News and Updates regarding Corona Virus in Berlin
Since the beginning of March 2020 the Corona Virus has begun to spread in Berlin and in the rest of Europe.
However we noticed that there is a lack of information for English speaking expats here in Berlin.
Therefore we are trying to give you the most up to date news concerning the Corona Virus here in Berlin and tips on how to get through the quarantine.
How is the current Corona situation in Berlin?
Currently there are more than 52.063 confirmed cases (last update 19th of November 2020) of Corona virus infections in Berlin since the start of the pandemic.
However, you need to keep in mind that the true number might be several times higher than the official numbers as the first symptoms only show after 5-7 days after being infected.
Unfortunately we see a strong increase in daily Corona cases since the beginning of September. These numbers are even higher than in March/April at the start of the pandemic.
As of November 2020 Germany is under a second lockdown “light”, which means that non-essential things such as bars, restaurants, etc. are closed againg until at least the end of November.
What does Flatten the curve mean and how do we achieve this?
The reason behind this lockdown light is that the government wants to take away the extreme pressure on the hospitals when too many patients at once are admitted.
This happened in Italy in the beginning of March 2020 and led to an increase of avoidable deaths as not everybody could get the necessary medical attention.
You might have heard already that politicians are concerned to flatten the curve of infections in order to keep the number of new infections as low as possible.
With this strategy they are trying to avoid a situation just like in Italy where the number of new cases per day exploded and far exceeded their capacity in hospitals.
To achieve this flattened curve we need to limit our social interactions, called social distancing, to an absolute minimum.
Before the social distancing measurements one infected person roughly infected three other people, which leads to another nine infections and so on.
You can see the exponential growth here and how this would quickly lead to a collapse of our health care system in Berlin.
So right now the only sensible thing to do is to suck it up and really follow this rule for the time being.
What is allowed right now in Berlin?
You are still allowed to go out and enjoy a walk in the sun. That is the good news.
All parks are still open, but please be considerate and follow the rule to keep at least 1.5m distance to other people.
You are also still allowed to do some sport outside in parks and go jogging with one other persons from 2 different households.
If possible you should be in homeoffice instead of taking public transport to work each morning.
Going to a supermarket is allowed as well as all trips to doctors, hospitals and so on.
Most infections seemed to have come from big private social gatherings such as weddings, where the social distance rules are not strictly followed.
Therefore all big gatherings and private parties are not allowed anymore.
Where am I allowed to go to in Berlin?
Supermarkets: Absolutely fine to do your shopping, but please don’t follow the example the Germans are setting here and do not hoard toilet paper 🙂 All supermarkets require you to wear a mask at all times.
Doctors: Absolutely fine.
Shopping (not including groceries): All shops are allowed to open again. Wearing a mask is required and access is limited to fewer people at once.
Parks: Allowed for a walk or to do some sports, as well as sitting down while keeping enough distance to others.
Work: Allowed, but most companies have sent their employees to homeoffice.
Visit friends or daytrips: Social distancing rules still apply, but you are allowed to meet with 2 people from 2 different households.
Cinemas: Closed in November 2020.
Restaurants: Closed in November 2020 but allowed to be open for pick up.
Bars: Closed in November 2020.
Gyms and other sport facilities: Closed in November 2020.
What should I do if I think I got infected with Corona Virus?
Very important, if you think you might have been infected with Corona Virus and you already developed symptoms do not go and visit your GP.
First of all you should get in contact with officials by calling (030) 9028-2828
They will then evaluate following RKI-guidelines if you should be tested for a Corona-Virus infection.
- Have you been in contact with a Corona-Virus infected person?
- Have you been to an area of high risk such as Northern Italy, Madrid or China?
- Do you have the typical symtoms such as fever, persistent dry cough, etc.?
Check out the official Berlin website for more information.
Where can I be tested for Corona-Virus?
Berlin recently opened up several Corona-Virus testing stations all around town.
This way people who suspect that they got infected are not visiting their GP and potentially spreading the virus to other people in the waiting room and working at the GP.
Right now there are 8 different testing centers just for Corona infections:
- Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum
- DRK Kliniken Berlin Westend
- Vivantes Klinikum Prenzlauer Berg
- Vivantes Wenckebach-Klinikum
- Evangelisches Krankenhaus Königin Elisabeth Herzberge
- Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Havelhöhe
- Vivantes Spandau Hospital
- DRK Kliniken Berlin Köpenick
For more detailed information visit the official Berlin website.
Corona-Tipp 1: Buy groceries online
Some of you might want to avoid the cramped situation in a supermarket where shoppers are passing by without 1.5m distance in the narrow shopping aisles.
Instead of risking getting an infection while shopping we are currently doing all of our grocery shopping online.
Our favorite place to order groceries online is Rewe Lieferservice.
Check out our article about the best grocery delivery services in Berlin for tipps on how to get the desired delivery slot.
Corona-Tipp 2: Online streaming options for free
Most of you are probably already signed-up for Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Streaming providers already noticed an extreme spike in traffic since the lock-down.
But this is the perfect time now to catch up on your favorite TV show. Here are some great streaming options for free.
Disney+ : All Telekom customers with a mobile or internet magenta contract can test Disney+ for free for 6 months. All others 7 day free trial.
Joyn: A German streaming plattform with awesome exclusive content. You need to watch Jerks, the most hilarious German TV show ever. 1 month free trial.
ARDmediathek: German TV station with lots of cool stuff. Always for free.
Corona-Tipp 3: Free access to E-Books at the Berlin library
Instead of spending your days in front of the TV why not start reading that book that you always wanted to read?
The Berlin libraries offer a 3 month free account with access to all E-Books!
We are trying to keep this list as updated as possible with the newest developments and free stuff for the time you have to spend at home.
Stay safe and healthy Berliners!