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COVID-19 Corona Rules and Regulations in Hamburg

This is the draft of the corona regulations applicable from Wednesday, 1 July 2020. Please note that this version is a non-official translation of the regulations in German. For more English information, please see our FAQs.

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COVID-19 Restriction Order of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

COVID-19 Restriction Order of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

These regulations are applicable from Wednesday, 1 July 2020. Please note that this is a non-official translation of the regulations in German. For more English information, please see our FAQs.

Part 1 General Regulations

Section 1 Purpose of this Order

The purpose of this order is to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the City of Hamburg to protect the health and life of the citizens and to ensure the operability of the public health system.

Section 2 Definitions

(1) For the purposes of this regulation, public places are all places which are open or accessible to the general public.

(2) For the purposes of this regulation, a household is any type of dwelling in which a person lives alone or with other persons. Persons without a permanent residence or shelter who have joined in forming a shelter and support community and who live and sleep together in a tent or camp are considered persons living in the same household for the purpose of this regulation.

(3) For the purpose of this regulation, public transport means all forms of commercial transport of persons by land and water as well as the stay of passengers and visitors on the premises belonging to the means of transport (such as railway stations, airports, landing stages and similar facilities).

(4) For the purposes of this regulation, an event is a temporary and planned event with a defined objective or intention, and with a thematic link to content or purpose, in the limited responsibility of an organiser, be it a person, an organisation or an institution, in which a group of persons takes part. Gatherings according to section 10 are not events for the purpose of this regulation.

Part 2 Physical Distancing and Contact Restrictions

Section 3 Physical Distancing

(1) Every person is required to reduce physical contact with persons other than members of their own household to an absolutely necessary minimum, to follow the current recommendations of the responsible authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to take the appropriate hygiene measures.

(2) Persons must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres between each other in public places (physical distancing). Physical distancing does not apply

  1. to members of the same household;
  2. between spouses, life partners, partners in a non-marital partnership, immediate relatives, siblings or to persons who take physical care and custody of each other under family law;
  3. to meetings of members of only one other household;
  4. to meetings of up to ten persons;
  5. if maintaining the physical distance is not possible for technical or legal reasons.

Section 4 Contact Restrictions

(1) The collective stay of persons in public places is permitted

  1. in the cases stated in section 3 (2);
  2. for the purpose of exercising a profession, unless otherwise restricted;
  3. for the purpose of performing duties or service as a member of the citizenry, as a member of the Hamburger Senat, as a member of the Constitutional Court, as a member of a constitutional body of the Federal Republic of Germany, as a civil servant, as a judge, as a member of a district assembly, as an ambassador or member of the consular corps as well as for the performance of duties in the public service or as an organ of the administration of justice;
  4. within the scope of participation in coping with the current situation of infections in accordance with participation in disaster control;
  5. in hospitals, medical or nursing facilities, medical offices, facilities for follow-up treatment and other health care facilities, facilities of service providers of integration assistance and youth welfare, facilities for family assistance, social assistance and counselling, and veterinary medical facilities; unless otherwise restricted;
  6. in courts of law and authorities and in other bodies or institutions performing functions of the public law; unless entering is restricted for non-officials;
  7. for press reports by representatives of the press, radio, film and other media;
  8. in the context of care and support of persons in need of assistance, if care and support are not otherwise possible and are not otherwise restricted;
  9. in the context of attendance at schools, youth welfare or other day-care centres, including privately organised care in small groups, as well as taking children and youths to and collecting them from these facilities; unless otherwise restricted;
  10. at events according to sections 9 and 11;
  11. at gatherings according to section 10;
  12. for the use of facilities open to the public, commercial enterprises, business premises, restaurants, accommodation or other offers open to the public, in particular those listed in these regulations, according to section 5 and the respective requirements stated in these regulations;
  13. in the context of public transport as stated in section 12;
  14. in the context of sports and swimming as stated in section 20; and
  15. in state, private and confessional universities as stated in section 22, including their facilities.

For numbers 2 to 9, physical distancing according to section 3 (2) does not apply. For numbers 2 to 9, section 9 does not apply.

