Public life in North Rhine-Westphalia continues to be severely restricted due to the Corona pandemic. Tourist overnight stays are prohibited, most leisure facilities as well as gastronomic establishments are closed. Most of the retail stores is also closed in large parts of the state; only in municipalities with a 7-day incidence of less than 150 is shopping possible in certain shops with an appointment and a negative Corona test. Only those who have been fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine or have recovered do not need a test under certain conditions. In addition, in municipalities with an incidence of over 100, there is a night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am.
To best protect everyone, respirators of an FFP2 or higher standard must be worn on buses and trains. In shops and some other places such as doctors' surgeries, at least medical masks, i.e. surgical masks, are mandatory, , and in many other places at least mouth-nose protection, i.e. an everyday mask. In addition, in cities and counties with a 7-day incidence of less than 100, normally only two households with a maximum of five people are allowed to meet. In municipalities with an incidence of over 100, a household may only meet with a maximum of one other person. Children under 14 are not counted in each case.
Travellers entering or returning from a country in which virus variants are widespread within the ten days prior to their entry must go into quarantine immediately after their arrival until 14 days after their departure from the affected country and are subject to observation by the local health authority during this period. If typical symptoms occur, they must be reported to the health office immediately. A negative Corona test must also be presented upon entry. Which areas are considered "virus variant areas" can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute at https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html.
Anyone who has stayed in another risk area designated by the RKI within ten days prior to entry must normally be tested for Covid-19 a maximum of 48 hours prior to entry or immediately after entry, or be quarantined for ten days, calculated from the date of departure from the risk area. As soon as a negative test is available, the quarantine can be terminated. Those who have already been fully vaccinated or recovered with an EU-approved vaccine may be able to waive quarantine under certain conditions.
Current information on the Corona virus is available on the website of the North Rhine-Westphalian State Chancellery at www.land.nrw/corona. The current Corona protection regulation can be found on the website of the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Health under www.mags.nrw (only in German). For questions of a non-medical nature, the state government has also set up a citizens' telephone: +49 211 / 9119-1001.
We hope that travelling will soon be safe again. Until then: Take care of yourself! And if you want to get your mind off things: You can of course always visit our website, which shows the beautiful sides of North Rhine-Westphalia, and look forward to your next trip to us.
See you soon!
(as of 3 May 2021)