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Given the rapidly changing Coronavirus / COVID-19 situation, it can be challenging for people not fluent in German to find the latest information.

Since DESY has many international people, our goal is to use this space to collect relevant information in English.

While we try to keep the information on this page correct and up-to-date, we cannot take responsibility for correctness or for completeness.

Please let us know if you have any corrections or suggestions. You can leave a comment at the bottom of the page (after logging in Confluence with your DESY account) or send us an email (Frank Tackmann and Felix Giese with the usual firstname.lastname at desy.de).

Latest News and Updates

Update Nov. 16th

The lockdown measures from Nov. 2nd stay in place. Additionally federal and state governments strongly advise to

  • restrict private contacts to one determined household only
  • do not organize private celebrations/partys
  • quit non-necessary private travel and leisure activies in presence of others
  • quit non-necessary use of public transport
  • only visit persons from risk groups in case you do not have any symptons
  • stay home in case of symptons of an airway disease, get advise from a doctor, use the current possibility of sick-notes via telephone
"Lockdown Light"

As of Nov. 2nd the federal government has reinstated Lockdown measures for all germany. These include:

  • Meetings in public are only allowed with up to one other household apart from your own (10 persons max).
  • Strong advise against nonnecessary private travels and visits. Hotels are only allowed to offer rooms for non-touristic purposes.
  • Recreational facilities like cinemas, gyms, theatres, etc. go into lockdown.
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, etc. go into lockdown.
  • Shops remain open.

Further the federal government strongly advises for the use of the Corona Warn-App. See here for more information. "The Corona-Warn-App is an app that helps trace infection chains of SARS-CoV-2 (which can cause COVID-19) in Germany. The app is based on technologies with a decentralized approach and notifies users if they have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Transparency is key to both protect the app's end-users and to encourage adoption."

Also note the specific Hamburg rules below.

See here for previous news and updates.

Current Status in a Nutshell 

As of Nov. 2nd the federal government has reinstated Lockdown measures for all germany. These include:

  • Meetings in public are only allowed with up to one other household apart from your own (10 persons max)
  •  Strong advise against nonnecessary private travels and visits. Hotels are only allowed to offer rooms for non-touristic purposes
  • Recreational facilities like cinemas, gyms, theatres, etc. go into lockdown
  • Restaurants, bars, pubs, etc. go into lockdown
  • Shops remain open

Specific Hamburg regulations due to Hotspot

The following is taken from: https://www.hamburg.de/coronavirus/14525582/das-ist-erlaubt-englisch/

Basic rules:

  • Avoid all unneccessary personal encounters and face-to-face meetings.

  • In case you decide to meet other people, max. 10 persons are allowed to gather. However, these 10 persons may only live in max. 2 households. It is mandatory to keep a distance of at least 1,5 meters from all other persons. 

  • This rule applies everywhere – at home, in public places (e.g. in restaurants or cinemas) or outdoor.

  • There are exceptions from the distance rule: children under the age of 12 years (at private homes), all persons living together in the same household as well as direct members of your family do not need to keep distance. Nevertheless, also in these contexts max. 10 persons are allowed to gather. 

  • Wear your mask correctly and everywhere where it is mandatory, especially in narrow places.

  • Adhere to the rules stipulated by the hygiene concepts, e.g. when visiting cultural or sports facilities.

  • Please keep yourself informed about the occurrence of infections in Hamburg via hamburg.de/corona.

The obligation to wear a mask 

It is generally mandatory to wear a mask

  • in all public places where it is not possible to keep a sufficient distance from other persons (retail shops, farmer’s markets, certain streets and places. You can find an overview on the website "The obligation to wear a mask in public places"),

  • in public transport, in the Deutsche Bundesbahn, in taxis, MOIA, etc.,

  • in hospitals and care facilities,

  • in all public buildings open to the public (until arriving at one’s seat),

  • in restaurants and bars and during all events taking place indoor, except when you are seated at your seat. 

The obligation to wear a mask at school

  • It is generally mandatory to wear a mask covering mouth and nose in all school buildings and on school premises. 

  • At professional/vocational schools and in the upper secondary grades of all advanced schools, it is also mandatory to wear a mask during lessons. 

  • Your school knows exactly which rules apply. Please contact your school for further information.

  • Short but intense ventilation is required in all classrooms every 20 minutes.

  • Face shields are not considered as being a sufficient covering for your mouth and nose. 

  • When violating the obligation to wear a mask, you may be subject to a fine. 

  • For details and further information on the obligation to wear a mask, please visit our website "Face coverings".

Closing hour

  • In Hamburg, bars and restaurants must adhere to a closing hour from 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. of the following day.

  • Furthermore, bars and restaurants are not allowed to sell alcohol from 5:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

  • However, you can still go to local restaurants during the opening hours. Please adhere to the contact limitations and the obligation to wear a mask, and provide your contact information correctly. If you submit wrong contact information, you will have to pay a fine.