(2) Collective stays of persons in public places other than those specified in subsection 1 shall be prohibited (contact restriction).

Part 3 General Requirements

Section 5 General Hygiene Requirements

(1) The following requirements for reducing the risk of coronavirus infection (general hygiene requirements) apply to the organisation of events of all kinds and to the operation of establishments, commercial enterprises, business premises, restaurants, hotels or other services open to the public, in particular those listed in these regulations:

  1. all attendants must comply with the physical distancing requirements according to section 3 (2); section 4 (1) sentence 2 applies accordingly;
  2. access for persons must be limited and monitored in such a way that all attendants on the area available are able to maintain the physical distancing requirement according to section 3 (2);
  3. persons experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness must not enter the premises;
  4. if queues are formed, suitable technical or organisational precautions must be taken to ensure that persons are able to comply with the physical distance requirements according to section 3 (2);
  5. in enclosed spaces, facilities for washing or disinfecting the hands must be provided;
  6. frequently touched surfaces and sanitary facilities must be cleaned regularly;
  7. in enclosed spaces, adequate ventilation must be ensured to reduce the risk of infection.

Compliance with these requirements must be ensured by staff or by suitable technical or organisational measures. Attendants must be reminded of the hygiene requirements by written, spoken or visual notices.

(2) The general occupational health and safety regulations and standards must be implemented for all employees together with the sector-specific arrangements with the accident insurance company. Facility owners must comply with the applicable regulations of the respective trade associations.

(3) Further orders of the responsible authorities remain unaffected.

Section 6 Infection Control Concepts

(1) As far as these regulations require that a concept documented in text form be drafted to avoid the risk of infection with the coronavirus (infection control concept), this concept shall set out suitable staff-related, technical or organisational measures to comply with the requirements according to section 5 (1) and to comply with the requirements which otherwise apply additionally under these regulations for the event, the facility, the business operation, the business premises or the offer.

(2) The person or entity responsible shall take all necessary measures to comply with the infection control concept.

(3) The concept information on its implementation must be presented on request to the responsible authority.

(4) Further obligations to draft hygiene plans in accordance with the Infektionsschutzgesetz (Infection Protection Act) remain unaffected.

Section 7 Collection of Contact Data to Facilitate Tracing Chains of Infection

(1) As far as these regulations require that contact details of attendants be collected and stored to facilitate tracing chains of infection (collection of contact data), the following applies:

  1. the contact details to be collected are the attendant’s name, address and a telephone number;
  2. the data must be recorded in written form, stating the date and time of registration, and kept for four weeks; it must be ensured that no unauthorised third parties have access to the data;
  3. the data must be provided to the responsible authority on request;
  4. the records of the contact details must be deleted or destroyed after the period of four days;
  5. the use of the contact details for purposes other than those mentioned in these regulations and their disclosure to unauthorised third parties is prohibited.

(2) The person responsible for collecting the data must exclude persons who refuse to provide their contact details from visiting or using the facility, business premises, restaurant or accommodation, or from participating in the event.

Section 8 Obligation to Wear Face Masks

(1) As far as this regulation requires persons to wear a face mask, persons are obliged to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose in such a way that the spread of droplets caused by coughing, sneezing or speaking is reduced. For the obligation to wear a face masks, the following applies:

  1. children under the age of seven are exempt from the obligation to wear a face mask;
  2. persons who have a credible reason that wearing a face mask it is not possible or unreasonable for them due to a disability or for health reasons are exempt from the obligation to wear a face mask;
  3. removing the face mask is permitted if it is necessary for identification purposes or for communication with people who are hard of hearing;
  4. the obligation to wear a face mask does not apply if there is a suitable technical device equally effective in reducing the spread of droplets by coughing, sneezing or speaking.

(2) persons who, in opposition to the obligation to wear a mask in accordance with these regulations, refuse to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose shall be denied entry to the facility or business premises, participation in the event or the use of the service or transport.

