Reducing contacts: German government moves to combat rising infections


October 19, 2020

With COVID infections rising in Germany at rates not seen since the spring, the federal and state governments agreed last week to institute a new “hotspot strategy.” This strategy allows for policies to mitigate coronavirus-related risks while avoiding a total lockdown.

Targeting hotspots

The effort to contain the spread of COVID uses ratios of infections to total populations to activate specific policies.


A ratio of 50 or more new infections per 100,000 habitants qualifies a geographic location as a high-risk zone. Going forward, places that meet this threshold will activate local, targeted measures. These measures may include:

  • Mandatory mask-wearing in public spaces or in places otherwise identified by local authorities
  • Introduction of contact restrictions in public spaces, in which no more than 10 people can gather
  • The introduction of an 11 p.m. curfew for restaurants, including a ban on alcohol sales

Authorities emphasized that recent restrictions related to COVID-19 still apply.

Going out: only when necessary

German authorities continue to urge residents to limit trips outside the home, and to avoid public spaces and gatherings.

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

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