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FAQ: Questions and answers all around the coronavirus

Schematische Darstellung eines Virus
Here you will find understandable answers to frequently asked questions on how to deal with the coronavirus in Bremen.

Quelle: WFB GmbH - DGL

How to behave in everyday life

The "Corona Basic Protective Measures Ordinance" regulates how you must behave in everyday life.

The ordinance tells you what is allowed and what is prohibited. The rules in force are as follows:

You must wear a mask in the following places:

  • In medical practices, hospitals, day hospitals, outpatient and inpatient nursing care facilities,
    • Persons from 14 years of age must wear an FFP2 mask or a mask marked as “KN95/N95”. This also applies to medical personnel
  • In buses, trams and local trains
    • Persons from 14 years of age must wear a surgical mask, an FFP2 mask or a mask marked as “KN95/N95”.
    • Obligation to wear "everyday masks" for children and adolescents from 6 up to and including 13 years of age

  • In places of accommodation for the homeless and in shared accommodation for asylum seekers

The following persons do not have to wear a mask in the federal state of Bremen:

  • Children under 6 years of age,
  • Persons who cannot wear a mask due to health reasons. These persons must be able to show a certificate issued by a doctor.
  • Handicapped people.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who accompany or communicate with such persons.

In other German federal states and abroad, other rules may apply.

You must take a test prior to visiting the following places:

  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient and inpatient nursing care facilities
  • Shared accommodation for asylum seekers
  • Prisons

The following persons do not have to take a test:

  • Anyone who is fully vaccinated
  • Anyone who has recovered from Corona

The test must not be older than 24 hours. However, a self-test is not permitted.

Your employer must tell you how likely it is for you to contract Corona at work.

The employer must then decide what level of protection is necessary for you.

Your employer will tell you if you have to wear a mask. Or your employer will decide that you have to take a test regularly, so that everybody is better protected.

There are no restrictions for events, restaurants, sports facilities or other leisure activities.

Comply with the AHA Regulations:

  • Distance: Keep a distance from other people.
  • Hygiene: Wash and disinfect your hands on a regular basis.
  • Everyday masks: Wear a mask indoors.


Please show consideration for other people.

How to behave in everyday life

If you have tested positive for coronavirus through a PCR test, you must go into isolation.

​​​​There are currently no legal regulations governing the exact procedure. However, we strongly recommend that you behave as follows:

If you have a positive self-test, please go to a testing centre and take a rapid antigen test there. Strictly adhere to the AHA rules (distance – hygiene – everyday mask).

If your rapid antigen test is positive at a testing centre, please take a PCR test. With the PCR test, you can have the test result confirmed. Avoid contact with other people while waiting for the result. Follow the applicable hygiene rules and wear an FFP2 mask.

From this point onwards, the following legal obligations apply:

If you have a positive PCR test result, you must go into isolation immediately. This means: you must not leave your home or receive visitors who do not live together with you. If there is a severe risk to your life or health, you may leave your home nevertheless.

Our recommendation:

Make a list of all the people with whom you had contact over the last two days. Tell these people that you have a positive test result.

An overview of the testing centres in Bremen and Bremerhaven can be found here: https://www.gesundheit.bremen.de/corona/testen-und-testcenter-32720

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, you must go into isolation for 5 days.

This means: you must not leave your home or receive visitors who do not live together with you. If there is a severe risk to your life or health, you may leave your home nevertheless.

You will be allowed to end your isolation 5 days after the test if you have had no symptoms (shortness of breath, new onset of coughing, temperature, and loss of smell or taste) for 48 hours.

If you still have symptoms, the isolation will be extended for another 48 hours. This continues until you have had no symptoms anymore for 48 hours.

Are you a member of the medical staff and in isolation?

Then the same rules apply to you: 5 days of isolation. To be allowed to go back to work, you additionally need a negative PCR test or PoC antigen test.

A self-test is not allowed.

When does the isolation begin?

Isolation begins once you have learned from the laboratory that you have Corona.

However, we recommend that you isolate yourself already after a positive self-test to prevent infecting others.

If you have symptoms and feel bad, first contact your family doctor by telephone.

If you have called outside your doctor’s office hours, you may also call the medical on-call service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

This is the telephone number of the medical on-call service: 116 117

Yes, even if you are vaccinated and have a positive Corona test, you must go into isolation. This means you may not leave your home or receive visitors who do not live together with you. If there is a serious risk to your life or health, you may leave your home nevertheless.