Section 9 General Regulations for Organising Events

(1) Unless stated otherwise in these regulations, events with a number of participants greater than 1000 persons (major events) are prohibited. In addition, major events at which the collecting of contact details and the compliance with hygiene regulations is not possible should not take place until at least 31 October 2020.

(2) Unless stated otherwise in these regulations, events can be permitted only if the conditions specified in subsection 3 or 4 are complied with and the following requirements are met:

  1. the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 must be complied with;
  2. an infection control concept according to section 6 must be drafted;
  3. the attendants’ contact details must be collected according to section 7;
  4. there must be a minimum distance of 2,5 metres between the audience and stages or podiums where performances take place;
  5. self-service buffets are prohibited;
  6. dancing is prohibited for the attendants.

To sales stalls and catering, sections 13 and 15 apply respectively.

(3) Seated events are permitted with up to 1000 attendants in the open air and up to 650 participants in closed rooms. At events with more than 200 attendants, the arrangements of fixed seating, access and exit routes for the attendants, ventilation, sanitary facilities and general hygiene requirements must be described in detail in the infection control concept according to section 6.

(4) Events without fixed seating are permitted with up to 200 attendants in the open air up to 100 attendants in closed rooms. If alcoholic beverages are sold during the event or breaks, the number of attendants permitted is reduced by the half. In closed rooms, the number of attendants on the event premises must not exceed one person per ten square metres of the event area.

(5) Events and celebrations are permitted in private properties with up to 25 persons. It is recommended that physical contact be reduced to an absolutely necessary minimum and that appropriate hygiene requirements be observed. Otherwise, this regulation does not apply to meetings in private property.

(6) Subsections (1), (3) and (4) as well as subsection (2) 3 do not apply to public open-air screenings of films or open-air performances of live events to attendants in enclosed cars in the open air.

Section 10 Gatherings

(1) For public and private gatherings (according to Part 8 Basic Law) in the open air and in closed rooms which are not restricted to the persons according to section 3 (2) numbers 1 to 4, the following requirements apply:

  1. notice of open-air gatherings must be given to the responsible authority 48 hours in advance; for urgent open-air gatherings, the notice period shall be 24 hours in advance;
  2. the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 (1) must be met; section 5 (1) numbers 4 to 7 and sentence 3 do not apply to open-air gatherings;
  3. on request by the responsible authority, the organiser of the gathering must draft an infection control concept according to section 6, which must be presented to the responsible authority in the event of a notification.

The responsible authority or the police working on site may prohibit a gathering according to subsection (1) in order to prevent and contain the coronavirus or impose certain restrictions, in particular with regard to the number of attendants, place, duration and manner of implementation.

(2) Open-air gatherings in the form of parades, unless these are restricted to persons according to section 3 (2) numbers 1 to 4, and gatherings with more than 1,000 attendants in the open air as well as gatherings with more than 300 attendants in closed rooms are generally prohibited; in exceptional cases they can be approved by the responsible authority upon application and in compliance with the specifications under assembly law if this is justifiable in terms of the infection protection law. The approval may be subject to conditions, in particular with regard to the number of attendants, place, duration and manner of holding of implementation.

(3) The police may end an open-air gathering if it is without prior notification according to subsection (1) number 1, if there is a deviation from the information given in the notification, if the gathering fails to comply with the requirements or restrictions specified in subsection (1) or (2), if there is no justifiable exception as specified in subsection (2), or if the conditions for a prohibition according to subsection (1) are met. As soon as a gathering is officially ended, all attendants must leave immediately. The police may exclude from the meeting attendants who, despite being requested to do so, fail to comply with the requirements under subsection (1) or (2), or with the hygiene requirements according to section 5 (1) 1.

(4) The Versammlungsgesetz (Assembly Act) remains unaffected.

(5) For the operation of information stands by political parties, non-profit associations and non-governmental organisations in public places, the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 (1) apply. An infection control concept must be drafted according to section 6. The information stands are not permitted if the remaining traffic space is restricted by them in such a way that the distance requirement under section 3 (2) cannot be complied with.

