In Hamburg, the aim consists in opening and simultaneously consolidating the number of infections or even reducing it more, if possible. It remains important to protect the citizens from an infection and to avoid an overload of the health care system. We must make sure that the number of infections will not increase again, because this would require new restrictions (yo-yo effect).
Quick tests help to detect possible infections quickly and to avoid infection chains. And there is hope: efficient vaccines are used in order to protect us from an infection, and more and more people can be vaccinated completely.
Everybody can contribute and help to overcome the time until the majority of the population is vaccinated without causing a new increase of the number of infections. Please adhere to the rules that currently apply – they have been made in order to protect us against an infection and to avoid severe diseases.
This article provides a simple overview of the rules that are currently applying in Hamburg. Please note: the valid legal decree in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Hamburg published in the Hamburgisches Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt (Hamburg’s Law and Ordinance Gazette) is legally binding and can be consulted on the Internet (www.luewu.de).
Please continue to avoid all unnecessary personal contacts. „Keeping distance“ helps to prevent the spread of the virus. This is why you are asked to keep a general distance of 1,5 meters from other persons. If it is not possible to keep distance, please wear a (medical) mask.
The following general rules apply for necessary personal encounters:
The following groups of persons are legally allowed to meet without adhering to the distance rule:
- Persons living together in one common household do not need to keep distance from each other. Spouses and civil partners are considered as one household, even if they live in different places. However, max. 5 persons are allowed to gather in public; their children under the age of 14 years are not counted.
- Persons linked by legal custody or a right of contact based on family law do not need to keep distance from each other. However, only max. 5 persons are allowed to gather in public; their children under the age of 14 years are not counted.
- If there is no family relationship between the persons who meet, or if they do not live together, max. 5 persons can meet without keeping distance. This applies for all kinds of contacts, whether at home or in public. Children (under the age of 14 years) are not counted.
- You can find the rules applying for completely vaccinated persons and persons having recovered from an infection in our article "easings for vaccinated and convalescent persons " (http://t.hh.de/15079086).
Children’s birthday parties can also be celebrated in private homes with up to 10 children under the age of 14 years.
Please note: The police in Hamburg can mandate an obligation to wear a mask at certain places at any time if it is not possible to adhere to the distance rule, e.g. on playgrounds and in shopping streets.
The obligation to wear a mask in Hamburg
In Hamburg, it is mandatory to wear a FFP2 mask in public transports and also in the context of services requiring close physical contact (hairdressing salons, podiatry, solariums, etc.). This applies for the service providers and the customers / clients as well as for completely vaccinated and convalescent persons.
Medical masks (= surgery masks) are mandatory
- when taking the plane, a taxi or any other commercial means of transport (this includes also the driver),
- when shopping,
- in publicly accessible buildings,
- in all cultural facilities,
- in health care facilities, hospitals and during health treatments,
- during religious services,
- at work, e.g. if more than one person works in an office or a workshop without appropriate technical measures in order to avoid the spread of droplets by coughing, sneezing or talking and
- at every place where it is mandatory due to occupational health and safety regulations and standards or due to BG rules.
A scarf or any other clothes pulled over your nose and mouth as well as face shields, e.g. in open air restaurans, cannot be used as or replace a mask. Please read our article about "medical masks" (https://www.hamburg.de/corona-maske/14847194/medizinische-masken/) to learn what medical masks look like, how to use and where to buy them.
At certain points of time, a general obligation to wear a mask applies also at highly frequented public streets, parks and places listed in § 10b of our decree in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Hamburg or on our map (https://www.hamburg.de/coronavirus/aktuelles/14435302/2020-10-10-maskenpflicht-an-oeffentlichen-plaetzen/). Even though there is a smaller risk of infection outdoor than indoor, this risk increases also outdoor when many people gather. There is a general obligation to wear a mask at public places outdoor in order to reduce the risk of infection, which also applies in parks, when it is not possible to keep a minimum distance of 1,5 meters.
