Back in Business: What You Need to Know as German Shops and Restaurants Reopen


May 9, 2020

If you’ve missed shopping and eating out in Germany during the past two months, this week brought good news.

Following a May 6 press conference by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany has given the green light to reopen parts of their economy, including dining establishments and stores.


Here are three critical areas of information you need to know before you venture out again.

Restaurants: dining establishments are allowed to open May 13, and you need a reservation.

According to Federal officials, restaurants can start serving customers – both indoors and outdoors – beginning Wednesday, May 13. Conditions include:

  • Reservations are required for all dining establishments, so make them in advance.
  • Physical distancing rules will be in place.
  • You can’t select your own table.
  • You will be required to provide contact information for the purposes of potential contact tracing.

Shops: all stores can open, but with conditions.

  • Masks must be worn by all customers and physical distancing is still required.
  • Stores will also limit the number of customers based on the type and physical structure of the establishment.
  • Please check with specific stores for opening days and hours.

Bars: clubs, bars and discos are still closed.

  • Bars, clubs and discos are still closed.
  • No timetable has been established for reopening.

Remember, masks are mandatory for any trip outside your home. Physical distancing rules, in which a distance of 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) must be maintained between you and the nearest person, remain firmly in place until at least June 5.

More detailed information can be found at Deutsche Welle or the Ramstein Air Base public affairs office.

For U.S. government employees, including service members, remember to always follow command regulations, which may be different than host nation policies.

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