Germany is shutting down all non-essential businesses to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

 Key Points:

  • All non-essential businesses are closed until further notice.
  • All non-essential domestic and international travel is suspended, including staying in hotels.
  • The borders to France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark have been closed and are only accessible for transport of goods and commuters.
  • Schools and universities have been closed until further notice.
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the unprecedented measures today shortly after Germany began implementing border restrictions with neighboring countries. Germany has seen over 7000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. The Government has asked the people to avoid any social interaction until further notice.

Additional information: Employers must be prepared for significant disruption to all but essential business activity. It is likely that the shutdown will also affect immigration-related services. Germany has over 500 immigration offices. There has been an increase in Immigration offices changing their opening hours or even closing entirely, including in Berlin and Munich. It should be expected that more immigration offices will be closing.

Foreigners with a valid German residence permit can leave Germany and return and those currently outside of Germany on vacation can return, provided they don’t show any symptoms. The Government asked the people to refrain from any travels inside and outside Germany, and the Federal Foreign office have issued a travel world-wide travel warning for touristic purposes.

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

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