Hang In There, Everyone! The most important lockdown updates in Bavaria
April • 20th, 2020
by the Expat in the City Team
Current developments in the Covid-19 crisis
The German government has given official press conferences last Thursday regarding the current development in the Covid-19 crisis. Since everyone is currently waiting for life to go back to ‘normal’, we still have to face the fact that we need to stay patient on the way - good news is that measurements are becoming more flexible, as long as we take the relevant precautions.
“Concept” is the word of the hour: Whether in school, in retail or in healthcare: With appropriate concepts for hygiene and handling, lockdown restrictions will be slowly released from April 20th onwards.
Here’s an overview of the most important lockdown updates Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder and Chancellor Angela Merkel stated in their press conferences on Thursday afternoon. Most of these changes apply to all of Germany, although Bavaria still has stricter restrictions given its status as the German state hit hardest so far by COVID-19.
The most important rules for General Public Life in Bavaria
- General exit restrictions will be extended until May 3
- The safety distance to others of 1.50 meters is still the top priority
- After some back and forth, a mask requirement (either a face mask or scarf) will apply starting April 27 in shops, buses and trains
- People are still only allowed to be outside alone, with one other person who does not live in the household or with members of their own household
- Citizens should continue to do without private trips and visits - also to relatives, also within the country
Inbound and return travelers must remain in quarantine for 14 days
Which shops will be opened?
- All shops with up to 800 square meters of retail space are allowed to open from Monday, April 20
- Regardless of the sales area, car dealers, bicycle dealers and bookstores can also prepare for a reopening - during this time however, shops may only allow a maximum of 40 people inside at once, and department stores/shopping malls will remain closed
- Hairdressers are allowed to open again from May 4th - as with all shop openings, more strict hygiene and clearance rules apply
Schools, kindergarten and Kitas
- From May 4th: Graduation classes and qualification-relevant classes of Realschulen, Mittelschulen und Gymnasien that take their exams in the next school year will be able to go back to class. This also applies to the last class of the Grundschule
- Grades 1-3 in Grundschulen and Kitas will remain closed
- Other students (they specifically mention students graduating next year) will return on May 11. Class sizes will be restricted to no more than 15 students.
- The Bavarian ministry of education and cultural affairs is going to present a concept for further steps, especially for school buses and breaks until April 29
- Practical events in universities should take place under special hygiene measures
- Libraries and archives are to be opened under hygiene requirements
- Primary schools and daycare centers remain closed: Söder also announced that parents in Bavaria will not have to pay any kindergarten or daycare fees for the next three months if they are closed due to the Corona crisis
Read our article about quarantining with kids to get some inspiration and new ideas for your days together at home!
Gastronomy, Events & Tourism
- All large events will be banned until August 31st. This has prompted the official cancellation of prominent music festivals Rock am Ring & Rock im Park, as well as Oktoberfest 2020: the biggest folk festival in the world takes a compulsory break this year
- Masks are strongly encouraged, but only mandatory in shops and public transport. While no legal obligation is in place yet to wear a mask in public, Söder emphasized the importance of wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth when in shops and on public transport
- All current restrictions on gastronomic businesses such as restaurants and cafes will remain. This means no sit-down options are allowed, however these businesses are still permitted to offer takeout/delivery
- All current restrictions on tourism businesses such as hotels will remain. Söder also mentioned that summer vacations abroad were looking highly unlikely
- From May 3, Söder also believes that public services in the Free State are possible subject to conditions. That of course also includes limitations in churches and hygiene policies
Check out our event section for Online-Events and Webinars and read our article on how to support local stores during Corona to find out which restaurants and cafes are here for you while exit restrictions remain.
Hang in there, everyone - and most importantly, stay safe and healthy!
The Expat in the City Team