January 20, 2021
In an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID, Germany extended key lockdown rules until at least February 14.
This decision came following yesterday’s meeting between representatives of the federal government and all 16 states. The rules cover a number of areas related to socialization and public life.
Key regulations include:
- Medical masks: when traveling in public in Germany, whether shopping or using public transportation, the use of medical-grade masks continues to be mandatory. These include N95 or FFP2 masks.
- Remote work: for German citizens, employers must require people to work from home whenever possible. For U.S. government employees living in Germany, be sure to check with your chain of command when it comes to working from home.
- Severely limited contact restrictions: private gatherings in your home are limited to one other non-family member.
Why the extension?
Though German officials stressed that infection rates are declining, more work is needed to reduce the burden on the health care system. This is especially important in light of preparing for new mutations to the virus.
What else is staying locked down?
In short, pretty much everything. Not much has changed since the mid-December announcement that effectively locked down Germany.
Day care centers, as well as all nonessential shops and services, remain closed. Bars are closed. Limited religious services are allowed, as long as safety precautions are met and no singing takes place. All travel is severely restricted.
Make sure you check local requirements.
Even though the lockdown extension applies country-wide, there can be significant variations depending on which German state you live in.