(6) The general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply to meetings required by law and meetings and gatherings of the organs of associations, foundations, partnerships and corporations and comparable bodies of staff. An infection control concept must be drafted according to section 6. Contact details of the participants must be collected according to section 7.

Part 4 Requirements Specific of Location

Section 11 Religious Events

For religious events or gatherings in churches, mosques or synagogues, for religious events or gatherings in the cult rooms of other denominations or ideological communities as well as for corresponding open-air events, the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply. An infection control concept must be drafted according to section 6. Section 9 (1) to (4) do not apply.

Section 12 Public Transport

Persons using public transport facilities according to section 2 (3) must wear a face mask according to section 8. If public passenger transport is carried out in passenger cars, driving staff must also wear a face mask according to section 8, provided that there are no other means to prevent droplet infection in the vehicle. The physical distancing requirements according to section 3 (2) apply unlkess restricted by the spatial conditions. Persons experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness must not enter the facility; this does not apply to rescue services. Otherwise, section 5 shall not apply. Operators of public transport vehicles and facilities must remind their passengers to comply with the requirements in individual cases by means of written or spoken notices or pictures, and verbal warnings in the event of refusal to comply. Staff are also entitled to deny transport to persons refusing to comply with the requirements. For transport conducted by coach services, contact details must be collected according to section 7.

Section 13 Retail Shops, Fairs and Markets

(1) On all premises of retail businesses, shops of service or craft enterprises, pharmacies, medical supply stores, banks as well as pawnshops and at their public auctions as well as other auctions, in post offices, in wholesale, at travelling warehouses, at trade fairs and exhibitions, at fairgrounds and at stalls at weekly markets, the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 and the obligation to wear face masks according to section 8 apply to all attendants. Public access must be monitored by appropriate technical or organisational measures in such a way that the number of attendants in the area open to the public is limited to one person per ten square metres of the operating area; this does not apply to outdoor markets, in particular weekly outdoor markets. Businesses with premises open to the public less than ten square metres shall grant access to one customer at a time plus any necessary accompanying person. Section 9 does not apply.

(2) On traffic areas open to the public in shopping centres or indicated shopping streets, the attendants must wear face masks according to section 8. Open sales stalls are not permitted if restricting the remaining traffic space or the physical distance requirements according to section 3 (2).

(3) Offering food samples for direct consumption and presenting unpackaged cosmetics in the form of testers are prohibited.

(4) Police may prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages for take-away in certain places if violations of these regulations occur in these places or in their immediate vicinity due to collective alcohol consumption in public places. The ban shall be limited until 6 a.m. of the following day.

Section 14 Services with Physical Contact

In hairdressers’ shops and service businesses of personal hygiene, the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 and the obligation to collect contact data according to section 7 apply. If there are no requirements according to section 5 (2), an infection control concept must be drafted according to section 6.

Section 15 Restaurants and Similar Catering Facilities

(1) For the operation of restaurants, including staff restaurants, canteens and restaurants in the context of accommodation, the following requirements apply:

  1. the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply;
  2. contact details must be collected according to section 7;
  3. seating or standing areas for guests must be arranged in such a way that a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained between guests subject to the physical distance requirements according to section 3 (2) if there are no suitable partition walls;
  4. self-service buffets must not be offered;
  5. the use of shishas, hookahs or other water pipes is prohibited.

Number 2 does not apply to the sale of food and beverages for take-away as well as in dining areas of medical, nursing or care facilities, or in non-public canteens.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to the club or public rooms of associations, in particular of sports, cultural and local heritage associations, respectively.

(3) Catering facilities falling under the special operating modes of dance clubs or discotheques may not be opened to the public. If the actual operating mode of the restaurant differs from the operating mode specified in the permit, the actual operating mode applies.

(4) Section 13 (4) applies accordingly.

