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Corona Protection Measures: These rules apply in NRW from today

Corona Protection Measures : These rules apply in NRW from today

The Corona Protection Ordinance in North Rhine-Westphalia is to entail a lockdown for retailers from today, December 16. Stricter rules are also to be introduced for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

The Corona Protection Ordinance in North Rhine-Westphalia (is to) entails a lockdown for retailers from today, December 16. Stricter rules are also to be introduced for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

The measures agreed upon by the heads of government of the federal states with the Chancellor on 13 December will also be implemented in North Rhine-Westphalia and are to apply from 16 December. The state government wants to quickly create the legal basis for the new rules. On Monday, the new Corona Protection Ordinance is to be drafted, Laschet announced, and on Tuesday he will inform the Landtag at a special session.

Contacts and meetings

Since 1 December, meetings in public spaces have only been permitted with members of one's own household and one other household. No more than five people are allowed at the meeting of two households, with children up to and including 14 years of age exempt from the count. Special rules apply to private gatherings on public holidays.

Compulsory mask-wearing and physical distance

An everyday mask must be worn in enclosed public spaces. This also applies in the workplace if a distance of one and a half metres from other persons cannot be safely maintained. In addition, an everyday mask must also be worn in the immediate vicinity of retail shops, especially on the shop's property, in the parking areas belonging to the shop and on the routes to a shop.

The mask requirement continues to apply on buses and trains, in all retail shops and showrooms, at weekly markets, in shopping centres, at bus stops and railway stations, in taxis, doctors' surgeries and similar health care facilities, in the post office, in banks and in petrol stations. Children who do not yet go to school and people who cannot wear mouth-nose protection for medical reasons are excluded from the mask requirement. In this case, the exemption must be proven by a medical certificate. In addition, the distance requirement of at least 1.5 metres still applies.

Special rules for the holidays

The sale of Christmas trees by commercial or social vendors is permitted, subject to the distance and hygiene regulations.

Celebrations with the "closest family" are to be allowed by the Bundesländer, even if this means more than two households or five persons over 14 years of age. The closest family circle is defined as spouses, civil-marriage partners and partners in a non-marital partnership as well as relatives in a straight line, siblings, sibling’s children and their respective household members. Meetings with up to four persons beyond one's own household are to be permitted. Children up to 14 years of age are not counted.

On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, there is a nationwide ban on gatherings. The sale of pyrotechnics is generally prohibited, and the setting off of New Year's Eve fireworks is strongly discouraged. In addition, fireworks are banned in public places, which are to be defined by the municipalities.

Retail trade

Retail shops are to be closed from 16 December to 10 January. Exceptions are provided for: Grocery shops, weekly food markets, direct food marketers, pick-up and delivery services, beverage markets, health food stores, baby stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, opticians, hearing aid acousticians, gas stations, car and bicycle repair shops, banks and savings banks, post offices, dry cleaners, laundromats, newspaper sales, pet supply markets, feed markets, Christmas tree sales and wholesale.

The sale of fireworks and other pyrotechnics is prohibited.

Customers per square metre

For shops with a sales area of up to 800 square metres, the current Corona Protection Ordinance states that no more than one person per ten square metres may enter the shop. If the sales area is larger, a maximum of one person per 20 square metres of sales area may be in the shop from the 801st square metre. In the case of shopping centres, the respective total sales area is measured.


Restaurants, cafés and pubs must remain closed. Collection or delivery of food remains permitted. We have listed here for you which restaurants in Bonn and the region have adapted their offerings and allow take out sales. From 16 December to 10 January, the sale of alcoholic beverages between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. is prohibited, as is the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public spaces, regardless of the time of day.

Church services

Religious services as well as gatherings of religious communities are only permitted if a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is maintained and a mask requirement is also observed when seated. Worshipers are not allowed to sing. Churches and faith communities must acquire registration if it is expected that the capacity of the event will be exhausted.


Generally, all events are prohibited until 10 January 2021. On 31 December 2020 and 1 January 2021, there will be a ban on assemblies and gatherings - including assemblies under the Assembly Act.


Recreational and amateur sports activities are prohibited on and in all public and private sports facilities, gyms, swimming pools and similar facilities, as in spring. This also applies to individual sports in sports facilities/clubs, such as tennis or golf. This means that only sports activities alone or in pairs in the great outdoors are permissible. Rehabilitation sports are also no longer justifiable in the current infection situation.

Leisure activities

The operation of swimming pools, saunas, thermal baths, amusement parks, indoor playgrounds, amusement arcades, casinos, clubs and discotheques is prohibited until 10 January.

With regard to the coming ski season, the operation of ski lifts as facilities for recreational activities is currently prohibited.

Cultural events

Concerts and performances in theatres, opera houses, concert halls, cinemas and other public or private cultural facilities as well as the operation of museums, art exhibitions, galleries, castles, memorials and similar facilities continue to be prohibited. The operation of rehearsals, concerts and performances without an audience for the purpose of recording or broadcasting on television, radio and the internet shall continue to be permitted. The operation of drive-in cinemas, drive-in theatres and similar establishments is permitted if the distance between vehicles is at least 1.5 metres. Music festivals, festivals and similar cultural events are prohibited until at least 10 January 2021.

Schools and universities

Compulsory attendance in the classroom ended on Monday (14 December). For pupils in the lower grades up to grade seven, parents have the choice of whether their children attend classes at school or from home. Pupils in grade eight and above learn entirely at a distance. After the Christmas holidays, there will be two additional days off school, so there will be no school until 10 January. Students will have to come to classrooms for class tests and exams that are firmly scheduled for the coming week and cannot be postponed.

Classes at universities, nursing schools and all other educational institutions are now only permitted by distance learning, with the exception of important examinations that cannot be postponed. Exceptions apply to events that serve to prepare for examinations that must be taken. Here, the hygiene and infection rules of the Corona Protection Ordinance must be observed. Libraries may only allow loans for the processing and preparation of examinations that are subject to a deadline. The operation of driving schools is only permitted for job-related training and is otherwise prohibited.

Day-care centres and kindergartens

Day-care centres and day-care services in NRW will remain open unless they have planned a closing time around the holidays anyway. The state government has asked parents to care for children at home if at all possible. However, parents who need care can make use of it. The Ministry of Family Affairs states on its website, "The childcare guarantee applies: children for whom attendance at their daycare centre is essential will be offered childcare."

Hotels and accommodation ban

Overnight accommodation for tourist purposes remains prohibited. Overnight accommodation for private purposes is also prohibited. This means that only overnight stays for professional reasons remain permissible.

Visits to nursing homes

In nursing homes and comparable institutions for integration assistance/disabled persons, the testing and hygiene rules are tightened again. Visitors must always wear FFP2 masks. As far as possible, a rapid test is to be recommended and offered to them before the visit. Employees must be tested every three days and also wear FFP2 masks when in direct contact with people in need of care. Residents should also be tested regularly.

Services and cosmetics

Services and crafts where a minimum distance of 1.50 metres from the customer cannot be maintained (especially facials, cosmetics, nail salons, manicures, massages, tattooing and piercing) are prohibited. From 16 December, this will also apply to hairdressing salons. Medically necessary treatments, for example physiotherapy, occupational therapy and logotherapy as well as podiatry/foot care, remain possible.

Original text: (ga) Translation: Mareike Graepel