COVID-19 INFORMATION SUMMER 2021

It’s been a looooooooooooong winter and spring thanks to the pandemic lockdowns that affected much of public life here in Germany. Thankfully, things have changed quite quickly since warmer weather has arrived.

The state of Baden-Württemberg routinely publishes updated Coronavirus regulations several times each month and the past few versions have slowly relaxed many of the prior restrictions as the number of new infections has gone down.

Here is the latest information from the current regulations effective Monday, June 28th, 2021.

UPDATED FOUR-LEVEL SYSTEM

New rules have been added for communities with an incidence rate under 10 (the lowest before was under 35).

The new levels based on the local incidence rate are:

        • Level 4 – over 50
        • Level 3 – between 35 & 50
        • Level 2 – between 10 & 35
        • Level 1 – under 10

A district changes levels when the incidence rate goes above or below a threshold for five days in a row. New rules will be created if the incidence rate goes back above 100.

MASK RULES

The general requirement to wear a mask in public remains – they are required indoors at all times and outdoors when you cannot keep at a 1,5 meter distance from others. Masks are not required at home or at private parties or for those under the age of six.

CONTACT RESTRICTIONS

Personal contact restrictions have been loosened, which regulates how many friends and family members we can hang out with at home or out and about (dinner, shopping, movies, at the park, etc.).

As before, children 13 & under do not count towards the total number of people and fully vaccinated/recovered adults do not count towards the total number of people OR households.

  • Level 4 – two households can get together with a total of 5 unvaccinated adults maximum
  • Levels 2 & 3 – four households can meet up with maximum 15 unvaccinated adults total (was three households and maximum 10 adults)
  • The birthday party allowance is still in effect for Levels 2 & 3 (five additional children from any number of households)
  • At the new Level 1 (Under 10), it is allowed to meet up with 25 unvaccinated adults from any number of households!

For the remainder of the updated rules regarding public life, every person counts towards the total number regardless of age or vaccination status.

Below is a summary of the main changes. Testing requirements and the exact number of participants allowed for each kind of event at each level can be found in the BW at-a-glance chart.

PRIVATE EVENTS

Larger private events are now permitted at non-commercial locations such as at home or in a garden (was only at restaurants or halls). This includes birthday parties, weddings, and other events with a private guest list. The host must have a written hygiene concept and collect guest contact data. That person or group is also responsible for enforcing all rules, including checking test results and vaccine certificates if required.

PUBLIC EVENTS

The requirements for events open to the public such as concerts or flea markets have been simplified (was a confusing set of levels based on how quickly the incidence rate sank). Contact data must be collected.

LEISURE ACTIVITIES & CULTURAL EVENTS

Testing requirements have been relaxed for fun activities such as amusement parks or swimming pools, while the rules for visiting museums and other cultural institutions remain pretty much the same as before. Contact data must be collected for both.

RESTAURANTS

Dining requirements have been simplified and an indoor ban on smoking has been added. Contact data must be collected.

SHOPPING

Shopping rules now allow more people in the larger stores. Contact data must be collected at the higher levels.

PERSONAL HYGIENE SERVICES

Personal hygiene service rules remain the same as before for hairdressers, massages, foot care, tattoos, etc. Masks must always be worn with additional test requirements when that is not possible.

SPORTS

The regulations regarding sports have been majorly simplified, with the same rules now for children and adults. Testing requirements at the higher levels.

HOTELS

Hotel stays for tourist reasons have fewer test requirements at the lower incidence levels. Contact data must be collected.

NEW – DANCE CLUBS

Discos will be allowed to open again at the lowest incidence level; test and contact data collection required.


This is a time of rapid changes, so make sure you are following our public Facebook page to keep up with the latest regulations.

Stay safe everyone!

Coronavirus Information March/April 2021

Germany has been under a pandemic lockdown since December 16th, with various rules and regulations affecting public and private life.

At the beginning of March, Baden-Württemberg published updated Coronavirus regulations extending the lockdown and changing some of the rules. These took effect on Monday, March 8th and here is an overview that includes any amendments as of March 29th, 2021:

✅ Private gatherings – TWO households are allowed to meet with a maximum of FIVE adults (children under 15 are not counted).

✅ Public events – NO public events are allowed (including IWC Stuttgart club events). Private events must follow the personal contact restrictions above. There are special exceptions and rules for weddings, funerals, religious services, voting, exams, work/union meetings, and meetings required for the functioning of government services.

✅Mask requirements – Everyone aged 6 + is required to wear medical grade masks in public transport, doctors’ offices, personal services such as hairdressing, retail stores, workplaces, schools, at religious events, and in any closed rooms intended for the public.