Parties

  • You should avoid parties in general. They are in fact legally possible when you adhere to the basic rules (max. 10 persons from max. 2 households; for the exception for family members see above). However, currently it is not the right time to have parties.

  • Children under the age of 12 years are not subject to the „max. 2 households rule“ in private homes. This means that playdates or children’s birthday parties can take place at home. However, max. 1 adult person and 10 children are admitted, e.g. up to 9 invited children under the age of 12 years (from up to 9 different households).

Travelling

  • Avoid all kinds of unneccessary travelling.

  • You can find further information on urgent journeys that cannot be postponed on our website "Questions and answers about travelling".

Cultural facilities

  • You can continue using all cultural facilities (such as theaters, cinemas, etc.). 

  • Please adhere to all protection concepts, especially to the obligation to wear a mask. 

Sport

  • The distance rule that applies as from Monday does not have any impact on sports.

  • Please adhere to the protection concepts and hygiene rules valid in fitness centers and sports facilities. 


If You Suspect You Might Be Infected

A coronavirus infection causes flu-like symptoms such as dry cough, fever, a runny nose, and fatigue. There have also been reports of difficulties in breathing, soar throat, headaches, joint pains, nausea, diarrhoea, and shivering.

If you have symptoms:

  • Do not go unannounced to your general practitioner or any other doctor. Instead, call your doctor and explain your situation.

  • See below if you only have mild symptoms and you are unsure whether to call a doctor or not.

If you had close contact with (directly talked to, got coughed or sneezed at by) someone confirmed to be infected, you should immediately and irrespective of any symptoms

In a medical emergency (i.e. if you need an ambulance)

  • Call the emergency number: 112

There are also Corona hotlines for

  • Hamburg: +49 (0)40 42828-4000

  • Schleswig-Holstein: +49 (0)431 797 000 01

  • Niedersachsen: +49 (0)511 120 6000 (Mo-Fri 8:00-22:00)

(We do not know how well they speak English, please let us know if you had any good or bad experiences.)

DESY Specific Information


New DESY specific information concerning essential buisness trips have been distributed via mail and should be in your inbox

The latest DESY specific information can be found here: https://www.desy.de/coronavirus/index_eng.html

  • Most importantly: People who in the last 14 days have been abroad, or have been in contact with an infected person should not enter the DESY campus.

  • The DESY canteen only provides take-away food. You are not allowed to eat any food inside the canteen building. Warm take-away lunch is provided Monday-Friday 11:00-13:30.

  •  New DESY specific information concerning buisness trips have been distributed via mail and should be in your inbox. Alternatively have a look at the link above. 

See here for Corona research information at DESY (requires DESY Confluence account).


COVID-19 FAQs of the University of Hamburg

Available in German and English, also contain information about regulations related to international travel. Some of these rules may be strictly speaking university-internal rules, but most of them just implement national or local regulations so this is a good point of reference.

Health and Quarantine Regulations

Below are some key excerpts from the COVID-19 FAQs from Robert-Koch-Institut and Federal Center for Health Education (our translation, last updated  ).

When do you have to quarantine yourself?

When you have high risk of being infected. This is the case if:

  • Within the last 14 days, you had close contact to a (laboratory confirmed) COVID-19 patient. Close contact means that you talked to the person or got coughed or sneezed at by the person.

  • Within the last 14 days, you have been to any country outside of Germany.

  • Whenever it is mandated by your local health authority.

Quarantine means that you must stay at home, avoid any outside contact, and do not go outside for any reason, not even shopping.

You can have contact with people living in the same household who are quarantined with you.

What if you have (only) mild symptoms?

If you have cold-like or flu-like (respiratory disease) symptoms (coughing, sneezing, soar throat etc.), even mild ones, consult a doctor or your local health authority if any of the following applies:

  • Within the last 14 days, you had close contact to a (laboratory confirmed) COVID-19 patient.

  • You have been to any area where there have been many COVID-19 cases (i.e. not only areas that are defined as risk areas).

  • You  have a (relevant) preexisting condition or your symptoms get worse (difficulty breathing, high fever, etc.)

  • You have regular contact through professional or volunteer work with people who are at high risk to become severely affected (e.g. hospital or elderly care).

Follow the instructions of the doctor or local health authority, who will determine whether you should get tested. If you get tested, even before the result is known, you should self-isolate at home, avoid any contact to people less than 2m, obey good hand hygiene, and if contact to other people is necessary wear a face mask if possible.


Federal and State Regulations

These are more detailed regulations or links to them.

Many links are only in German, we provide some translations and the key points are summarized above.

As of   there is a Germany-wide "ban on contacts" ("Kontaktverbot"), see below for details. In summary:

  1. You are urged to reduce contacts with people outside your own household to an absolutely necessary minimum.

  2. Being in public places is only permitted with members of your own household or with at most one other person.

  3. In public, wherever possible, you must keep a minimum distance of at least 1.5 m (better 2 m) to anybody else.

  4. You are explicitly allowed to go for walks or do sports outdoors as long as you respect the rules above.

These rules will be monitored and enforced by the police, violations can be expected to yield hefty fines (several kilo-Euros).