Vaccinated and convalescent persons must also wear a mask in Hamburg.
Please note: The police in in Hamburg can mandate an obligation to wear a mask at certain public places at any point of time if the distance rule cannot be adhered to, e.g. at playgrounds or shopping streets. If you violate the obligation to wear a mask, you may be subject to a fine.
Obligation for testing
At many services (e.g. hairdressing salons) and in many facilities (e.g. care facilities), it is mandatory to provide evidence of a negative corona test result. Please consult the respective service or facility beforehand.
A negative PCR test result or a negative quick test result are considered as evidence. The PCR test result must not be older than 48 hours and the quick test result must not be older than 24 hours. It is also possible to do a quick test immediately before the service is provided. Please see the questions and answers in our FAQ Corona Tests. (https://www.hamburg.de/faq-tests/)
You can find an overview of the test centers on our map „Test centers in Hamburg“.
Vaccinated and convalescent persons have the same rights than tested persons and do not need to present a negative corona test result. However, they must provide evidence of their recovery or their vaccination.
The shops are open under certain conditions.
Retail stores are allowed to open, too. However, it is mandatory to trace and document the customers‘ contact information (digitally).
Betting offices and gambling halls can also open again under certain strict conditions.
Culture and leisure time
The following cultural facilities remain closed in order to reduce the mobility in these contexts: music clubs, folk festivals, gambling halls and casinos, betting offices, saunas and steam baths, thermal baths and wellness centers.
Museums, memorials, exhibition halls and libraries as well as local cultural centers and community centers, archives, zoological and botanical gardens are open for the public. Theaters (including musical theaters), operas, concert halls, the house of literature and movie theaters (cinemas) have resumed their operations. Choirs can rehearse outdoor.
As from Monday, June 7th, 2021, the townhall of Hamburg will open its hallway again for the public. The access is restricted, only 20 persons max. are admitted at the same time. However, guided tours inside the townhall are not yet possible again. Visitors must submit their contact information (digitally).
All kinds of leisure activities (indoor and outdoor) are admitted again under certain conditions. This includes among other things the (digital) collection and documentation of contact information, the obligation to wear a mask indoor as well as the obligation to present a negative corona test result if you wish to attend any indoor programs. You can find more detailed information in our FAQ.
Touristic guided tours can take place again for max. 20 participants outdoor and max. 10 participants indoor. Every participant must submit his / her contact information and wear a mask. Attending any indoor programs is only admitted after presenting a negative corona test result.
Touristic harbour and city tours are admitted again, too. However, certain conditions must be fufilled, e.g. it is mandatory to wear a FFP2 mask and to present a negative corona test result, and the attendees‘ contact information must be collected and documented (digitally). All vehicles (this includes also ships and boats) are only allowed to use 60% of their passenger transport capacity. Eating and drinking is admitted on board, but the rules applying for restaurants and eating facilities must be adhered to.
Please note: Please obtain information about the respectively applying hygiene concepts beforehand. You are usually asked to book a fix appointment or time slot, provide evidence of a negative corona quick test, wear a medical mask and submit your contact information.
Sports can be done contactlessly outdoor in groups of up to 20 adult persons and indoor in groups of up to 10 adult persons. At all sports facilities, the persons‘ contact information must be documented (digitally). At a big sports facility, several groups can practice their sports simultaneously if they are and remain physically separated.
Children under the age of 14 years can do sports contactlessly outdoor. The number of admitted children per group is not limited. There is no obligation anymore for their supervisors to do a test.
Fitness-, sports- and yoga studios are allowed to open their indoor areas again. It is mandatory to do a corona test, to document the attendees‘ contact information (digitally) and to limit the number of attendees according to the surface of the studio. In addition, a distance of at least 2,5 meters must be kept between the different pieces of sports equipment and the individual movement radius of the attendees – e.g. around a yoga mat. You can find more details in our FAQ.