Section 16 Accommodation

(1) When providing overnight accommodation in tourist establishments, in holiday homes, on campsites and in other facilities, the following requirements must be met:

  1. the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply;
  2. contact details must be collected according to section 7;
  3. collectively used saunas must be kept closed; for swimming pools, section 20 (4) applies accordingly;
  4. dormitories must not be provided for more than 4 persons;
  5. tourists must confirm in writing that they have not stayed in an area in which, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the number of new coronavirus infections exceeds 50 per 100,000 inhabitants in the previous 7 days.

(2) Living spaces in residential buildings may not be let to tourists.

(3) Companies which provide or arrange for collective accommodation  for workers employed by them or to workers working on their premises, and companies which have knowledge of such accommodation, must inform the responsible authority without delay of the location of such accommodation, the number of persons accommodated there and the intended period of accommodation. This also applies to persons who provide collective accommodation for seasonal workers or those working on construction sites. The requirements stated above only apply if the collective accommodation or the construction site is located within the boundaries of the City of Hamburg or if the seasonal work is carried out there.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the provision of overnight accommodation for tourists who have stayed in an area referred to in subsection (1) number 5 is only permitted if the respective guests present on arrival a medical certificate to the operator of the accommodation confirming that there is no evidence of infection with the coronavirus. The medical certificate must be based on a molecular-biological test carried out within the previous 48 hours. The time of the result of the test shall determine the start of this period. A result obtained from a specialist medical laboratory shall be considered a medical certificate. Text form shall suffice; either digital or on paper.

(5) For return travellers from abroad, the regulations in part 8 apply.

Section 17 Facilities for Leisure Activities

For leisure activities in the open air and in closed rooms, which are not specifically stated in this regulation, the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply, and for leisure activities in closed rooms, the organiser is additionally obliged to collect contact details according to section 7. An infection control concept must be drafted according to section 6. Sections 13 and 15 apply respectively to retail facilities and restaurants located on the premises. If activities are offered in which an increased emission of breath is to be expected, the attendants must maintain a minimum physical distance of 2.5 metres from one another; the exceptions to the physical distance requirements according to section 3 (2) apply accordingly.

Section 18 Cultural Facilities

(1) For the operation of theatres, operas, concert halls, musical theatres, cinemas and planetariums, the general hygiene regulations according to section 5 apply and organiser must collect the attendants’ contact details according to section 7. An infection control concept must be drafted according to section 6. A minimum physical distance of 2.5 metres must be maintained between the audience and the stages on which performances take place. Sections 13 and 15 apply respectively to retail facilities and restaurants located on the premises.

(2) For the operation of libraries, archives, museums, exhibition centres, galleries, literature houses, memorial sites and community cultural centres, the general hygiene regulations according to section 5 apply. A minimum physical distance of 2.5 metres must be maintained between the audience and stages or podiums on which performances take place. Sections 13 and 15 apply respectively accordingly to retail facilities and restaurants located on the premises. For courses and counselling programme as well as rentals to associations and groups in community cultural centres, section 19 (1) applies.

Section 19 Educational and Training Facilities, Driving Classes

(1) For the operation of state and private educational and training facilities, for offers of vocational training and for the operation of institutions of initial orientation, integration, language and professional language course providers, the following requirements apply:

  1. the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply;
  2. contact details must be collected according to section 7;
  3. an infection protection concept must be drafted according to section 6;
  4. participants must not be mixed between study groups and all activities involving more than one study group must be cancelled; this does not apply to examination procedures;
  5. study breaks must take place in the form that different study groups enter common rooms or common areas at different times.

(2) Subsection (1) also applies to music schools, choirs, dance schools, providers of artistic education, such as ballet schools and children's drama schools, as well as independent artistic teachers, even if they work in changing locations. Whenever increased emissions of breath are to be expected, especially when dancing, doing ballet, singing or playing wind instruments, the persons involved must maintain a minimum physical distance of 2.5 metres between one another. The exceptions to the physical distance requirements according to section 3 (2) apply accordingly.

(3) For theoretical and practical driving instruction for the acquisition of driving licences, the general hygiene requirements according to section 5 apply. The operator must draft an infection protection concept according to section 6. In practical driving lessons, the obligation to wear a face mask according to section 8 applies to learner drivers in closed vehicles.

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