Local coronavirus rules explained

The flag of Baden-Württemberg flies above Villa Reitzenstein, the official seat of the state premier, in Stuttgart. Photo by Bardia Khajenoori, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs.

USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

This page has been updated to reflect changes to rules in “emergency break” communities which went into effect on April 19, 2021.

For details on existing curfew restrictions in local communities, please see the section labeled “Local Lockdowns” below.

This information is provided as a courtesy to the Stuttgart military community and is not authoritative.

Many lockdown conditions will continue through at least May 16, although a plan for phased reopenings has been released and subsequently altered (see section below).

A medical-grade mask that covers your mouth and nose is required to patronize off-post retail stores or to use public transportation in the state of Baden-Württemberg, effective January 25. Children up to 14-years-old may continue to wear “everyday” masks made of fabric, while children five-years-old or younger remain exempted from the mask requirement. Masks should be worn not only inside stores and malls, but also within their parking lots.

Non-medical masks are still acceptable for use on post, except where stated otherwise (e.g. during appointments in barbershops and beauty salons, when a medical mask is required). Specifics on mask policy are available here.


Local Lockdowns (“Emergency Break”)

The state of Baden-Württemberg published the latest amendment to its main coronavirus ordinance on April 18, including regulations constituting an “emergency break” in a county with a seven day incidence of above 100 for three consecutive days.

A curfew from 9 p.m. – 5 a.m. applies in these areas, and after 9 p.m., individuals can only leave private space for valid/essential reasons such as doctor/hospital appointments, traveling to or from work, or accompanying a person in need to appointments or medical treatments. Individuals may also visit a spouse or unmarried partner at their residence if they live apart. Dog owners may walk their dogs until 9 p.m., but after that time should only be out for urgent animal care.

Additional contact restrictions apply in areas with an active “emergency break”: one household is able to meet with no more than one member of another household.

Most non-essential stores and services are closed to the public, although stores can still offer “Click and Collect” (order online, pick up in store). Stores which are allowed to remain open must reduce occupancy, and it may be necessary to wait in line being allowed to enter.

Customers going to hairdresser/barbershop appointments must present a rapid COVID self-test taken the same day, vaccination documentation, or documentation of a COVID infection no more than six months old.

Curfew dashboard

Curfews are implemented as needed on a county-by-county basis, and community members should be aware of existing conditions in the areas they live in or commute through.

Traveling directly to or from work is one of the few allowed reasons to be out during curfew hours, and employees with a commute certificate (particularly, members of the local national workforce) should carry the certificate with them. Military ID/CACs will suffice for Service Members and DoD civilians commuting to or from work.

The Stuttgarter Nachrichten’s Incidence/Curfew Dashboard shows the current status of curfews in all local counties. Simply locate the county name; a curfew is in effect if the word “ja” (yes) appears under the column labeled “Ausgangssperre?” (Exit restrictions?)

The dashboard indicates whether curfews are currently in effect, not whether they are planned to go into effect in a particular community.

(Link provided for informational purposes only; no government endorsement implied)


Contact restrictions

In counties with a seven day incidence rate of less than one hundred (where “emergency break” measures are not in effect), up to five people from a maximum of two households are allowed to meet.

On April 16, the state announced plans for contact restrictions to be tightened in communities where the seven day incidence is above 100 (i.e., with an active “emergency break”), to one household being able to meet with no more than one member of another household.

In both cases, couples are to be considered single households even if they do not live together, and children 14-years-old and under are not counted as part of the limits on gatherings.

Effective March 29, occupants of private vehicles must wear surgical or FFP2/KN95/N95 masks if someone not of the household is in the vehicle.


Plan for phased reopenings

The current path to reopening services.

Most retail stores have been closed since December 16 due to lockdown measures, with exceptions including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Weekly markets for food
  • Pharmacies, health food stores, medical supply stores, and drugstores
  • Gas stations, car repair shops, and bicycle repair shops
  • Banks and post offices
  • Dry cleaners and launderettes
  • Pet supply stores
  • Restaurants may offer take-out and delivery service only

On January 6, the state announced that retailers, including those not selling everyday “essential” items, will be able to open and provide an “order online, pick up in store” service, with pickup times arranged in advance, in addition to making deliveries.

Barbershops and hair salons have been able to reopen from March 1, as well as garden centers.

The conditions associated with the possible opening of additional retail, cultural activities, and sports was laid out in the timeline format above, based on virus incidence rates in local areas.

“Emergency break” measures, which include the possibility of store closures and/or curfews, may go into effect depending on the conditions in a particular landkreis (county).


Alcohol Ban
The general statewide ban on public consumption of alcoholic drinks from December 16 has been lifted effective January 27, although cities and towns can still issue their own local restrictions. Per the regulation, sales are only allowed in closed containers.

On post Retail Services

Mask Requirements

A medical-grade mask that covers your mouth and nose is now required to patronize off-post retail stores or to use public transportation in the state of Baden-Württemberg, effective January 25. Children up to 14-years-old may continue to wear “everyday” masks made of fabric, while children five-years-old or younger remain exempted from the mask requirement.

Non-medical masks are still acceptable for use on post, except where stated otherwise (e.g. during appointments in barbershops and beauty salons, when a medical mask is required). Specifics on mask policy are available here.

Masks must be worn throughout the state in areas dedicated to pedestrian traffic, such as pedestrian zones and marketplaces, and anywhere open to the public where minimum distancing cannot be reliably maintained.

They must be worn in public transit (both inside vehicles and at stations/stops) and inside shops and shopping centers, as well as in their parking lots.

The requirements apply to everyone over five years old. In the absence of a mask (for example, if you’ve forgotten one), a scarf or similar facial protection is permitted, as long as the mouth and nose are covered.

Mask zones are now in effect in the city centers of several local municipalities, where pedestrian traffic is highest and distance is more difficult to maintain.

Effective March 29, occupants of private vehicles must wear surgical or FFP2/KN95/N95 masks if someone not of the household is in the vehicle.

Stuttgart 

In Stuttgart, there is a mask requirement in the city center (within the “City Ring”) for anyone over five years of age, including Schlossplatz, Marktplatz, and Königstrasse – essentially, the busiest part of the city, where sufficient distance from other people cannot always be maintained. Wearing a mask is mandatory at public events throughout the entire city, as well as at weekly markets and places they are already required, such as shops and restaurants. The mask is not required when eating, drinking, jogging, or biking.

The red box shows the “City Ring” area of downtown Stuttgart.

Ludwigsburg

The above map shows the area in which a mouth-and-nose cover must be worn in the city of Ludwigsburg.


Collection of personal data for contact tracing

Applicable during non-lockdown periods

Visiting restaurants, museums, and similar places typically requires providing personal data such as name, address, and phone number/email address to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak at that time and location.

Individuals who refuse to provide this information will be denied entry to the location, and providing false information is punishable by a fine.

Data protection laws require this information to be strictly safeguarded and used for the sole purpose of providing information to the public health department or local police authority in accordance with legal requirements in the event of an outbreak. The data is stored for four weeks and then deleted; the law requires that unauthorized persons do not have access to the records.