Know Before You Go: Restrictions on Gatherings


May 11, 2020

Even as German shops and restaurants begin opening their doors to the public again, restrictions on gatherings – both large and small – remain in place.

Though the country is famous for large events and for the warmth and hospitality of smaller ones, Germany isn’t quite ready to open fully just yet.


Here are four key things to know about gathering in public.

Large events are not allowed until at least August 31.

  • Celebrated affairs like wine fests and concerts are off-limits.
  • Town festivals or block parties aren’t allowed.
  • The world-famous Oktoberfest has been cancelled for this year .
  • For the moment, theaters, opera houses and other cultural establishments remain closed.

No parties or social gatherings for U.S. service members residing in Germany.

  • Current German policy dictates that no more than two households can come together at the same time. Even then, parties are strongly discouraged.
  • For U.S. service members, no more than one non-household member is allowed to visit another at a time.

Professional soccer has been given a cautious go-ahead to resume.

  • Bundesliga play is set to resume May 16.
  • No spectators will be allowed in stadiums until restrictions on large gatherings are lifted.
  • Games will continue to be broadcast on Sky, which is a subscription television channel. No word yet on whether pandemic-era games will be broadcast on other venues.

German churches have opened their doors again.

  • Churches opened on Sunday for the first time since the lockdown began.
  • For guidance on denominations, check with your place of worship for specific guidance.

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.

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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