Outdoor and indoor sports events can take place again under certain conditions. Up to 650 spectators are admitted. It is mandatory for them to do a corona test, they must sit on a seat that they have been assigned to, submit their contact information (digitally) so that it can be documented and traced and wear a medical mask permanently. It is allowed to open and use toilets when the hygiene rules and the minimum distance are adhered to.
Open-air swimming pools can open within certain restrictions. Please check the respective websites beforehand in order to learn more about the conditions, the test obligation, the appointment booking and the applying hygiene rules.
Manual and technical services, especially emergency services, can be provided within certain restrictions.
Services requiring close physical contact are admitted under strict conditions. This includes the adherence to the general hygiene rules of the professional associations (BG), the establishment of a protection concept, the obligation of (digital) contact information documentation and the prior appointment booking. Customers / clients must wear a FFP2 mask and present a negative corona test result.
It is permitted to take off the mask temporarily when this is necessary in order to perform or to receive the service, e.g. for medically necessary cosmetic treatments.
You can find an overview of the test centers on our map „Test centers in Hamburg“ (https://www.hamburg.de/corona-schnelltest/).
It is prohibited to provide or use prostitution. The respective facilities are closed.
Customer Service Centers
The customer service centers in Hamburg – registration office – will extend their service hours. The citizens can usually come to the centers again between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. You can make an appointment here. It is mandatory to wear a medical mask in the service offices. This rule also applies for the special customer service center at Messehallen.
Restaurants, bars and alcohol consumption
It is allowed to open the indoor areas of bars and restaurants in Hamburg under certain conditions. Among other things, it is mandatory for the guests to do a corona test, their contact information must be documented and traced (digitally) and the distance rules (1,5 meters between the tables) as well as the general contact rules must be adhered to. Max. 5 persons are allowed to sit together at a table. In addition, it is mandatory to wear a mask everywhere indoor. Masks can only be taken off while you are staying at your place.
A curfew applies for all bar and restaurant indoor areas everywhere in Hamburg from Friday to Sunday at on the evenings before holidays between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day.
The outdoor areas of restaurants and bars are open, too. Numerous restrictions apply. e.g. the distance rules and the obligation to trace the guests‘ contacts (digitally, if possible). It is not mandatory to do a quick test when you only visit the outdoor areas. Groups of max. 5 persons are admitted, their children under the age of 14 years are not counted. The outdoor area can also be covered, but due to infection protection reasons, max. two side panels are admitted. You can find all details in our FAQ Restaurants and bars.
It is allowed to use shishas and water pipes in the outdoor areas again. However, strict rules must be adhered to. You can find an overview in our FAQ „Restaurants“ (Link zu https://www.hamburg.de/faq-corona-gaststaetten/)
It is permitted to serve and to consume alcoholic drinks in the outdoor areas of restaurants. However, it is not allowed to sell alcoholic drinks in a restaurant „for takeaway and
It is permitted to drink your own alcoholic drinks in public – however, it is mandatory to adhere to the distance and contact rules when doing so.
Please note: There are some public streets, places and parks where it is generally prohibited to consume alcoholic drinks, whether you bring them along or buy them on site. You can find an overview of the places on our map in the article „Prohibition of alcohol consumption at certain public places“ (https://www.hamburg.de/coronavirus/aktuelles/14985616/2021-03-26-orte-alkoholkonsumverbot/) and also in § 4d of the valid legal decree in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Hamburg. The police can also temporarily prohibit the consumption of alcohol at further places, if it leads to violations of the legal decree.
Special rules for so-called „hotspots“
As from Friday, June 4th, 2021, special rules apply for bars and restaurants in so-called „hotspots“, meaning the streets and places in the districts Schanzenviertel and St. Pauli. It is prohibited to serve alcohol between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. of the following day, to sell alcohol (kiosks, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, etc.) and to carry alcohol with you (as a citizen) between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day. These prohibitions apply at the weekends from Friday to Sunday and on the evenings before holidays.
