for the state social ministry as saying, who added that two clinics had already been set aside.

Germany's northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein already plans to accommodate quarantine breakers in the coming weeks on the grounds of the Moltsfelde youth detention center in Neumünster, it said, citing the local district assembly.

Beforehand, police are set to issue them a strict warning.

Brandenburg also wants to set up a central office for quarantine breakers in addition to a hospital or other “suitable facility,” the report said, citing the state's social ministry.

In Saxony, “a shelter” is currently being built for such purposes, according to the Social Ministry. Persistent quarantine breakers could also be housed “in a locked hospital or other suitable accommodation.”

Bavaria's Ministry of Health said that it is usually possible to persuade people to comply “by emphatic instruction” and by pointing out “compulsory isolation and fines.” 

As a last resort, compulsory admissions to municipalities, for example to “closed parts of hospitals” could be an option.

Berlin's health administration also did not not rule out compulsory admissions, “for example, also in a hospital,” it said.

Hamburg's social services department said that if there were to be forced admissions, options were available, but did not comment on details.

The plans come ahead of a countrywide meeting on Tuesday between Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state premiers to discuss tightening Germany's current lockdown measures in order to stem the rapid spread of the virus.

READ ALSO: Will the rest of Germany follow Bavaria's lead in tightening coronavirus measures?


Member comments

  1. First it will be quarantine-breakers, then it will be for no-maskers, then it will be for anti-vaxxers.
    This reminds me of a quote from the late Pastor Niemoller.
    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  2. The next headline will read ‘Germany plans to force vaccinate the entire population’. Those who refuse will be ‘accommodated’ in a ‘isolation camp’ permanently.

  3. That is long due. Anyone dodging quarantine or not wearing a mask should be put in detention and only after 5 days and negative rwsult should be let go. The sh*t we are in is because of these dodgers. If we’re sitting at home right now, it’s maşnly because of these irresponsible selfish peopie. I am sitting at home for the past year. All because of these freedom fighters.

  4. This is insanity! Facilities are being ‘built’ for quarantine breakers??? I agree 100% with the above comments from Adrian.

  5. Why is Germany using the same statistics and R numbers as when the virus first showed in the country? We’re in a different phase of the Pandemic now with more testing, etc. The fatality rate is .02% *and* the there’s a vaccine that’s being (poorly) distributed. So, for me, the fact the country is now starting to build facilities for quarantine breakers is not only ridiculous but much too reminiscent of their most recent World War behaviour.

  6. The world has a lot to say about this bit of news and it’s not helping at all to help Germany’s post world war(s) stigma. Just SEEING the words “Germany” and “detention centers” (i.e. camps) in the same sentence is terrifying. Are we honestly to believe that such a vast number of people are violating quarantine rules that there needs to be a newly built detention center to house them?? Absurd. Germany has the strictest lockdown in all of Europe (per an article on this site) because they have an inability to see any grey area. Isolate & protect the weakest and most vulnerable while allowing the healthy to live.

  7. Wise words Keri, thank you for your imput. I hope more people are awake to what it happening & the path we are headed on.

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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.