We want to keep you updated on the current (25.05.2020) status of Corona rules in Berlin. Although there has been a significant loosening of the lock-down rules, many important rules are still in place to stop the spread of Covid 19.

Masks are required in all shops and supermarkets and on public transport at all times.

Social Distancing and keeping all contacts to a minimum are still in place, at the moment this will be reviewed on the 05.05.2020. You may meet with people from up to two households while keeping social distancing rules. Large gatherings are forbidden, this excludes demonstrations up to 100 people and church services up to 50 people. BBQs in the park is forbidden.

Clubs, Theatres and Cinemas are still closed. The only exception is drive-in Cinemas.

Sport is allowed in groups up to 8 people, social distancing must be adhered to at all times. Fitness/Yoga studios remain closed, this will be reviewed at the end of May, 2020.

(Source: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/immer-mehr-corona-lockerungen-was-ist-in-berlin-eigentlich-noch-verboten/25856090.html)

As of today, Friday the 15th of May, 2020 – Cafes and Restaurants are allowed to open again to the public after the lock-down imposed due to the novel Corona virus. There will be some strict new rules for the hospitality industry but Berliners are looking forward to getting out to support their local cafes and restaurants again.

Here is an overview of the new rules imposed on the hospitality industry.

Cafes and Restaurants are allowed to open between the hours of 6am and 10pm, as long as they serve food and drinks made on site.

Tables must be at least 1.5 meters apart.

Guests at one table must be from the same household or max. from 2 households – there is no limit to how many people this includes.

There is no requirement to wear a mask, but wait-staff will be required to wear a mask when serving.

You may be required to leave your name and phone number, it is not mandatory but it has been recommended by the Senat that establishments find a way of being able to trace guests if necessary. This data must be deleted after 4 weeks, it serves to help track and trace chains of infection if needed.

(Source: https://www.morgenpost.de/berlin/article229119200/Restaurants-oeffnen-wieder-in-Berlin-Das-muss-man-wissen.html)

Face masks become mandatory from the 27.04 on public transport in Berlin and they are highly recommended for use while shopping. Most of Germanys 16 States have implemented similar requirements. Although masks do not replace social distancing and hygiene, they can help to stop the spread of droplets and are therefore recommended. We want to help you to find a mask for you!

Here are some options for procuring masks for personal use.

Order online:

Von Jungfeld – Cotton masks plain/statement pieces, you can also buy one donate one. *non-medical

Oderso – Polypropylen, 5 or 10 pack of masks for a fair price of 12€ or 22€ *non-medical

Sew a mask yourself:

nebenan.de instructions *non-medical

youtube tutorial sewing *non-medical

youtube upcycle an old t-shirt, no sew *non-medical

Just a heads up on the actions you can take to keep yourself healthy and safe when dealing with infectious illness such as Covid 19 (Corona Virus). It is important to be aware and if you have reason to believe you may be infected – specifically if you have been to North Italy or China – then you must CALL a doctor or hospital on the phone, do not turn up at the doctor’s practice. You will be advised on the phone how to further proceed. This comes from the press conference given by the Minister of Health on the 27.02.2020.

Concrete actions, to protect yourself and others from infection:

Source: https://www.sciencemediacenter.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Fact_Sheets_PDF/FS_Pandemie_Verhalten_CoV.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1lFME5ZqwP9__I_YPO2xqdv93JVwdDP6Ui5zGjEobtTUn7qmljIzMrJcY

We would like to share some information with you about compulsory vaccinations in Germany, there have been recent law changes which affect all kindergarten and school children as well as adults working in childcare or the medical sector and also for refugees/asylum seekers living in group accommodation.

From March 2020, parents will have to prove that their children have been vaccinated before they can be admitted to a kita or school.  The vaccination obligation also applies to childminders and staff in day-care centers, schools, medical facilities, and communal facilities such as refugee shelters.  Children will only be admitted to kindergarten or school if they have had the jabs and violations can result in fines of up to €2,500. The proof can can come from a vaccination certificate, a ‘Kinderuntersuchungsheft’, a special booklet parents fill out documenting their child’s vaccines, or by a medical certificate that shows that the child has already had measles.
(source: https://www.thelocal.de/20190717/germany-makes-measles-vaccination-compulsory-for-children)

Measles is one of the most contagious and infectious diseases. Across Europe, 12,352 measles cases were reported in 2018. In 2019, 501 cases were registered in Germany by mid-October. Throughout 2018, the nationwide number of reported diseases was 544 cases. Measles often comes with complications and leave lasting health issues. In the worst case, this includes fatal brain inflammation. A measles infection is, contrary to popular belief, not a “harmless child’s disease”. Vaccines offer the best protection against measles. They ensure lifelong immunity. (source https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/impfpflicht.html )

The Kinderuntersuchungshelf is also available in English.