Please see also the information under Prohibition of alcohol consumption at certain public places (http://t.hh.de/14985616)
Theoretical driving lessons can take place on-site. However, the groups must be small enough so that everybody can keep a minimum distance of 1,5 meters from each other. Practical driving lessons are admitted, too. It is mandatory to wear medical masks, among other things. For both theoretical and practical driving lessons, a negative corona test result must be presented and the contact information must be submitted and documented (digitally).
Home office and occupational safety
Until June 30th, 2021, the Federal Law still stipulates that employers must offer their employees the possibility to work from home whenever this is possible and the operational processes allow so.
If staff members must be on site, strict protective measures must be taken in order to adhere to the distance rule. It is for example only permitted to take off one’s mask when a person is alone in a room or when there is an appropriate technical device avoiding the spread of droplets emitted by coughing, sneezing or talking. Furthermore, it is permitted to take off the mask temporarily if this is absolutely necessary in order to execute the professional activity.
When there is an obligation to wear a mask, this must be a medical mask. If it is necessary to have employees on site, the employer must provide medical masks for the staff members.
Child care facilities
Child care facilities currently provide a restricted normal service. It is guaranteed that every child can be taken care of during 20 hours per week. Please ask your respective child care facility for the different services, e.g. if your child has special educational needs or if you need more than 20 hours of child care per week.
As from June 7th, 2021, the child care facilities will resume their regular operation. You can find the according information issued by the family authority (Familienbehörde) here.
Children showing symptoms of an infection with COVID-19 that are typical for their age, e.g. a body temperature of (more than) 37,5°C, must not be taken care of in child care facilities.
Schools and other educational facilities
Since May 31st, 2021, many classes have completely returned to the classroom every day; however, there is no obligation to be physically present at school until the end of the school year.
Persons working at schools are offered regular tests. For teachers, it is mandatory to do regular tests when they do classroom teaching.
Tests are also mandatory for all learners at general and vocational schools in Hamburg who attend the lessons taking place in the classroom. It is only possible to attend classes in the classroom with a negative corona test result.
It is generally mandatory to wear a mask at the school’s premises and in the buildings, also during the classes when they take place on site. This rule applies for all types of schools (also elementary schools). It is mandatory to ventilate the classrooms intensively every 20 minutes.
The following rules apply for all other kinds of educational facilities:
Public libraries are open and it is also possible to read indoor under strict conditions. Please obtain information about these conditions and the obligation to do a test beforehand (see above).
Training and education in private institutions including language-, integration-, professional language- and first orientation courses can take place in the classroom. However, the groups must be small enough so that a minimum distance of 1,5 meters can be kept between the attendees. Furthermore, it is mandatory to trace the contacts (digitally), to wear a medical mask indoor and to present a negative corona test result before the class starts (when a course takes place every day, two tests per week are mandatory. However, they must not be done at two consecutive days).
These rules also apply for extracurricular music and educational offers. However,it is permitted to take off the masks when playing an instrument or during physical activities, if this is absolutely necessary. During physical activities, e. g. dancing (also in dancing schools), it is mandatory to keep a minimum distance of 2,5 meters.
Hospitals and care facilities
Most hospitals provide restricted possibilities for visits. During these visits, it is generally mandatory to wear a mask and to adhere to the general hygiene rules.
The different hospitals will inform you directly about the exact possibilities to visit and the conditions to fulfill in order to visit a patient (e.g. a negative corona test result). It is recommended to look at the website or call the hospital before going there in order to obtain information about the currently valid protection measures and applying rules.
f you want to visit a family member or friend in a stationary care facility, you must do a corona quick test (PoC antigen test) 12 hours before at the latest and present a negative result (e.g. a certificate issued by the test responsible on site or a test center; a self-quick test, that you have e.g. purchased in a drug store, is not accepted). The care facilities also must provide such a test possibility every day. A negative PCR test (max. 48 hours old) is also admitted as an alternative. Please obtain information about the testing procedure and the special visiting rules and protection measures.
