This is by no means an exhaustive or definitive article on the Coronavirus.  However, it can be difficult to know what to do in the current situation and this provides some basic information. 

Social Distancing

In essence many of the health authorities tell us that we have moved beyond containment phase.  This means that our best efforts must now be to slow it down and ease the burden on the medical system and services.  The best way to do this is through social distancing.

What is Social Distancing

The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.” It is less drastic than quarantine or isolation, which are used for people who are suspected to be carrying the virus.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever 
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue

What should be done if a coronavirus infection is suspected?

Persons who have had personal contact with someone confirmed as carrying SARS-CoV-2 should immediately, and irrespective of symptoms, contact their competent health office, get in touch with the doctor or call 116117 – and stay at home.

Does the health insurance pay for the coronavirus test?

By and large, health insurance funds have been covering the cost of coronavirus testing since 28 February 2020. The prerequisite is that the attending physician decides whether the patient should be tested.

Good to know:

  • if you feel unwell call ahead and get relevant guidance before going to your GP or hospital
  • frequently wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds)
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • stay hydrated
  • If you have a fever higher than 37.8 it’s recommended that you stay at home


  • World Health Organisation provides information on when/how to use a face mask should you wish to
  • Find/contact your German health office 
  • Call 116117 for a non-emergency doctor on call. This number works all over Germany. The helpline is open round the clock, including evenings, weekends and public holidays.