About the author

Hi there! My name is Juli Buchanan. I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and I have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

Winter is approaching and due to the cooler weather, we are also starting into the time when people start to get the sniffles around us. It’s important to keep yourself and your family healthy during this coldest of seasons.

Influenza vaccine (Grippeschutzimpfung) is generally recommended for all people. It is covered by health insurance for certain people. Those who are definitely advised to vaccinate are people over the age of 60, people with chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases or asthma, employees of medical institutions and people who regularly come into contact with many people at work.

The flu vaccine should be given every year, preferably in October or November. After vaccination, it takes about 10 to 14 days for the body to build up sufficient protection against infection. Even a later vaccination at the beginning of the year is usually still useful. Especially if the flu epidemic has not started or just started

Please check with your health insurance provider if this is covered for you and contact your GP for further details.

(Source: https://www.impfen-info.de/ )

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‘Berliners’ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

The German health care system is one of the best in the world. Everyone is required to be insured and this insurance covers a large range of medical care across the board from General Practitioners, Specialists, preventative measures to dental. Depending on where you are coming from you may find the German System very extensive, it offers some excellent options for not just the treatment but also prevention of illness and general wellbeing for body, mind and spirit.

There are two types of insurance in Germany, Statutory Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) and Private Health Insurance (Private Krankenversicherung). It is mandatory to have medical insurance, which insurance you are eligible for depends on your income.

The criteria is as follows, Statutory Health Insurance is compulsory if you are:

Spouses, civil partners and children (up to age 23, or 25 if studying) of someone covered by state healthcare insurance are eligible for family co-insurance in certain conditions, without having to pay contributions, provided their income does not exceed €415–450 each month, depending on the situation (casual or regular, respectively).

(Source: https://www.expatica.com/de/healthcare/healthcare-basics/a-guide-to-german-health-insurance-693463/ )

If you earn above the 57,600€ a year then you are open to choose Private Health Insurance. The benefits of private health insurance can definitely be Doctors/appointments being more readily available and access more senior staff at hospitals. Private health insurance is more expensive and it requires you to pay for spouses and children separately. Once you have been privately insured in Germany, it is difficult to almost impossible to change back into the Statutory Insurance – this is important to consider this when deciding whether to choose private insurance because if you have a change in financial circumstances you are bound to the higher premiums.

It is always advisable to look into various Insurance companies and see what they offer, make some comparisons and consider if they have specific offers which are compatible with your needs. Especially if you are looking to ensure a partner/spouse and/or children that you are being offered the best package. Under the Statutory Insurance families can often be insured with the employee.

The costs of Statutory health insurance are 14.6% of your income before tax (this is subject to change) – you pay around half of this and the employer pays the rest.

The costs of private health insurance are determined by various factors including your gender, age, current health and also your medical history. It is also important to note, if you are privately insured you will be billed by the doctor or medical institution and then subsequently reimbursed by your insurance, so there will be a time period in between where you are out of pocket until the reimbursement.

There are websites which offer comparisons of the different health insurance companies, you will need to enter in your data regarding your income, family situation, etc and they will give you an overview of the costs and what is offered.

For example: https://www.check24.de/gesetzliche-krankenversicherung/ or https://www.gesetzlichekrankenkassen.de/

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, I have German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‚Berliners‘ and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.



We would like to inform you about a new app designed and offered by the TK Health Insurance regarding your medical records.

One of the main objectives of the “TK-Safe” digital medical record is to link health information for the benefit of patients. This way, previous treatments, diagnoses and examinations can be combined to form an overall picture which is useful for the patient. Experts agree, that in the future, this will enable better collaboration between doctors and clinics. Thus far, this crucial information is decentralized amongst different doctors and institutions. With TK-Safe was developed in collaboration with IBM Germany, using this APP patients will be able to share this information with the attending physician. Thus, important information about their medical history can be incorporated into the treatment.

The new electronic health record also makes an overview your of vaccinations possible. In addition, there will be the opportunity to upload important documents such as x-rays, medical reports or more detailed findings – for example from the hospital – into the electronic medical record. “I can also activate individual services, such as reminders of my vaccinations and preventive appointments,” adds Beke Reimers. Finally, there is a central place where you can safely store your digital medical records and retrieve them anytime. 

The use of TK-Safe is voluntary and free of charge for all TC-insured persons. The digital file is provided by IBM Deutschland GmbH, all data is stored encrypted on German servers.

By downloading the app and registering for TK-Safe, you can then immediately have the TK account data, such as the hospital stays from the past four years, transferred. So, you can start with an up to date file, all the important data on diagnosis, treatments and fees are clearly “stored” in one place.

To use the SAFE APP you will need to be registered for ‘Meine TK’ and then download the APP in your app store.

*Text translated/edited from German – source: https://www.tk.de/techniker/magazin/themen/spezial/das-magazin/tk-safe-2048362

About the author

Hi there! I’m Juli, German roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new ‘Berliners’ and through my work  as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.