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In quarantine at home because of Corona - how should I behave?

The COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus is highly contagious and can be transmitted from person to person. It is therefore important to identify people who have had contact with people who have had the novel coronavirus detected in the laboratory. If necessary, the authorities can also order quarantine at home for people who have had contact with the sick.

A quarantine at home is necessary in order to slow down the further spread of the coronavirus as much as possible so that our health system is not completely overloaded and has time to adapt. The vaccinations also need time, which can be gained with tests and quarantine measures.

Isolation of the sick and quarantine of contact persons are protective measures. However, they can be perceived as very stressful because they largely exclude sick, possibly sick people or contact persons from social life.


You can find all of our consumer information on Corona on our overview page on the subject.


We have summarized what you can and should consider here.

Who has to be in quarantine?

The health authorities are responsible for ordering quarantine measures. The legal basis for this is the Infection Protection Act.

Anyone who has to be in quarantine high risk has to have been infected. This is the case as a so-called Category I contact person. Such a risk can exist:

  1. if close contact with a likely infectious person within 1.5 meters had, generally in the context of a longer speech contact.
  2. on contact regardless of the distance, if it can be assumed that a high concentration of infectious aerosols in the room Template.
  3. whenever the health department orders this (this will usually be if the test is positive). Even then, the following applies: Inform your employer and health insurance company.

Anyone who has had contact with a person in the family, among friends or acquaintances who in turn has had contact with a person who is verifiably infected does not automatically have to be quarantined. However, if you then develop signs of a respiratory disease, you should contact your family doctor and have yourself tested.

The insulation is different from quarantine - it is an officially ordered measure in patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Depending on the severity of the disease, this can be done at home or in the hospital.

Who orders quarantine / isolation and how long do you have to stay in it?

The measure is usually ordered by the health department in your community. The health department also determines whether the quarantine / isolation can take place in the home environment or whether it has to be done in an inpatient hospital. It also defines exactly how long you will be isolated / quarantined. The measuredoes not end automaticallybut only when it has been lifted again by the competent authority.

If a corona is suspected, the condition of the person concerned is reported in quarantine usually observed for 14 days, calculated from the last day of contact with an infectious person. Due to the observed increase in worrying SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is currently no possibility of shortening the quarantine through a negative SARS-CoV-2 test. On the 14th day, a rapid antigen test or PCR test should be carried out before release from quarantine, as stipulated by the responsible health department.

A insulation of sick people ten days after the onset of illness at the earliest canceled if there have been no more signs of illness for at least 48 hours. If the disease is severe, meaningful PCR test results must also be available.

In addition: Quarantine obligation when entering or returning from abroad

On the basis of the federal model quarantine ordinance, the entry requirements have changed from November 8, 2020. Since this date, travelers who have been in a risk area in the last 10 days have to register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de before arriving in Germany and have proof of registration with them when entering the country. If, in exceptional cases, it is not possible to submit a digital entry registration, travelers must instead fill out a replacement notification in paper form. After entering the country, travelers must immediately go to their destination and register there for 10 days put in quarantine at home. You must also contact the health department immediately after entering the country. A corona test can be carried out at the earliest 5 days after entry. If the result is negative, the quarantine is lifted.

There is no obligation to quarantine at home for transit stays. However, those passing through are obliged to leave Germany immediately.

There are also exceptions, for example for cross-border commuters, transport companies and employees in the health sector. These exceptions are specified in the respective state regulations.

Stricter rules apply when returning from regions with a particularly high risk of infection, regions with particularly high case numbers (high incidence areas) and regions with certain virus variants (virus variant areas). If she 14-day The federal states specify in their corona ordinances that quarantine can be ended prematurely due to a negative corona test.

Before crossing the border, it is best to find out about the rules that apply there on the website of the government of your state. Current case numbers, affected countries and information on risk areas can be found at the Robert Koch Institute at www.rki.de/covid-19-risikogebiete and www.rki.de/covid-19-fallzahlen.

What can I not do when I am in quarantine?

  • You are not allowed to leave your apartment without the consent of the health department.
  • You must not receive visits from people who do not belong to your own household.
  • You must not have close contact with anyone you live with.

If you violate the quarantine, e.g. by leaving the apartment, this can be punished with a fine or, in serious cases, with imprisonment.

How should I behave in quarantine?

  • If you live with other people, you should stay in different rooms to avoid infection and you should not sleep in the same room.
  • Make sure you wash your hands regularly.
  • Follow the cough and sneeze labels.
  • Ventilate living rooms and bedrooms well.
  • Do not share household items such as dishes, linen and towels with each other.
  • Use your own bathroom if possible.
  • Do not share hygiene items with each other, wash laundry regularly and thoroughly.
  • Surfaces such as doorknobs, tables and storage surfaces should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly and, if possible, disinfected.
  • Meals should be taken separately from each other.
  • If you have a dog, ask friends or neighbors to take him for a walk during the quarantine period.
  • Ask others who are not under quarantine to go shopping for you (see also below).

If there are people in your household who belong to risk groups due to their age or previous illnesses, you should check whether they can find accommodation elsewhere for the duration of the quarantine, unless a quarantine has also been ordered for them.

