Baden-Württemberg’s phased COVID reopenings (May 18 update)

by USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

A free space on the grass is usually much harder to find on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz, seen here on May 3, 2020. Photo by Bardia Khajenoori, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

Summary of Baden-Württemberg ordinance on COVID-19 infection protection measures

On May 9, the Baden-Württemberg state government outlined upcoming infection protection measures. These were updated effective May 18. The Stuttgart Citizen reviewed the latest 26-page ordinance (clickable link) and compiled the following guide. It is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered legally authoritative.


Updates effective May 18

The state government has updated regulations, effective May 18. The majority of these changes do not significantly affect large numbers of our community members (e.g., German daycares, vocational training, hospital visitation).

A important consideration is are contact restrictions.

Restrictions on groups

Members of your own household (people who live together, regardless of family relationship) can meet together in public with no more than one other household. There is no specific limit on the number of people, so long as they don’t come from more than two different households. They should maintain 1.5 meters of separation whenever possible. In general, these rules also apply in a car.

Public playgrounds should be limited to two children.

In private residences (“outside the public space”), gatherings of more than 5 people are prohibited unless they are directly related, are siblings or descendants, or members of the household. This includes spouses and partners. Members of one other household can join them.

These restrictions apply until at least June 5.

Service Reopenings

Hotels and amusement parks may reopen from May 29.

Sports facilities, including gyms and dance studios (with protective measures) may begin to reopen from June 2 (plans for the safe reopening of on-post fitness centers is under development). Swimming pools can also reopen on June 2, but only for swimming lessons.

There is currently no legal reopening date for theatres, bars, clubs, conference centers, and other services not already mentioned.

For a full digest of changes from the previous regulation, click here (in German; use an online translator if necessary to understand general context).


The dates listed are as currently planned; an increase in COVID cases may lead local authorities to delay reopenings or re-institute certain measures as they judge appropriate.

Note that the lifting of restrictions on a type of business or service does not necessarily mean that all providers will choose to reopen at this time.

Education (German schools)

Until June 15, schools will have restricted operations, to include extracurricular activities and other school events. Schools won’t be used for non-school purposes. Childcare held at schools, to include daycare and afternoon care, is currently prohibited.

Kindergartens and day care centers will not operate until June 15. However, emergency childcare is available for whose parents that are considered essential workers.

Universities and colleges remain closed through May 24, except through online formats. Cafeterias on campuses may open after May 18. On campus, gatherings of more than five people are prohibited until May 24, except at university hospitals and other critical facilities.

Restriction in public spaces and gatherings

The steps of Feuersee, in Stuttgart-West are a popular local hangout spot. COVID prevention measures currently limit the size and makeup of public gatherings. Photo by Bardia Khajenoori, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

Until June 5, staying in public spaces is only permitted when alone with members of your own household or one other household. Wherever possible, a minimum distance of 1.5 meter (5 feet) is to be kept between people in public space.

Face masks must be used by people older than six years of age. A non-medical mask or comparable mouth and nose cover must be used (unless this is unreasonable for medical or other compelling reasons) on public transportation, to include train and bus platforms and airport buildings and in sales areas of shops and shopping centers.

Until June 5, events and other gatherings of more than five people are prohibited unless participants are with their family members such as (parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren, siblings) or members of the same household.

This also applies to meetings in clubs, other sports and leisure facilities as well as public and private educational institutions.

This does not apply to meetings for maintenance, public safety and medical care, such as obtaining blood donations.

Events and other gatherings of churches as well as religious and faith communities for the practice of religion are permitted.

What can be open now?

  • Restaurants, cafés and ice cream parlors (customers need to provide contact information)
  • Canteens for employees or members of public institutions
  • Law enforcement facilities required for the purposes of training and education
  • Libraries, including those at universities and archives
  • Museums, open-air museums, exhibition halls and memorials
  • Drive-in cinemas
  • Zoological and botanical gardens
  • Certain educational institutions, such as German language training of migrants
  • Music schools and youth art schools
  • Public playgrounds
  • Driving and flight schools
  • Ports and airfields
  • Open-air sports facilities

What can open soon?

  • Hotels and amusement parks may reopen from May 29.
  • Sports facilities, including gyms and dance studios (with protective measures) may begin to reopen from June 2 (plans for the safe reopening of on-post fitness centers is under development). Swimming pools can also reopen on June 2, but only for swimming lessons.

What must remain closed for now?

This cinema in Stuttgart is one of many saying “See you soon!” to customers. In line with COVID prevention measures, theaters will not be allowed to open until May 24, at the earliest. Photo by Bardia Khajenoori, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

  • Theaters, and playhouses
  • Cinemas
  • Swimming pools and indoor pools (for public recreational use), thermal and fun pools, and saunas
  • Youth centers
  • Places of prostitution, brothels, and similar establishments
  • Bars, shisha bars, clubs, discos and pubs
  • Fairs, non-cultural exhibitions, leisure parks and special markets
  • Public football grounds
  • Lodging establishments, camping sites and caravan sites
  • Tourist coaches