✅ Schools and daycares are partially open and constantly changing their how they operate. The state and federal government has said in-person schooling is a top priority.

✅ Stores, services, activities & cultural institutions – there is a long list of what  is  allowed to be open and under what conditions. Order and pick up, delivery, and online services are allowed. The current list can be found here: What is open and allowed?

✅Notbremse (emergency brake) – When the infection rate of a district (Land- or Stadtkreis) goes over 100 for three consecutive days, extra restrictions kick in for stores, services, activities & cultural institutions. Additionally, the local health department can choose to require a nighttime curfew.

✅Travel – The public is asked to stay home and not take vacations. Moving around inside Germany or crossing the border is not forbidden, but there are complicated rules about lodging, quarantines, and test requirements. Additionally, different countries have their own rules about who may enter the country and under what conditions.

For our members who are U.S. military-affiliated, please also be aware of rules issued by the local commanders. These often go above and beyond state rules.

Stay safe and healthy everyone and see you online this month!!

Coronavirus Information February 2021

Germany has been under a pandemic lockdown since December 16th, including closed businesses and schools, curfews, and strict contact and masking requirements.

At the end of January, Baden-Württemberg published updated Coronavirus regulations extending the lockdown and increasing masking requirements. These took effect on Monday, January 25th and here is what’s new:

✅Adults are required to wear medical grade masks in public transport, medical practices, retail stores, workplaces, and at religious events

✅Children 6-14 can continue to wear every day masks

✅Children 5 and under are exempt from any mask requirements

✅FFP2 masks specifically are required to enter care homes or hospitals

✅Religious events with more than 10 participants must be registered with the health authorities at least two days in advance

✅Dog salons are allowed to reopen

✅The general rule against public alcohol sales and consumption has been replaced with a rule against it only in city centers (beginning January 27th)

✅Schools and daycares will remain closed until at least January 31st, most will continue to be closed at least until February 14th

The rest of the prior restrictions will remain the same, which means no in-person club meetings are possible until they are lifted.

You can find a useful PDF explaining all of the prior restrictions in English HERE.

Stay safe and healthy everyone and see you online this month!!

MEMBERS ONLY VIRTUAL EVENTS WINTER 2021

The December Coronavirus rules have been announced and we are facing at least another month of being unable to meet in person. At this point, it’s hard to say if we will be able to hold regular meetings this upcoming winter at all.

It’s time to get creative!

At our delightful activities planning Zoom meeting in November, we brainstormed up a few new events that combine actually leaving the house with a community activity we can do online! You will see us roll out a couple of these new hybrid events starting in January:

  • CONVERSATIONS ON MODERN ART – This activity is meant to replace tours of local art museums for the time being. Members will be given directions on how to find a public art installation (sculptures, for example) to visit on their own before the date of a scheduled Zoom meeting. Then at the meeting we will use the art as a starting point for our discussion – a bit like a book club, but with art!
  • TREASURE HUNT WALKS – Members will be given a walking route to follow somewhere in the city and a list of clues to try and find on their own before the scheduled Zoom meeting. See how many clues you can find and get some exercise in the process!

Under the current rules, the outdoor part of both events can be done alone, with your household/family, or with one other friend or club member.

Hopefully these ideas (and a few others we are working on) will keep us busy, connected, and safe for as long as necessary this winter. We’d love to hear any feedback or additional suggestions or ideas via the comment form below!

Image by StumblingOtis from Pixabay

We’ve missed you!

Dear members,

On the 10th of June we heard some long-awaited news…Coronavirus restrictions on club activities and in-person meetings are being partially lifted!

This means that we will be activating our alternative program scheduled for June and creating more in-person events for July and August. While we’ve enjoyed Zooming with you, nothing replaces the connection of being with one another in person.

We won’t be resuming our full program immediately. First of all, limits in the numbers of participants allowed restricts us to 10 people at each event in June and we don’t yet know what July rules will hold.

And second of all, we have decided to move forward slowly to keep our members safe. Even though we have flattened the curve, the virus is still out there and spreads quickly in large groups.

With that in mind, this summer we will only be scheduling events that are small and mostly outdoors. We will also continue with some of our virtual events to protect our more vulnerable members.

Thank you for sticking with us in this strange time; stay safe and stay healthy!

ANNOUNCING VIRTUAL MEETINGS WITH ZOOM!

Starting this month we will be using our new club Zoom Pro account to use for some of our regular meetings, including book club and German conversation.

Members can look for information about which virtual meetings are available in the monthly newsletter. We are looking forward to seeing your shining faces again soon!