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Germany: Angela Merkel provides further guidelines to contain coronavirus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel presented the prime ministers of national governments on behalf of the federal government with guidelines to continue fighting the coronavirus pandemic in Germany, which would rather tighten than weaken the existing restrictions, the dpa agency informed. 

Here are the measures decided on by the German government:

May I travel within Germany?

The rules of the federal states (Laender) apply. Due to local outbreaks, some regions may be subject to lockdown restrictions again. On 26 June, the federal and state governments decided that travellers from affected regions may only travel within Germany if they have a negative test for the new coronavirus infection (SARS-Cov-2). Before planning your trip, please check which regulations apply to your region and destination. 

Foreign travel

  • The federal and state governments appeal to all citizens, wherever possible, to avoid travel to designated high-risk countries (Risikogebiete). This is due to the high incidence of coronavirus infection, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s centre for disease control and prevention, classifies some countries as high-risk countries.
  • The federal and state governments advise against travelling to such countries. If possible, please check before your planned trip whether a travel warning or classification as a high-risk area exists for your destination.
  • Special regulations apply to returnees from high-risk countries. They are obliged to go directly to their homes immediately after entering Germany and to remain in quarantine there for a period of 14 days. Henceforth, returnees from high-risk areas will be able to end their quarantine at the earliest with a test from the fifth day after return.
  • From 15th September, free corona test will no longer be available for travellers from non-high-risk countries.

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Events & large gatherings

  • Big events where contact tracing and compliance with hygiene regulations is not possible are prohibited until the end of this year.
  • The federal states (Laender) decide in which framework smaller public or private events or celebrations as well as events without festive character can take place. Hygiene and social distancing rules must always be observed.

Can I attend Private festivities & Meetings?

All citizens are asked to weigh critically whether, how and to what extent private festivities are necessary and justifiable in view of the danger of coronavirus infection. Where possible, meetings should be held outdoors

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Religious gatherings

  • Worship services and prayer meetings can take place if the requirements of infection control are met.
  • The general rules of social distancing must be observed.
  • Special religious rites such as baptisms, circumcisions and weddings as well as funeral services may take place only in small groups.
  • Religious activities that attract large numbers of visitors should be avoided (for example, pilgrimages or processions).
  • Parish and choir singing as well as orchestral accompaniment is not recommended.

Social distancing

  • The social distancing and hygiene rules continue to apply. The obligation to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters remains.
  • Citizens are required to keep the number of people with whom they have contact to a minimum and to keep the number of people they come into contact with as constant as possible.

Face masks

In certain public areas, such as in public transport and when shopping, face masks are mandatory. The federal states will set the fine for violations of the mask obligation at a minimum of 50 euros. Saxony-Anhalt is exempted as the state has announced that it will not introduce a fine.

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What should I do when coronavirus infection is suspected?

  • Anyone who has had personal contact with a person in whom the new coronavirus has been detected should immediately contact the public health department (Gesundheitsamt) by phone – even if no signs of illness are visible. The Gesundheitsamt responsible for your location can be found via a database of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
  • Anyone who has stayed in a high-risk area designated by the RKI should – even if he or she has no signs of illness – avoid unnecessary contact and stay at home if possible.

Source: The African Courier, Polskiobserwator