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On Monday 27 July 2020, German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced that Germany will make coronavirus tests mandatory for travellers arriving from high-risk areas. The reason for this is to slow the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus in Germany.

What does this mean for BSBI students planning to travel to Germany in the near future?

The new regulations mean that the Federal Ministry has the power to get individuals who have travelled from areas of increased risk to undergo a medical examination for COVID-19.

When does this is come into effect?

This new regulation is expected to come into force next week, from Monday 3 August 2020.

What is the cost of the test?

The tests will be free of charge to travellers.

Will travellers still need to quarantine for 14 days?

There has been no change to the regulation asking travellers from high-risk countries to quarantine. Any student arriving in Germany from a high-risk country will be asked to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Is my home country considered a high-risk country?

Travellers from other EU countries, states associated with Schengen (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the United Kingdom can travel to Germany from other EU states without restriction.

The EU has a designated “safe country” list which they update every two weeks. The countries currently deemed safe are: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and China (on the condition of reciprocal action by the Chinese authorities).

If your country does not appear in the list above, then your country is designated as “high-risk” and the new regulation will apply to you.

We strongly encourage any student thinking about travelling to Germany from a high-risk country to consult the German Foreign Ministry’s website for updates regarding travel restrictions, here is the link: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus

If you have any questions about this new regulation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Passengers who do not wear masks or mouth and nose coverings when using public transportation in Berlin can now be fined at least €50 for breaking COVID-19 regulations. BSBI urges all students to follow the regulations and wear mouth and nose protection on all public transportation and in shops.

Please note, BSBI also expects students and staff to wear mouth and nose protection when on-campus. We will not impose any fines, but staff will remind students who do not follow this to comply with the regulations.

‘Corona Warning’ app launched

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s public health institute, has launched the Corona Warning app for Germany. The app will help the country in the fight against COVID-19, much like social distancing, hygiene measures and face masks. The aim is to quickly track and break through potential infection chains. 

How does the app work?

The app remembers your encounters with others and sends you a notification when you have had contact with anyone who is infected. However, at no time does it collect information on the identity of its users. User privacy is absolutely protected - who you are and where you are remains anonymous.

Download the app

Travel updates

The EU has named 14 countries whose citizens will be permitted to travel to the EU from Wednesday 1 July - these include: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

China may be added to this list, but this is dependent on confirmation of reciprocity. This list of ‘safe’ countries will be reviewed and updated every two weeks by the German government.

Travel within EU member states and Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway* and Switzerland) as well as to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City is possible.

All non-essential travel to/from a non-EU country is strongly advised against until Monday 31 August 2020. For anyone who must travel prior to this date, it is highly likely that there will be quarantine measures you must adhere to upon arrival at your destination. BSBI strongly recommends that you check with both the Foreign Ministry of Germany and your country of destination/departure before booking any travel.

Currently, none of our staff or students have tested positive for coronavirus. We have taken measures to ensure that the risk to our staff and students is as low as possible by closing campus and moving classes online.

On 12 March 2020, BSBI closed the campus, ahead of the government announcement. We moved all our programmes online within 24 hours so that our students could continue learning whilst minimising the risk of the virus spreading.

As per governmental measures, the campus should open again on 20 April 2020.

The campus is currently closed. All our staff are working remotely, however, there is the possibility for an arranged meeting with staff face-to-face in emergency cases.

Students are currently being offered the option to defer their intake. This is a straightforward process and will have no impact on your studies.

We have also created a late arrival date up until 3 July 2020 for students that are aiming to start in May 2020.

BSBI recognises that many countries are now in lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. This might mean you will not be able to obtain your visa or to fly to Germany. As such, we have created a late arrival date (3 July) for our May 2020 intake. This means you will still be able to join the May 2020 intake even if you arrive in Germany later.

Alternatively, if you are unable to obtain a visa due to the crisis, you will be able to defer for a later intake, i.e. October 2020 or Feb 2021.

BSBI is still encouraging prospective students to apply to courses as seats numbers are limited for the upcoming intakes. We have several measures in place including intake deferrals and the possibility to start the intake online with our live webinars and academic content. Once the borders are open again we will deliver face-to-face classes as usual.

BSBI is constantly updating its website to ensure our students and prospective students are aware of the actions we are taking. You can visit our Newsroom to keep up to date: https://berlinsbi.com/newsroom/

BSBI trains its consultants and commercial partners in such as way that we always recommend you communicate with them first. In case further information is needed please contact info@berlinsbi.com.

Social distancing

Every person is required to keep physical social contact with other people to an absolute minimum and everyone must maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres with other people in public. Berlin’s governing mayor, Michael Müller, emphasised that social distancing is paramount in the fight against the pandemic.

Facemasks

It is now mandatory for citizens of all ages, including children where possible, to cover both their nose and mouth when shopping and using public transportation. Please note, this does not refer to masks used by medical professionals in hospitals (FFP3, N95 or FFP2 masks). Instead, it means a simple face mask, a scarf or cloth that covers both the nose and mouth.

For information about how to correctly put on, use and dispose of facemasks, please refer to the World Health Organisation’s advice: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

Shops, malls and department stores can re-open

Shops, department stores and even malls may reopen sales areas of up to 800m². However, they must ensure that distance and hygiene rules are observed. There is a maximum visitor limit of one visitor per 20m² in shopping centres (malls). The Senate stresses that just because shops are open again, citizens should not be shopping extensively or for unnecessary purchases.

Large events are banned until 24 October 2020

Until 31 August 2020, large events with more than 1,000 participants are prohibited. Until 24 October 2020, events with more than 5,000 participants are banned.

Zoos, museums and libraries can re-open

Zoos, museums, memorials and libraries can re-open from 4 May 2020.  The condition of this is that all these institutions must enforce hygiene requirements and social distancing between visitors.

Outdoor sports facilities to open but gyms remain closed

Individual sports like jogging are allowed and, as of Monday 27 April 2020, private outdoor sports facilities can re-open again. Team and group sports will remain banned and gyms will also have to stay closed until further notice.

Please note that the notice of schools being allowed to gradually re-open from 4 May 2020 applies only to primary and secondary schools at this stage. It does not apply to universities. Thus far, we have no further information from the Berlin Senate about when universities can re-open. Therefore, the BSBI campus remains closed until further notice with BSBI staff continuing to support students online.

Exceptions have been made for some BA exams; a separate invite has been sent to those affected students. Not all exams are currently able to run but students will receive an upfront notice at least three weeks in advance (min.) should they be requested to attend any exams on campus.

In exceptional cases, BSBI can offer emergency appointments for Finance and for SERS visa support (Feb 2020 students only) on the campus. If you have an emergency appointment, you must arrive punctually to the campus and wear a face mask. Please do not go to the campus if you do not have a pre-booked emergency appointment.

If you have any questions about any of these measures, please contact info@berlinsbi.com.