This applies even if you have no symptoms.

Please also read the information under Section 9.

Information on the isolation and quarantine regulations can be found here: Home Page – The State Minister of Health, Women and Consumer Protection (bremen.de)

You had contact with an infected person?

Then you do not have to go into isolation.

However, the public health department may decide otherwise, for example if you work at a nursing care facility.

You had contact with an infected person?

In this event, our recommendations are as follows:

  • Pay special attention during one week to how you feel: do you have a cough, a cold or a temperature? Or other symptoms?
  • Take a self-test once every day.
  • The self-test is positive? Or do you have mild symptoms?
  • Then have yourself tested at a testing centre.
  • If you have symptoms, call your family doctor by telephone.

The public health department will probably not get in touch with you.

However, there are exceptions: for example, if you live in a nursing care facility and are a contact person there. It is very important that you observe yourself. How do I feel? Do I feel sick? Do I have a cough, a cold or a temperature?

The Corona Warning App (CWA) helps prevent Corona from spreading so quickly. If you have the app on your smartphone and if you had contact with an infected person, the app will tell you. Then you can take even better care not to infect any other person.

The app runs on your smartphone in the background. The app detects other smartphones nearby that are also using the app. The app stores these encounters with other smartphones for a limited period of time. As a result, nobody can learn anything about you, not even where you are right now. If you were close to a person over a longer period of time who later became infected with corona, you will receive information in the app. The information is a red box (tile). The red box tells you that maybe you have become infected. You should then take a test.

If your Corona Warning App shows a red box (tile), this means: maybe you have become infected with corona. In this event, the best option for you is to reduce your contacts. This means: Stay at home. Do not visit anybody. Do not go shopping. If possible, do not travel by bus, tram or train. Do not travel by plane either. Nobody should visit you during this time. Take a rapid antigen test. Stay at home if possible until you get the result. If your job allows you to do so, it is a good idea to work from home over the next few days.

The Corona Warning App does not warn you immediately if you have encountered an infected person. The app is not able to do this. Your smartphone does not "know" who is infected nearby. Nearby means less than two meters away.

The app only indicates if your smartphone was near another smartphone on which a positive PCR test is saved.

Each person decides for themselves whether to save their Corona test result in the app. It is good if as many people as possible use the app. And if many people save their Corona test result in the app.

When using the Corona Warning App, you remain anonymous. This means: nobody is able to find out who you are by means of the app. Your data is safe. When you register for the app, you do not have to provide any personal data. Personal data are, for instance, your name or your email address. All data is encrypted and only stored on your own smartphone.

Data that can be used to identify who you are is not used or stored. More information on your data can be found on the website of the federal government under Corona Warning App: Questions and Answers (bundesregierung.de)

Here, you can find the same information in simple language: Simple Language: The Corona Warning App and Data Protection | federal Government

If you come back to Germany from abroad, you need to know whether the country you come back from is a "virus variant region". If that is the case, you are not allowed to simply return to Germany. Then there are certain rules about what you have to do.

At present (as of August 2022) there are no regulations concerning isolation because there are no "virus variant regions".

Since there may be adjustments at any time, you should check regularly at: Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Entry Restrictions Largely Lifted – German Foreign Office (auswaertiges-amt.de).

All persons entering Germany who have stayed in a virus variant region at any time over the last ten days prior to entry are required to have proof of testing based on nucleic acid detection (PCR, PoC-NAT or other methods of nucleic acid amplification technology) at the time of entry; proof of recovery or proof of vaccination is not sufficient in this case. The proof may have to be presented to the Federal Police or the competent authority in the context of random checks during border control of cross-border traffic into Germany.

  • Children under 12 years of age are exempt from the requirement to present corresponding proof.



What regulations apply when you enter Germany from abroad can be seen on the website of the German Foreign Office Travel Warnings on the Occasion of the COVID-19 Pandemic - German Foreign Office (auswaertiges-amt.de) or on the website of the Robert Koch Institute RKI - Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - Information on the Identification of International Risk Areas by the German Foreign Office, the German Ministry of Health and the German Ministry of the Interior.

If you stayed in a virus-variant region during the last 10 days prior to entry into Germany, you have to register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de.

