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Germany hard lockdown: Shops closed, new rules for Christmas – what will change from Wednesday

Chancellor Merkel and the prime ministers of the federal states reached an agreement at the Corona summit in Germany, the new hard lockdown will begin next Wednesday. We wrote about some of the changes here>>:

Reduce contacts in hard lockdown

Private meetings are still limited to your own household and one other household, but in any case to a maximum of five people. Children up to 14 years of age are exempt from this.


More contacts will be possible from December 24th to 26th. Depending on their respective infection rate, the federal states should allow meetings with four people who go beyond their own household during this time. 

In addition, there are children up to 14 years of age from the closest family circle, i.e. from spouses, civil partners and partners in an illegitimate partnership, as well as straight line relatives, siblings, siblings and their respective household members.

Retail trade

In Germany, retail will be closed from December 16 to January 10 during the hard lockdown. Exceptions apply to shops that cover daily needs.

These include: grocery stores, weekly markets, pick-up and delivery services, beverage markets, health food stores, baby specialty stores; Pharmacies, medical supply stores, drugstores, opticians, hearing aid acousticians, petrol stations, car workshops, bicycle workshops, banks and savings banks, post offices, dry cleaners, laundromats, newspaper sales, pet supplies, animal feed markets, Christmas tree sales and wholesale.


Schools should be closed in principle, or the compulsory attendance is suspended. Emergency care is ensured and distance learning is offered. 

Separate regulations may apply to graduating classes.

Daycare centers

In day-care centers, the procedure is analogous to schools. There are additional opportunities for parents to take paid leave to look after their children during the period mentioned.


Employers are urged to check whether companies can be closed either through company holidays or generous home office solutions.


Drinking alcoholic beverages in public places is prohibited. Violations are fined.

New Year’s Eve

The sale of pyrotechnics before New Year’s Eve is generally prohibited. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day there is a nationwide ban on gathering, as well as a ban on fireworks in popular places in Germany during the hard lockdown, which are determined by the municipalities.


Service companies in the field of personal care such as hairdressing salons, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar businesses will be closed.

Necessary treatments

Medically necessary treatments, for example physiotherapy, occupational therapy and logotherapy as well as podiatry / foot care, are still possible.

Church services

Worship services in churches, synagogues and mosques as well as meetings of other religious communities are only permitted if the minimum distance of 1.5 meters can be maintained. 

It is compulsory to wear a mask on the square, singing in congregations is prohibited. If full occupation is expected, visitors should register.

Elderly care

Special protective measures should be taken for old people’s and nursing homes as well as mobile care services. The federal government supports this with medical protective masks and by assuming the costs for rapid antigen tests.

The federal states will order mandatory testing several times a week for the staff in the old people’s and care facilities. In regions with an increased incidence, evidence of a current negative corona test is to become mandatory for visitors.

Source: Afronews,