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COVID-19 Doing business in Germany

The outbreak of COVID-19 has consequences for entrepreneurs doing business in or with Germany. Germany is divided into several states, which each have a degree of autonomy. The federal and state governments share powers in several areas, such as civil law, public welfare, consumer protection, and public health. As such, measures against the spread of COVID-19 may differ per state. Check with your local contact, supplier or business partner for more information.

Coronavirus measures in Germany

On 6 May, Merkel announced steps to relax the coronavirus measures in Germany. Decisions about how, when and where the measures will be relaxed are made on a city, state and region level. This means that measures may differ greatly across the country. For example, one region may be on lockdown while the neighbouring region is not. For the measures that apply in your state, consult your local authorities.

Federal measures

On 22 March, Chancellor Merkel announced measures against coronavirus which applied to the whole of Germany. These included, among other things, closing cafes and restaurants and a 'contact ban', which reduced contact with non-family members to one person. The measures that now apply to Germany nationwide are:
  • To relax the coronavirus measures, the infection rate must be below 50 per 100,000 residents in a city or region. If the infection rate passes this number, the city or region has to take harsher measures to stop the spread of coronavirus. These measures depend on the nature of the outbreak.
  • The 'contact ban' is still in place, but only partially. You can now meet up with people, but only with those from one household or family at a time.
  • Hygiene and distance rules still apply. This means keeping a distance of 1.5 metres from others in public spaces.
  • You must wear a mask over your nose and mouth, but the type and when you have to wear it, for example, in public transport, differs per state.
  • Quarantine is mandatory if you have been outside of Germany for several days.
Please note that only a few measures apply nationwide. Extra or harsher measures may apply in your region. We advise you to check the current measures in your area via your local authorities.

Support for German enterprises

The German Federal government offers information for German entrepreneurs on:

You may also want to read the document 'A protective shield for employees and companies' from the German Federal Ministry of Finances and the Ministry of Economy and Energy.

Travelling to Germany

  • The border between Germany and the Netherlands is still open, but there are conditions for crossing. Check the information provided by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community on border checks and travel restrictions.
  • There may be more checks carried out on those crossing the border for 'urgent reasons'.
  • If you are travelling across the border for work, you can use the 'commuter declaration' (in German). It is not compulsory but may help if you get checked.
  • A two-week mandatory quarantine is in place for those entering Germany after having been outside the country for several days.
  • Commuters, those who have to travel for their profession and carriers/transporters are exempted from the quarantine measures.
  • The German government has decided to close its borders with Austria, Denmark, France,Luxembourg and Switzerland, except for several designated crossing points. Read the rules concerning the land borders in further detail.
  • Consult the list of designated crossing points to Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Veterinary and phytosanitary measures

Contact the agricultural attaché and the agricultural team in Germany for your questions via email.

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