Children under 12 years of age are exempt from the requirement to present corresponding proof. Minors who have stayed in an area, which is classified as a virus-variant region at the time of entry into Germany, at any time during the last ten days preceding such entry are subject to the registration requirement. The quarantine shall last 14 days in general.

The quarantine ends, prior to expiry of the 14 days, once the affected virus-variant region is no longer classified as a high-risk area after entry into the Federal Republic of Germany. Or if the person entering Germany submits a vaccination certificate to the competent authority showing that he/she has been fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with a vaccine for which the Robert Koch Institute has determined and expressly announced on its website with reference to this regulation that the vaccine in question is sufficiently effective against the virus variant for which the classification as a virus variant area was made.

All information can be found at: Current information for Travellers - Federal Ministry of Health

Mandatory requirement: Residence or right of residence in Germany

  • Carry the test result with you, when entering Germany, on paper or as a digital document (German, English or French)
  • Negative PoC test no longer than 24 hours before entry, PCR test no longer than 72 hours before entry into Germany (for persons aged 6 and over)
  • The test must meet the requirements of the RKI, see www.rki.de/covid-19-tests, and be available on paper or as a digital document in German, English or French
  • Shortening of the quarantine is not possible

Presently, there are no virus variant regions

The quarantine after entry into Germany is governed by nationwide regulations:

If you have stayed in an area, which was classified as a virus-variant area at the time of entry into Germany, at any time over the ten days prior to entry, you must generally go home - or to other lodging at your destination - and seclude yourself immediately upon arrival (domestic quarantine). In the case of a prior stay in a virus variant region, the quarantine shall be fourteen days in principle.

  • If the affected virus variant region is no longer listed as such a region in Germany during the quarantine period, the quarantine obligation shall end.

In addition to the applicable notification, evidence and quarantine regulations, a restriction on the transport of persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany from countries classified as virus variant regions is necessary to protect the population in the Federal Republic of Germany and to limit the influx and rapid spreading of dangerous virus variants.

Further information on the prohibition of transport and exceptions therefrom can be found in the FAQ on Digital Entry Registration, Evidence Obligation and Entry Quarantine.

Basic knowledge about Corona

Here you will find general information about coronavirus and the Covid-19 disease.

If you have contracted the Corona virus, you may get a cough or cold. Or a scratchy throat and a temperature. This happens to many people.

Some people also get diarrhoea. Few people get seriously ill. Few people get severe breathing problems or pneumonia.

If you got infected, you may not get sick right away. You may not get sick until 2 weeks later.

However, some people do not even realise that they have become infected.

If you have a cough or a cold or a temperature and feel sick, please call your family doctor by telephone.

If the doctor's office is closed, you can call the medical on-call service. Its telephone number is 116 117.

This is how you can protect yourself and other people:

  • Do not cough or sneeze at other people. Turn away. Cough or sneeze into a handkerchief. Or into the crook of your elbow. This is called the “coughing and sneezing etiquette”.
  • Wash and disinfect your hands thoroughly.
  • Wear a mask.

Keep a distance from other people, if possible 1.5 metres or more.

If you have become infected, it may take 2 weeks before you get sick. 2 days before you feel sick, you can already infect other people.

The Corona virus is transmissible from person to person. Most people become infected when other people cough or sneeze at them. Or when tiny droplets of saliva from an infected person are in the air. If you breathe them in, you can get infected. Or you have corona viruses on your hands and touch your mouth, or your nose, or your eyes. But very few people get infected that way. Very few people have been infected by a person who had only mild symptoms. Or who had symptoms that you don't think of as corona.

Some people probably have a higher risk than others of a severe course of the Corona disease. These people include:

If you are 60 years old or older. As you get older, your body is not as good as it used to be at protecting itself from disease.

If you had another disease before, Corona can also make you badly sick. For example in the event of these diseases:

  • Cardiovascular diseases,
  • Diabetes,
  • Diseases of the respiratory system,
  • Diseases of the liver,
  • Diseases of the kidney,
  • Cancer

You may also get seriously ill from Corona:

  • If you are very corpulent (“obesity”, “adiposity”),
  • If you smoke.

You are elderly or old and had another disease before? Then, unfortunately, the risk that you will become seriously ill from Corona is even greater. You also have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill from Corona if your immune system is suppressed. Maybe you have a disease that makes your immune system weak? Maybe you take medicine that suppresses your immune system, such as cortisone.