In addition:

  1. If you return from any country abroad, you have to  quarantine yourself at home for 14 days starting from the day of return. Upon returning you have to go directly to you home without any detours. Your are not allowed to receive any visitors outside of your household. You are further required to contact the authorities to inform them about you self quarantine situation. If you develop symptoms, see below.

  2. A simple mask covering your mouth and nose needs to be worn in public wherever a safe distance to others can not be ensured, in particular in shops and public transport. This serves to protect others, not yourself, and it is crucial to still keep 1.5 m (better 2 m) distance to other people. As a temporary measure scarfs will also be accepted. Professional masks should not be widely used for this purpose, as they are required for medical personnel etc. 

  3. Schools and child care (Kitas) are closed until at least  , re-opening is expected to happen only gradually. All public playgrounds are closed, re-opening is expected for the week of May 4th.

  4. All restaurants, bars, etc. are closed, but delivery or take-away is possible. All sports or other recreational facilities are closed.

  5. Schleswig-Holstein has a general ban on tourists including day trips. If you live in Hamburg, you are not allowed to travel to Schleswig-Holstein for touristic or recreational purposes. Be aware that some S-Bahn endstations (e.g. Wedel and Pinneberg) are already in Schleswig-Holstein.

  6. Germany has implemented (the EU-wide) entry restrictions for non-EU citizens. It has also restricted cross-border traffic to France, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Denmark. The foreign ministry warns against all non-essential foreign travel.

  7. You are urged to generally refrain from private travel and visits, including visits by and to relatives. This also applies within Germany and to day trips.


 

The contact ban is still in place. Restrictions are the same as before, your household can meet up with people from one other household (up to 10 persons)

Theatres, cinemas, etc. remain closed for now, as well as theme parks, saunas, (indoor) swimming pools, etc.

For questions concerning schools and kitas in Hamburg, see the link https://www.hamburg.de/faq-english/. Also you can find information regarding sports, masks, general advice, university, workers, economy, shops, business, justice, puplic transport.


 

The contact ban is still in place but with the exception that persons from your household are now allowed to meet with persons from one other household. Hospital/retirement home visits can be granted for one defined person.

The government agreed on the stepwise reopenings of the following institutions: 

  1. Schools will reopen before the summer holidays,

  2. Kitas will provide a form of basic childcare starting from March 11th.

  3. Shops and restaurants can reopen if they can guarantee the local hygiene regulations.

  4. Outdoor sports is no longer restricted.   

  5. Theatres, cinemas, operas, concert halls will gradually reopen.


In a district, should the number of new infections surpass 50 cases per 100.000 inhabitants, restrictions will be reimplemented.  


All previously passed regulations have been extended, with the following exceptions: Public playgrounds, botanical gardens, zoos and museums as well as hair dressers are expected to gradually reopen starting from Mai 4th, with the details depending on the local authorities. Religious gatherings will be allowed with appropriate precautions. 


Mandatory quarantine regulations when returning from abroad. If you return from any country abroad, you have to  quarantine yourself at home for 14 days starting from the day of return. Upon returning you have to go directly to you home without any detours. Your are not allowed to receive any visitors. You are further required to contact the authorities to inform them about you self quarantine situation. See following links for Hamburg (§ 30a), Schleswig-Holstein (§ 1) and Niedersachsen (§ 5).


Easter vacation season: You are urged to generally refrain from private travel and visits, including visits by and to relatives. This also applies within Germany and to day trips.



Federal ban on contacts (our translation), extended until  .

  1. You are urged to reduce contacts with people out of your own household to an absolutely necessary minimum.

  2. In public, wherever possible, you must keep a minimum distance of at least 1.5 m (better 2 m) to anybody else.

  3. Being in public places is only permitted with members of your own household or with at most one other person.

  4. The way to work, to emergency care, shopping, visits to the doctor, participation in meetings, necessary appointments and examinations, help for others as well as sports (not in groups, see above) and exercise in the fresh air remain possible.

  5. Groups of people celebrating in public places, in apartments and private facilities are unacceptable in view of the serious situation in our country. Violations of the contact restrictions will be monitored by the authorities and sanctions will be imposed in case of violations.

  6. Catering establishments will be closed. This does not include the delivery service and take-aways.

  7. Businesses such as hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlours, tattoo studios and similar establishments will be closed because physical proximity is essential in this area. Medically necessary treatments remain possible.

  8. In all companies and especially those open to the public, it is important to comply with hygiene regulations and implement effective protective measures for employees and visitors.

  9. These measures are valid for at least two weeks.

  • Germany has implemented entry restrictions for non-EU citizens to Germany.

  • Citizens of EU countries and Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are permitted to travel through Germany.

  • Germany has restricted cross-border traffic to France, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Denmark.

Hamburg Regulations

Schleswig-Holstein Regulations

Niedersachsen Regulations


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Useful links for up-to-date information

COVID-19 FAQs



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