The following recommendations can be useful for coping with everyday life during the corona epidemic. You can also find out what you should consider when shopping, for example.
Particularly during this time, try to be there for your child. A structured daily routine with fixed sleeping and eating times offers support and security. Take care to keep as closely as possible to accustomed routines and to be especially consistent with holding to agreements and promises. Additional information is available at: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/wie-eltern-ihren-kindern-jetzt-helfen-koennen-1730182.
Please speak to your employer in such cases. As a general rule, Parents must make all reasonable efforts to secure childcare (e.g. having the other parent care for the child). Should that not be possible, employed parents may have the right to withdraw their services and refuse to go to work (Leistungsverweigerungsrecht). Additional information is available here.
The exact definition of essential or key occupations varies between the individual German states (Bundesländer). Those that are considered essential in all states include healthcare, energy, water supply, water and waste disposal, public administration, food supply and hygiene. This also includes personnel required in the operation of public transport and information technology. Parents who both work in essential services or key jobs and are unable to organise any other form of childcare are entitled to emergency care for their children. There is also a one-parent rule which applies in exceptional circumstances and these are assessed on a case-by-case basis. For information on emergency childcare, please contact the responsible authorities in the state (Land) in which you live.
Yes, children are also urged to wear a non-medical face mask (“community mask”) in public spaces. In most of the Laender, it is obligatory for children from the age of six to wear a community mask when using public transport or shopping. They are also required to wear a community mask during school. This applies above all during school breaks or when going to the toilet, but not during lessons. Please check which regulations apply in your area.
The closure of schools and nursery schools poses great challenges for parents. If they lose their earnings as a result, the Federal Government has taken measures to support them. Parents can apply for income replacement due to school and nursery school closures, and for an emergency child supplement (KiZ). There are also plans to adjust parental allowance. For more information on these measures and how to apply for support, see here.
The Second Act to Protect the Population in an Epidemic Situation of National Significance stipulates that caregiving relatives will receive better support. Until 30 September, caregiving relatives are entitled to 20 days’ caregiver allowance as an earnings replacement benefit and can take this time off from work. In addition, you can claim the care relief amounts that you accrued in 2019 for a longer period. Read more on these and other epidemic-related flexibilisation elements in the Caregiver Leave Act here or here.
We still discourage visits to older people and people with pre-existing conditions as they are at a higher risk of an infection with the novel coronavirus taking a serious course. Out of consideration on your part, contact with the older generation should remain limited to phone calls. Looking after school and kindergarten children is a task that should still not be left to grandparents. Until now, old-age and nursing homes have often followed very strict visiting rules to protect their residents. These rules are now being eased. Please approach the specific home to find out under which conditions visits are possible.
Gatherings at churches, mosques or synagogues, as well as religious festivals or events, and gatherings of other religious communities are still forbidden.
The Federal Foreign Office has issued a worldwide travel warning, valid at least until 14 June 2020, for all non-essential tourist trips abroad. If you wish to travel within Germany, please refer to the regulations in place in each Land. Relevant information can, for instance, be found on each Land government’s website. An overview is available here.
The Federal Laender determine for themselves whether to gradually reopen accommodation for tourists. Specific information for each Bundesland can, for instance, be found on its government’s website. Irrespective of your travel destination, you must abide by the local measures in place, e.g. contact restrictions and rules of conduct. By following the DHM formula (keep a distance, respect the hygiene rules and, where there is little space, wear a non-medical face mask or “community mask”), everyone can do their part to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Federal Foreign Office has issued a worldwide travel warning, valid at least until 14 June 2020, for all non-essential tourist trips abroad. Please refer to the Federal Foreign Office regularly for new information. Its website contains reliable information that is updated on a daily basis.
To protect people at close proximity, the Länder have introduced rules on wearing non-medical mouth and nose masks, called community masks, when travelling on public transport. This reduces the risk of infection and protects those around us. You should still avoid using public transport where possible. This is because the virus can spread especially quickly in public transport. Above all, trips during rush hour should be avoided. Rules on wearing mouth and nose masks can differ from region to region, so please familiarise yourself with the rules that apply where you live.
When travelling to work, switching to slow mode transportation is especially recommended (such as on foot or by bike or e-bike). If you are unable to avoid using public transport, keep your distance and observe coughing and sneezing etiquette – including when waiting at bus or tram stops and on railway station platforms, and practice good hand hygiene when your journey is complete. Moreover, it is currently not possible to buy your ticket from the driver; instead passengers should buy their tickets either at the automatic ticket machines, the ticket offices, or using a smartphone app.
In supermarkets, as elsewhere, you should keep at least 1.5 metres away from others. Some supermarkets indicate this using floor markings or assign employees or security personnel to monitor access. Such precautionary measures serve to protect against viral transmission. The Länder have introduced rules on wearing non-medical mouth and nose masks, called everyday masks, when travelling on public transport and when shopping. Rules on wearing mouth and nose masks can differ from region to region, so please familiarise yourself with the rules that apply where you live.
Supermarket shopping baskets can still be used. Many stores have started to carry out increased cleaning, including shopping baskets and shopping cart handles. When in public spaces, adhere to the rules on contact and maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from other persons. Remember to wash your hands once you arrive at home.
In order to better manage the expected strain on hospitals, in the interests of safety, non-urgent operations (and treatments) are being postponed. This ensures all patients get the best-possible treatment. You can find out whether or not your surgery is affected from your hospital.
If you had contact with persons who have tested positive, contact your local public health office for an individual consultation so they can recommend specific measures.
The Robert Koch Institute has produced an orientation aid for citizens “Covid-19: Bin ich betroffen und was ist zu tun?” (Covid-19: Am I affected and what should I do?”) It provides practical advice on which measures are required at which points in time.
Quarantine means the temporary, officially ordered isolation of a potentially or actually infected person in order to prevent the spread of a virus. This occurs over the maximum duration of the incubation period – so in the case of SARS-CoV-2: a maximum of fourteen days. The quarantine can be limited to individual people in their own homes or the population of an entire region.
Self-quarantine is a voluntary measure based on the idea of avoiding any contact with other people outside one’s own home to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Isolation means spatially separating sick people from healthy people. This should help prevent the further infection of healthy people. Isolation can be carried out in the hospital or – assuming the symptoms allow it – at home.
Home quarantine means not being able to leave the house. Potentially there is the possibility to ask relatives or neighbours to take care of it. Here it should, however, be urgently noted that direct personal contact must be avoided and purchases, for instance, be left by the front door. Some large supermarket chains also offer a delivery service, which is advisable during the quarantine.