What if i need medical help in quarantine at home?

Contact your health department immediately if you feel ill or have symptoms such as cough, runny nose, fever, or infection-related shortness of breath. If you get flu symptoms, call your family doctor as soon as possible or call the medical on-call service on the nationwide telephone number 116 117.

It is important that you monitor your health closely:

  • Measure your body temperature twice a day.
  • Keep a journal in which you record symptoms and body temperature.

Contact your GP or specialist if you need urgent medication or medical treatment and tell them that you are under quarantine. If you have any medical problems that could lead to non-compliance with the quarantine, inform your health department.

In the event of acute life-threatening illnesses, poisoning or serious injuries, dial the emergency number 112 and tell them that you are under quarantine!

Why do I have to adhere to the quarantine at home, even if I got a negative test result?

A smear is only ever a snapshot. The test simply says that you were not sick at the time of the test or were only at the very beginning of the infection, so it was not yet possible to detect it.

What do my roommates have to consider?

People who live with you in the same household must observe the following:

  • Your roommates should also reduce their contact with other people.
  • If your roommates experience symptoms of an illness, in particular respiratory problems, fever or flu symptoms, they should call their family doctor and ask for a referral to the central contact point for suspected corona cases.

How do I get groceries?

Family, friends and neighbors can buy groceries and should leave them in front of the door. In many regions there are neighborhood initiatives or other voluntary helpers who provide support. You can also ask church organizations and charities or your local authority. The local aid structures are often known there.

If nobody can help you, tell the health department.

How do I deal with the stressful situation?

Quarantine can be very stressful. Life is limited to one's own four walls, social contacts are frozen, and because there are hardly any alternatives, conflicts with roommates can arise. Burden fears and worries of infection.

It is important to maintain your own mental health in quarantine.

Practical tips:

  • Create fixed daily structures, regardless of whether you work in the home office or not.
  • Stay in touch with relatives, friends or work colleagues, e.g. via phone or social media.
  • If you suddenly have an unusually large amount of time, you can consider which hobbies are currently possible, e.g. reading, cooking, games or the like.
  • Stay physically active: You can also do exercises indoors. There are many guides on the internet.
  • Try meditation or relaxation exercises if you feel tense. There are also many instructions on the Internet.
  • Be critical. A lot of misinformation is spread, especially on social media. Find out more from trustworthy sources, e.g. on the website of the Robert Koch Institute, the Federal Ministry of Health or the health authorities.
  • Design or limit your media consumption, especially if you find yourself being burdened by it.
  • Being involuntarily in quarantine at home can be an emotionally stressful situation. If you feel down, speak to people who are close to you about it. One point of contact can be the telephone counseling (0800-111 0 111 or 0800-111 0 222 or 116 123; see also "Important numbers" in our Corona FAQ).
  • Nevertheless, try to maintain a positive attitude and orient yourself towards values ‚Äč‚Äčthat give you support.

Am I entitled to continued payment of wages if I am in quarantine?

  1. Confirmed Coronavirus Infection

    In the event of a confirmed infection with the coronavirus that is accompanied by symptoms, the attending physician issues a certificate of incapacity for work (see also "Who can call the doctor on sick leave?" In our Corona FAQ). This is also possible by telephone, informs the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA).

    If you are on sick leave, your employer will continue to pay you for up to six weeks. If the illness lasts longer than six weeks, employees with statutory health insurance will receive sick pay from the statutory health insurance. Privately insured persons can receive daily sickness allowance if their private health insurance contract includes this or they have taken out daily sickness allowance insurance.
  2. Officially ordered quarantine without symptoms

    Anyone who is in quarantine and working can no longer go into operation. Home office can be a solution here.

    If you do not show any symptoms of illness, your family doctor is not allowed to issue an AU certificate. This also applies to people without symptoms who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

    But here you are covered by the Infection Protection Act. You will also receive continued remuneration from your employer for six weeks. To do this, submit the official notification of the quarantine order to the employer. The employer, in turn, can have the continued payment of wages reimbursed through the competent authorities.

    If you fall ill during the quarantine, you will be unable to work due to illness from this point on. In this case, an AU certificate from the doctor is required, which you must forward to the employer in good time. The rules for continued payment of wages in the event of illness then apply again.

Important: Also Self-employed can against the competent authority their loss of earnings in the event of a quarantine according to the Infection Protection Act assert.

You can apply for compensation at the responsible health department, who will also provide you with information on specific questions about the application.

  • Fill out the application form from the respective health department and compile the evidence.
  • Submit the application documents in full to the responsible health department.

Your application should be checked immediately; any missing documents will be requested. You will receive a written notification of the approval / rejection.

The deadline for submitting an application is up to 3 months after the start of the ban or isolation.

The police warns: door fraud

Fraudsters at the front door are using a new scam, they pretend to be employees of the health department in protective clothing, sell alleged COVID-19 tests and want to gain access to apartments.

Employees of the health department do not come unannounced and do not carry out any tests at the front door!

This content was created by the consumer centers Hessen and North Rhine-Westphalia for the network of consumer centers in Germany.