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Germany December 2020: The New Corona Rules. You will be fined 50 – 500 euro for not wearing a mask

Germany December 2020: The new Corona rules apply in Berlin, Germany’s capital and one of its Corona hotspots. On December 1st, 2020, new restrictions will also be put in place in the rest of the country.

Contact Restrictions

  • Up to five people from up to two households may gather. Children aged 12 or younger are exempt, meaning they are not being counted.
  • For Christmas, the rule will be eased a little bit: Up to five people from up to five households may meet. Children aged 12 or younger are not being counted. This applies to Christmas itself only.

Note: There is some confusion about the age limit for children who are exempt. At the Senate’s press conference on Thursday, both 12 and 14 were mentioned.

Mandatory Masks

  • Masks need to be worn in public transport, stations, taxis, at airports and in aircraft, in shops and malls, as well as at the offices of service companies and handicraft businesses and at any offices run by the state. They are mandatory in private cars too, when members of a different household are present.
  • Masks are also mandatory around shops and the kinds of businesses mentioned above and on parking lots in front of retail businesses.
  • Large retail businesses have to allocate 20 square meters (215 square feet) to each customer, smaller ones, with less than 800 square meters (8,611 square feet) of space, need 10 square meters (107.6 square feet) per customer. Once there is no more room left, customers need to wait outside until there is.
  • Masks need to be worn at work places, including offices. Employees may take them off while they are sitting at their own desks.
  • In addition, masks are mandatory on all streets that are crowded and/or those with many shops.
  • Masks are mandatory at protests.
  • The fines for those who fail to wear masks are 50 to 500 Euro.

Rules for Schools and Universities

  • Teachers and students have to wear masks in all school buildings. At secondary schools (in Berlin they start in 7th grade), masks have to be worn in class as well.
  • In districts with Seven Day Incidence Numbers higher than 200, fifth- and sixth-graders need to wear masks in class as well.
  • With Incidence Number at or above the same level, schools may switch to a mixture of classes on site and online classes for grades 8 to 11. But graduating classes need to be taught at school.
  • Schoolkids who are part of a risk group, or who live with someone who is, may learn from home. A document from their GP is necessary.
  • The universities are closed to the public. Labs and others rooms that require presence may open if necessary.

Other Corona Rules

  • The distance rule still applies (1.5 meters or 5 feet).
  • People are being asked to stay in their homes and to leave them for important reasons only.
  • Residents are supposed to refrain from traveling. Neither skiing trips nor other touristic journey are supposed to be taken.
  • Employers are being asked to let their staff work from home as much as possible.
  • Restaurants, pubs, cafés and cultural venues remain closed until December 22nd. This rule might be prolonged as well.
  • Berlin’s two zoos are open, but their aquariums and other buildings remain closed.
  • There will not be a general ban on fireworks or firecrackers on New Year’s Eve, but using them on highly frequented streets and squares will be forbidden. There might be specific ban zones.

The following rules officially apply in most of Germany, from December 1st, 2020, to January 1st, 2021, but they will be prolonged, and possibly tightened to some extent, on December 15th.

Contact Restrictions

  • Up to five people from up to two households may gather. Children aged 14 or younger are exempt, meaning they are not being counted.
  • From December 23rd, 2020, to January 1st, 2021, up to ten persons may gather. Children aged 14 or younger are not being counted.

Other Corona Rules in Germany December 2020

  • The distance rule still applies (1.5 meters or 5 feet).
  • Restaurants, pubs, cafés and cultural venues remain closed until December 20th. This rule might be prolonged too.
  • Federal states, regions or cities with Seven Day Incidence Numbers that exceed 200 are supposed to tighten their restrictions further. The states themselves decide about the details. States with less new Corona infections can ease their restrictions once they reach a level below 50.
  • Employers are being asked to close offices and other locations between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, if possible.
  • Large retail businesses have to allocate 20 square meters (215 square feet) to each customer, smaller ones, with less than 800 square meters (8,611 square feet) of space, need 10 square meters (107.6 square feet) per customer.
  • The state will help businesses directly affected by the prolongation of the partial lockdown in December 2020, including restaurants, pubs and cafés, because they are still not allowed to open. Up to 17 billion Euro (20.3 billion U.S. Dollars or 15.1 Pounds Sterling) are available for this purpose.
  • There will not be a general ban on fireworks or firecrackers on New Year’s Eve, but using them on highly frequented streets and squares will be forbidden.
  • Ski tourism should be avoided until January 10th, 2021. The federal government agreed to work on a rule on the European level. Business and private trips, domestic and international ones, should not be taken.
  • For long distance trips, Deutsche Bahn passengers will be able to make reservations for window seats only, we wrote about it here>>> . Experts are doubting this rule will keep trains from filling up around Christmas.
  • Persons who are part of “vulnerable population groups” will be provided with five ‘FFP2 masks’.

Rules for Schools

  • What schools are concerned, “hybrid classes” are being encouraged from 8th grade. This means that less schoolkids will be taught on site and at the same time. More online classes are supposed to take place. In extreme infection situations, more steps should be taken at schools in the affected areas.

Source: Berlin spectator

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