In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder revealed an official timeline of how lockdown measures would proceed throughout the state of Bavaria.
Many of these changes are in line with the updates announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a press conference yesterday, although Bavaria’s timeline will differ slightly given its status as the German state hit hardest so far by COVID-19.
Here’s what you need to know:
General Bavaria Lockdown Updates
- Exit restrictions will be extended until May 3. However, from April 20th onwards, restrictions will be loosened in certain cases. We will list them separately below.
- From April 20th onwards, you will be permitted to meet with ONE person outside of your family or household. Individuals are however encouraged to reduce unnecessary contact whenever possible.
Shopping & Small Businesses
- From April 20th onwards, Baumärkte und Gartenmärkte may reopen. In other words, large hardware stores/garden shops will be allowed to open.
- From April 27th onwards, small shops of up to 800 square meters may reopen. Car dealerships, bike shops and bookshops are exempt from this 800 square meter limit. During this time however, shops may only allow a maximum of 40 people inside at once, and department stores/shopping malls will remain closed.
- From May 4th onwards, hairdressers and foot care shops will be allowed to reopen. Needless to say, all the businesses listed will only be permitted to operate if they comply with strict hygiene standards.
- From April 27th onwards, final year students (e.g. those graduating and writing exams) in Realschulen, Mittelschulen und Gymnasien will return to school. Other students (they specifically mention students graduating next year) will return on May 11. Class sizes will be restricted to no more than 15 students.
- Grundschulen und Kitas will remain closed. Emergency care will continue to be provided for those in critical roles such as healthcare.
General Public Life: Gastronomy, Events, Tourism
- All large events will be banned until August 31st. This has prompted the official cancellation of prominent music festivals Rock am Ring & Rock im Park, as well as casted significant doubt on whether Oktoberfest 2020 can go on. While in recent interviews, Söder has shown a lot of skepticism over the likelihood of Oktoberfest taking place, no official call has yet been made.
- Masks are strongly encouraged, but not mandatory. While no legal obligation is in place yet to wear a mask in public, Söder emphasized the importance of wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth when in shops and on public transport.
- All current restrictions on gastronomic businesses such as restaurants and cafes will remain. This means no sit-down options are allowed, however these businesses are still permitted to offer takeout/delivery.
- All current restrictions on tourism businesses such as hotels will remain. Söder also mentioned that summer vacations abroad were looking highly unlikely.
You can read this official announcement from Muenchen.de here for more info in German.