Berlin to relax more Covid-19 rules from Saturday

Berlin is further relaxing its coronavirus rules this Saturday. Here’s a rundown of what's changing in the capital.

Berlin to relax more Covid-19 rules from Saturday
Berliners going to the reopened cinema Kino International on July 1st. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Paul Zinken

The rate of infection for Covid-19 has remained low in Berlin, with the figure currently standing at 5.6 infections per 100,000. As a result, restrictions on private meetings, events and mask wearing will all be relaxed as of Saturday July 10th. 

Contact restrictions lifted

From Saturday onwards, private meetings indoors will be unrestricted, meaning there is no limit on how many people can meet inside. People are still encouraged to get tested regularly, particularly before meeting up in large groups. 

At the moment a maximum of 10 people from of five households are allowed to meet indoors. Children up to the age of 14 as well as the fully vaccinated and people who have recovered from Covid are not counted.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s Covid-19 rules for workers are changing from July

Mask changes

FFP2 masks must still be worn on public transport but, from Saturday, medical masks will also be acceptable in shops, restaurants, education facilities, during church services, and in libraries and museums. 

Since the start of the month, there has been no requirement to wear a mask in outdoor public spaces, except where it is not possible to socially distance. 

Larger events

From July 10th, indoor events with up to 1,000 people will once again be allowed. If there is adequate ventilation in the event space, the limit is 2,000.

For indoor events with 50 or more participants, you will still need to present a negative test result in order to gain entry. 

For outdoor events, the upper limit on attendees is 2,000 people, and a test is compulsory for events with more than 750 participants.

Events with 2,000 to 5,000 people present at the same time outdoors can be approved in individual cases with hygiene concepts and in consultation with the administration responsible for health.

At events with more than 20 people present at the same time, visitors present must be assigned a fixed seat, unless all those present have tested negatively for Covid-19. 

Note that you don’t need to provide a negative Covid test if you can show proof of being fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months. 

Sports events

The stadiums will start filling up again soon. Sports and cultural events with crowds above 5,000 will be permitted in areas with a 7-day incidence of less than 35 per 100,000. A negative test will still be required, and no more than 25,000 spectators will be admitted. 

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

Clubs, bars and… drinking in car parks

From Saturday onwards, the limit on outdoor dance floors will be raised to 1,000 people, though the requirements for presenting a negative test result and wearing a medical face mask will remain in place. 

Berlin’s legendary techno club Berghain will open its outdoor area on Saturday – depending on the weather.

“From this Saturday on, if the weather is good, we will open our outdoor dance floor with a DJ programme every weekend,” said the world-famous club on its website.

People will only be allowed to enter if they can show proof of being vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or have tested negatively for Covid. And they’ll also have to get through the notorious tough door policy, of course.

Masks are also mandatory in the club garden. 

Festivals can once again take place too, as long as they are in accordance with the new rules on outdoor events and testing. 

Meanwhile, the ban on drinking alcohol in car parks will be lifted.

READ ALSO: Outdoor contact relaxed: Berlin’s latest coronavirus rules

Tourism changes

Appointments for excursions, city tours, boat trips and similar offers for tourist purposes are not required. Plus, people attending these trips only have to be tested for Covid if they are visiting closed indoor areas. 

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Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.