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15 km rule: Which areas in Germany are affected by new movement restrictions?

Germany 15 km rule

What is the 15 km rule in Germany? Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders decided last week on new tighter rules to try and stem the spread of Covid-19 to bring numbers down and ease the burden on hospitals.

As part of the new measures people living in districts with very high Covid infection rates will have their freedom of movement drastically restricted.

For districts with a 7-day incidence of more than 200 new infections per 100,000 residents, the radius of movement is to be restricted to a 15 km radius around the area you live, unless there is a valid reason to travel further.

Exceptions to Germany 15 km rule can include trips for work or medical appointments.

“Shopping, travelling and day-trips explicitly do not constitute a valid reason,” the government and states say.

Chancellor Merkel had been pushing for this order to come into force in regions with an incidence rate of 100 infections per 100,000 people in seven days. If Merkel had got her way, this rule would have applied to most of the country, effectively bringing travel to a complete standstill.

The travel restriction can be lifted if the infection levels are below 200 for a period of time (usually at least seven consecutive days). Note that not every state is enforcing the rule, and there can be differences in the way it is rolled out.

These are the areas affected as of Monday January 11th:

Bavaria

  • District of Passau
  • Berchtesgadener Land district
  • Wunsiedel district
  • Kulmbach district
  • Coburg
  • Passau
  • Deggendorf district
  • District of Coburg
  • District of Kronach
  • District of Rottal-Inn
  • District of Bayreuth
  • District of Regen
  • District of Roth
  • Landshut
  • District of Donau-Ries
  • District of Cham
  • Hof
  • District of Tirschenreuth
  • Fürth
  • Lichtenfels district
  • District of Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen
  • Miesbach
  • Weiden i.d.Opf
  • District of Freyung-Grafenau
  • Rosenheim
  • Ingolstadt
  • District of Dingolfing-Landau
  • Haßberge district

The map below gives an idea of the worst affected areas in Germany as of January 11th. The deep red and purple coloured areas have over 200 cases per 100,000 residents in seven days and may be affected by new restrictions.


READ ALSO: Restricting freedom of movement within a 15 km radius of outbreaks until 31 January: Merkel announces tightening of Corona restrictions in Germany – VIDEO

Brandenburg

  • District of Dahme-Spreewald
  • District of Elbe-Elster
  • Frankfurt Oder
  • District of Oder-Spree
  • District of Oberspreewald-Lausitz
  • District of Ostprignitz-Ruppin
  • District of Potsdam-Mittelmark
  • District of Teltow-Fläming
  • District of Uckermark
  • Havelland district
  • Spree-Neisse district
  • Cottbus district

Hesse

  • Gießen
  • Limburg-Weilburg district
  • Vogelsbergkreis
  • District of Fulda

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Mecklenburg Lake District

Lower Saxony

  • District of Gifhorn
  • Lower Saxony does not force affected districts to apply the 15 km rule, but leaves it up to the municipalities.

Saarland

District of Saarbrücken

Saxony

  • District of Meißen
  • District of Bautzen
  • District of North Saxony
  • District of Sächsische Schweiz-Osterzgebirge
  • District of Erzgebirgskreis
  • Görlitz district
  • Central Saxony district
  • Leipzig
  • Zwickau district
  • Chemnitz
  • Vogtlandkreis district
  • Dresden

    Saxony-Anhalt
  • Anhalt-Bitterfeld
  • District of Dessau-Roßlau
  • Halle
  • Wittenberg district
  • Saalekreis district
  • Burgenlandkreis

Schleswig-Holstein

No district above 200 incidence yet

Rhineland-Palatinate

  • Worms
  • Ludwigshafen am Rhein
  • District of Bad Kreuznach

Thuringia

  • Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  • District of Hildburghausen
  • Suhl
  • Eichsfeld district
  • District of Schmalkalden-Meiningen
  • District of Saale-Orla
  • Unstrut-Hainich district
  • District of Altenbuger Land
  • Wartburkreis district
  • Sonneberg district
  • Hildburghausen District
  • Saale-Holzland district
  • Gotha district
  • Saale-Holzland district
  • Greiz district
  • Eisenach district
  • Sömmerda district
  • Ilm district
  • Kyffhäuserkreis
  • Nordhausen district
  • District of Gera
  • Jena district
  • District of Weimarer Land
  • District of Erfurt


In Thuringia, the radius of movement will not be restricted by decree. The cabinet agreed on a recommendation, not an obligation.

The 15-kilometre rule does not apply in these federal states at the moment:

  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Berlin
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg
  • North Rhine-Westphalia

However, the situation can change quickly so keep an eye on your local rules (and the incidence number in your district). You’ll find information on the Robert Koch Institute website.

How do you calculate a 15 km radius?

The aim is to stop people from going on day trips. The German government and states already say that in general everyone should refrain from non-essential travel, whether it’s within the country or abroad.

So it’s safe to say wherever you live, authorities would prefer if you didn’t travel far.

If you need to calculate a 15 km radius there are a few sites where you can do that.

Note that the place of residence is usually the city/town where you live, not your own address. But in some states the rules may differ on what is classed as your place of residence.

To work out the radius, you could try the CalcMaps calculator here.

You could also try this interactive calculator.

Source: The Local.de

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