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A page by the Federal Ministry of Health

Bundesministerium für Gesundheit
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Information for young people

Young people can also transmit the novel coronavirus and contract Covid-19. Therefore, they should also stay at home. Other things young people should be aware of:

Stay at home and help

Everyone can contribute to containing the further spread of the novel coronavirus by keeping physical contact to a minimum and observing the DHM formula. Maintain a distance (at least 1.5 metres), observe the hygiene rules (proper coughing, sneezing and washing hands) and, where there is little room, wear a non-medical face mask (community mask). The Federal Government’s recommendation on general contact restrictions continues to apply. The details of contact restrictions are decided by the German states (Länder). You can find information among other places on the websites of each of the Länder. An overview is available here: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-bundeslaender-1745198.

Right now, everyone should stay at home. Not just those in the risk group. It is important to prevent an uncontrolled increase in the number of cases and, in so doing, ensure that our healthcare system is able to function properly. That can only be done if we all avoid social contact, because young people can transmit the virus, too. Also, it cannot be ruled out that the infection can take a serious course in people who are not in the risk group.

It is important for us all to interrupt infection chains wherever possible. This is the only way that the healthcare system can deal with the challenges faced. This is why everyone should restrict the amount of contact they have with other people. By adhering to DHM formula each and everyone can do their part to slow the further spread of the novel coronavirus: Maintain a distance (at least 1.5 metres), observe the hygiene rules (proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, washing hands) and, where there is little room, wear a non-medical face mask (community mask). A meeting’s location is also important – there is a lower risk of infection outside than in an enclosed space. Appeal to your friends to be reasonable in these extraordinary times. The Federal Government’s recommendation on general contact restrictions continues to apply. The details of contact restrictions are decided by the German states (Länder). You can find information among other places on the websites of each of the Länder. An overview is available here: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-bundeslaender-1745198.

Yes, young people can also belong to the risk group if they have a pre-existing medical condition. For example, if they take medication that affects their immune system or if they have a heart condition. Smokers also belong to the risk group because they are likely to become seriously ill due to the possibility of their lung capacity being reduced.

Young people fall ill just as often as older people. In young people, the symptoms are often mild, but they are still contagious and can still infect others.

People over the age of 60 run a higher risk of an infection with the novel coronavirus taking a serious course. It is therefore recommended that you ideally meet with older people outside, while keeping the minimum safety distance. The Federal Government’s recommendation regarding general contact restrictions still applies. The Federal Laender decide autonomously on the details of such contact restrictions. Relevant information can, for instance, be found on each Land’s governmental website. An overview is available here.

People who belong to the high-risk group should receive as few visitors as possible and ideally always only meet with the same people. When meeting other people in person, remember to adhere especially strictly to the basic principles summarised by the DHM formula: Maintain a distance (at least 1.5 metres), observe the hygiene rules (proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, washing hands) and wear a non-medical face mask or community mask (in close spaces). Limit the length of the visit and ideally plan your meetings outside, where the risk of infection is lower than in enclosed spaces. Should you be unable to meet outside, open windows regularly and ensure good air circulation in the room. Avoid physical contact, e.g. embracing others and shaking hands. Ask your children or other family members whether they can send you groceries, prescriptions or prescribed medicines, or place these outside your front door. If your grandparents live in an old-age or nursing home: These often follow very strict visiting rules to protect their residents. Some Federal Laenders’ rules may differ. Please check which rules apply in your area. Details on the regulations can be found on each Federal Land's government website.

People can still date, but social restrictions must be observed and contact with others should be kept to an absolute minimum. That means using online dating sites or video calls rather than meeting in person.

There is also a high risk of infection during sex, because the probability of transmission increases if you are closer than 1.5 metres to a person who is infected with the new coronavirus. There is also a high risk when kissing, because saliva is exchanged. Here you can find further information.

This mode of transmission cannot be excluded. It is extremely important to maintain sufficient distance. When you breathe deeply while doing sports, the droplets you exhale are expelled further than usual. You should therefore follow the distancing rules even more stringently when out of breath. When jogging, try to avoid running in someone else’s slipstream. Doing sports in larger groups of people poses a larger risk of infection and is still forbidden in most Laender. Each Land currently has its own regulations. Please check the current rules on contact restriction in your area. In general, please behave according to the DHM formula: Maintain a distance (at least 1.5 metres), adhere to hygiene rules (proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, washing hands) and, where there is little room, wear a non-medical face mask (community mask).

Outside sports and training practice in amateur and leisure sports is now permitted again. Fitness training and competitive sports may gradually be resumed. In spaces where it is very difficult to maintain the recommended minimum distance of 1.5 metres from others, you should refrain from doing sports with other people. Some Federal Laender have different rules. Please check which rules apply where you are. There are various online opportunities that enable you to participate in sports and fitness programmes. Detailed information available here.

Please wear a community mask on trams and trains, at train stations, platforms and tram stops, as well as on airport grounds and in aeroplanes. The safety distance of at least 1.5 metres from other travellers and company staff should be adhered to at all times. Deutsche Bahn provides useful information regarding safe travel on its website. Domestic and international flights have started increasing again since mid-2020. Unnecessary queuing, for instance to go to the toilet, should be avoided on the aeroplane. When embarking and disembarking, as well as in the aeroplane itself, a face mask must be worn throughout. This can briefly be removed to eat or drink. However, when seated on the plane next to persons who do not belong to the same household, meals should not be consumed at the same time. Further information can be found on the Robert Koch-Institute’s website.

The Laender determine for themselves when to gradually reopen indoor and outdoor swimming pools. In most Federal Laender, outside swimming pools have been reopened. When you go to an outside swimming pool, it is important to follow the basic hygiene principles and in general those summed up by the DHM formula: Maintain a distance (at least 1.5 metres), observing hygiene rules (proper coughing and sneezing, washing hands) and, where there is little room, wear a non-medical face mask (community mask), for instance when waiting in line. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für das Badewesen e. V. (German Association for the Bathing Industry) provides information on its website on how you should behave in an outside swimming pool during the coronavirus epidemic and what the operators of such a facility should consider when reopening. Outside swimming pools are still closed in some Federal Laender. Please check which rules apply in your region.

School, university and apprenticeships

As soon as a university offers online lectures, students must attend them in order to meet the requirements for student grants and loans. For more information, see here.

The universities publish information for students and in some cases provide details of whom students can contact with their questions. Individual universities and faculties use their various media channels to publish information on deadlines and the requirements regarding student presence. Please go to your university’s website to find out more.

As a general rule, students have a right to be examined. However, in exceptional circumstances the health and safety of examinees must be ensured. The German states (Länder) have introduced a range of different measures. In Berlin, exams have been postponed until April.

Financial support

Yes, if schools and universities are closed due to the Covid-19 epidemic, Bafög recipients continue to receive their payments. The period in which universities remain closed is classed as lecture-free time. As soon as a university offers online lectures, students must participate and attend those lectures in order to meet the requirements for Bafög.

If exams are cancelled due to university closures and the standard period of study is exceeded as a result, Bafög payments will continue to be paid in the large majority of cases. It is not yet clear how long universities will need to restrict their operations on account of the novel coronavirus. Some universities have postponed the start of the semester. An overview of the current situation is provided by the National Union of Students in Germany (fzs). Further information is also available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

If you receive Bafög, you are not entitled to receive unemployment benefit. If you are unemployed as a result of the current situation and do not receive Bafög, you can apply for unemployment benefit. Here you can find further information.

As a general rule, students are still in demand as workers – for example in delivering drinks, food and parcels. See the Federal Employment Agency website for further information.