"Recovered" means that you are healthy again after having had Corona. You are recovered if you have had a positive Corona test over the last 90 days. It must be a PCR test or a PoC-PCR test. And the test result must be at least 28 days ago.

If the test is older than 90 days, you are no longer considered a "recovered" person. If you want to read in the law, it's in the Infection Protection Act, in Section 22a paragraph 2.

You have recovered and need proof of this on your smartphone?

To get this proof, present your PCR evidence at a pharmacy or to your family doctor. Then you will get a QR code for the CovPass App or the Corona Warning App. This will allow you to save the information on your smartphone.

If you have recovered and are later vaccinated at a vaccination center or vaccination point, you can also get a certificate there which confirms that you have recovered.

Testing

The Testing Ordinance will go out of force upon the expiry of 25 November 2022.

The following people can get a free rapid antigen test at the test center, even if they have no symptoms (cough, cold, temperature, headache...):

  • Children under 5 years of age,
  • Persons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons,
  • Persons participating in clinical studies on the efficacy of vaccines against coronavirus at the time of testing,
  • Persons who are treated at medical facilities,
  • Persons receiving treatment at preventive care and rehabilitation facilities,
  • Persons receiving care from outpatient nursing care services,
  • Persons receiving outpatient intensive care,
  • Persons living in residential groups,
  • Persons living at accommodation centres for the homeless,
  • Persons living at accommodation centres for asylum seekers,
  • Persons participating in outpatient or inpatient integration trainings,
  • People with disabilities who get a so-called “personal budget”. This is money which they can use for example to pay personal assistants. If they do this, they also get free testing,
  • Nursing family members, persons living in the same household with a person suffering from corona,
  • Visitors of persons who live in medical facilities,
  • Visitors of persons who live in accommodation centres for the homeless,
  • Visitors of persons who live in accommodation centres for asylum seekers,
  • Visitors of persons who participate in inpatient or outpatient integration trainings.

The following persons without symptoms:

  • If you want to attend an indoor event on the same day and need a test.
  • If you meet people who are 60 years old or older on the same day.
  • If you meet people on the same day who have a disability or people who have a medical condition and therefore require special protection from Corona
  • If the Corona Warning App on your smartphone has a red box (tile). Then, the Corona Warning App tells you that you may have contracted Corona.

You can still get a rapid test at the testing centre. Even without a special reason. Then you have to pay for the test. This may cost more than 3 euros.

If you want to visit a person in hospital or in a nursing home, you need a test. You do not need to pay anything for the test if the hospital or nursing home confirms on a standard form that you will be coming. For this purpose, you must show the standard form at the testing centre.

You can find the standard form by clicking on this link: Formblatt-Pflegeeinrichtungen.pdf (bundesgesundheitsministerium.de).

Here you can find more information on the tests: Coronavirus Testing Ordinance – Federal Ministry of Health

If you notice any symptoms of illness on yourself:

Contact your doctor by telephone. Do not go directly to the medical practice! Discuss the further procedure with your doctor. If necessary, a PCR test can be conducted there.

A list of testing centres in the City of Bremen can be found on the Internet, on the home page of the State Minister of Health: The State Minister of Health, Women and Consumer Protection - Corona-Testing Opportunities (bremen.de)

A list of testing centres in the City of Bremerhaven can be found on the Internet: www.bremerhaven.de/testen

A list of the rapid test practices in Bremen can be found on the home page of the State Minister of Health: The State Minister of Health, Women and Consumer Protection - Corona-Testing Opportunities (bremen.de)

You can also have a rapid test taken in some pharmacies. The pharmacies where you can get tested are listed on the home page of the Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists at: Home Page / Current Information – Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists (apothekerkammer-bremen.de)

At the bottom of the home page there is a link that enables you to access the list. Caution: For people with impaired vision, the link may be difficult to see. If possible, please ask another person for help.

Has your family doctor conducted the test?

Then call the doctor’s office and ask for the result.

Has a testing centre conducted the test?

Then you can either call the testing centre or inquire again on site.

You live in Bremerhaven? And you are already waiting 72 hours or longer for the test result?

Then call the Bremerhaven Public Health Department. The telephone number is: 0471 590-2281.

Or you can write an e-mail to the Bremerhaven Public Health Department. Their email address is: corona@magistrat.bremerhaven.de.

Statutory ordinance in simple language

The statutory ordinance is available for download as a PDF file in a simple language version.

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