You can find further information about testing here: https://www.hamburg.de/faq-tests/.
In order to protect the staff members and residents of care facilities, the following general rule applies: It is prohibited to enter a care facility when you suffer from an acute respiratory disease, when your current test result was positive, when you have been in contact with a positive person or when you have just returned from a risk area.
Completely vaccinated and convalescent persons can visit care facilities without doing a test beforehand when they present the respective evidence of their vaccination or their convalescence.
Private parties and gatherings
Even though parties are legally admitted, you are asked to go without them. It is only possible to have a party when you adhere to the contact rule (max. 5 persons); their children under the age of 14 years are not counted. Childrens‘ birthday parties are admitted for up to 10 children under the age of 14 years. You can find the rules applying for completely vaccinated and convalescent persons in our article „Easings for vaccinated and convalescent persons“.
Personal encounters (not parties) are only possible in small groups. The distance and contact rules must be adhered to. This applies for encounters at home and outdoor.
„Events“ as defined in the legal decree are gatherings such as e.g. (advanced) training programs, professional meetings, etc. These kinds of meetings are admitted indoor for up to 50 persons and outdoor for up to 250 persons under the condition that the distance rule is adhered to; furthermore, it is mandatory to trace the contact information (digitally) and to wear a medical mask (please consider all conditions and stipulations of § 9 of the valid legal decree in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Hamburg).
Weddings, birthday parties and anniversaries are not events as defined in the legal decree – they are private parties (see § 9 paragraph 3 of the legal decree in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Hamburg).
Since May 28th, 2021, the civil registry offices of the different districts allow wedding couples to get married in the presence of guests (the guests must do a corona test). The number of persons admitted at a wedding is limited according to the local conditions (max. 10 persons including the registrar). However, the general contact restrictions remain unaffected, also in the context of a wedding party, which means that max. 5 persons are allowed to gather. This applies also for all kinds of activities organized by and for the wedding couple after the official act at the civil registry office.
Travelling and overnight stays
You are asked to generally avoid all kinds of journeys and day trips. If you come or return to Hamburg from a foreign country, please consider all the rules listed in our FAQ Travelling.
It is admitted to provide overnight stays in Hamburg under certain conditions. 60 % of the capacity of a hotel (house) or complex may be used. All guests must do a corona test before checking in and are only allowed to entert he facility when the test result ist negative. Tests must be repeated every 72 hours. In addition, all guests must submit their contact information and wear a medical mask everywhere outside their room(s). Hotel restaurants are only allowed to open their indoor areas for the hotel guests (e.g. for breakfast). Of course the guests are allowed to take off their mask when the are sitting at the place they have been assigned to.
Religious events and memorial / funeral services
Religious events in churches, mosques, synagogues and places of worship of other communities of faith and conviction are admitted when the valid distance and hygiene rules are adhered to. It is recommended to implement the model protection concept issued by the Senate Chancellery.
It is mandatory to wear a medical mask indoor, which can be taken off during the liturgical actions. It remains prohibited to sing together.
These rules also apply for memorial / funeral services, for which it is also mandatory to trace the contact information (digitally).
Senior citizens social clubs
Senior citizens social clubs can open again under certain conditions, which include the (digital) contact tracing, the obligation to wear a medical mask indoor and the obligation to present a negative corona test result before visiting the club. Completely vaccinated and convalescent persons do not need to present a negative test result, but only if they are able to present an evidence for their vaccination / convalescence.
Gatherings (Demonstrations and parades)
You can find all information about gatherings according to article 8 of the German constitution in § 10 of the legal decree in order to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Hamburg. This concerns demonstrations at a fix place (indoor and outdoor) as well as parades on a predetermined route.