Event management during the Corona pandemic
Berlin is happy to welcome you and your impressive events. The city government has worked together with stakeholders to develop a joint approach to provide solutions for responsible events and ensure your participants can visit Berlin safely.
The following limits continue to apply on the number of attendees at indoor and outdoor meetings, incentives, conventions, events and trade fairs:
Limits on numbers
Limits on numbers at events in Berlin
- From 06 January 2021 - 31 January 2021: a maximum of 50 people // indoors
- From 06 January 2021 - 31 January 2021: a maximum of 100 people // outdoors
Any easing of these limits will be subject to the hygiene and social distancing regulations.
You can find the current SARS-CoV-2 infection protection regulation on the state of Berlin website (only available in german).
Guidelines for safe events
Guidelines for hygiene planning – A framework for holding safe events!
The Berlin MICE sector is ready for your event!
Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of your event participants. To assist you in planning your event, visitBerlin Convention Partner in cooperation with visitBerlin has drafted comprehensive COVID-19 guidelines for safe events in Berlin.
The Hygiene Framework Concept has been agreed with the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises as well as the Senate Department for Health, Care and Gender Equality and is officially approved.
The current interim version was last updated on 03 November 2020 and is aligned with the latest provisions in the Ordinance Amending the SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Ordinance from 14 December 2020.
FAQ -- Answers to the questions
1. Legal issues
Are business meetings and conferences still allowed?
Business meetings and conferences are still allowed. The new maximum number of persons (see above) as well as distance rules must be observed.
Does my event need official approval?
No. Under Section 2, Para. 1, Clause 2 of the Berlin Infection Protection Ordinance, those responsible as defined in Clause 1 are to draw up an individual hygiene and protection plan meeting the specific requirements of the particular service, programme or event and submit it to the authority responsible on request.
In other words, the local health authority or public order office may ask for the hygiene plan to be submitted, but it does not have to be automatically submitted for permission to hold the event. Of course, other local or borough licence requirements outside the COVID-19 regulations, e.g., use of public space, curbs, roadside verges, etc., remain unaffected.
Have the heath authorities authorised the Guidelines?
Yes, all the districts (health authorities) have received the guidelines in advance and have had the opportunity to comment. In addition, event organisers can refer to the fact that, in accordance with the Ordinance, the Guidelines have been agreed with the Berlin Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises as well as the Senate Department for Health, Care and Gender Equality and approved as Hygiene Guidelines.
Who does “those responsible for events” refer to?
In accordance with Section 2, Para 1, Clause 1, Infection Protection Ordinance, “those responsible for events” are always understood to be the event organisers who are responsible and liable for the event.
How is "persons present" in the Infetion Protection Ordinance defined?
The Infection Protection Ordinance refers to “persons present at the same time”, i.e., all persons present including employees and visitors equally.
If claims for damages arise, who would be the liable party?
Legal rulings on the questions of liability and claims for damages at an event in the case of a coronavirus infection are decided individually on a case-to-case basis.
In principle, the following applies: The stronger the evidence of the hygiene plan being implemented in an orderly manner, the less successful an infected person or their relatives would be in pursuing a claim against the organiser.
Or in legal terms: Where the hygiene plan and industrial safety provisions have been implemented in an orderly manner, the duty of care would not be violated in a way providing a legal prerequisite for claims derived from contractual, criminal or other special laws (Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz), industrial health and safety provisions).
What happens if the Infection Protection Ordiance changes?
As soon as there are changes with regard to the currently valid regulation (as of 29 October 2020), these will be taken into account here as soon as possible.
2. Hygiene measures
What are the current social distancing regulations?
At events, seating and tables must be arranged so that all guests can maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres. This ruling does not apply to those who fall under the exceptions in Section 1, Para. 3, Infection Protection Ordinance (spouses, life partners, members of a person’s own household, etc.) or where sufficient protection against the risk of infection is provided by other measures or devices to minimise the spread of aerosols capable of carrying COVID-19.
Notwithstanding Clause 1 as well as Section 1, Para. 2, Clause 1, Infection Protection Ordinance, up to two people may be seated together at a distance of less than 1.5 metres. For events outdoors, the minimum distance may be less than specified in Clause 1 providing there is sufficient protection from aerosol and droplet infection.
Do attendees have to wear a face mask?
Attendees at events are not required to wear a face covering, see 2.4.3, Guidelines for business and trade (Orientierungshilfe für Gewerbe). Nonetheless, attendees are strongly recommended to wear a face mask. Accordingly, event organisers are recommended to ensure sufficient and suitable face masks are available for those attendees who do not have such a mask with them.
Do the personnel have to wear a face mask?
Yes. Personnel with direct guest contact are required to wear a face covering in closed rooms, see Infection Protection Ordinance, Section 4, Para 1. Those acting contrary to these regulations can be required to leave the premises.
Does social distancing apply if all those present wearing face masks?
Organisers are obliged to ensure the current social distancing rules are applied during the entire period of the event. In addition, wearing a face mask is strongly recommended. Since there is no obligation to wear a face mask, such a face covering does not exempt an individual from the fundamental duty of adhering to the minimum social distance.
The basic regulations on distancing and hygiene are defined in Section 2 and Section 5, Infection Protection Ordinance.
Who is responsible for monitoring the distance / hygiene regulations?
The event organisers responsible and liable for the event are required to implement the requisite social distancing and hygiene measures and ensure these are followed. If clients or customers act as organisers, they must bear the liability in cases where regulations are violated.
The event organisers must ensure that all service providers involved in the event are informed of the social distancing and hygiene regulations and pass this relevant information on to their employees.
During the event, stewards and security staff are to monitor compliance with the valid social distancing regulations in the guest areas, avoid congestion leading to larger groups (if necessary, by additional mobile patrols), and disperse such groups if they should form.
3. Participant management
What (contact) data do I need to collect from the attendees?
At events, attendance has to be documented to provide the information to allow attendees to be traced if necessary. The attendance documentation must include at least the following information:
- Name and family name
- Phone number
- District or municipality of the place of residence or permanent residence
- Full address or email address
- Time the person was present, and
- Seat or table number, if available.
[Section 3, Para. 1, Clause 2, Infection Protection Ordinance]
How long do I have to keep the attendance records?
The attendance records have to be kept for a period of four weeks from the end of the event. They are to be kept or stored in a place not accessible to third parties. After the required period, the attendance lists are to be deleted or destroyed.
Should it transpire that, at the time of the event, one of the participants was ill or suspected of being infected as specified in the Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz – IfSG), the attendance records are to be provided on request to the responsible authority. [Section 3, Para. 2, Infection Protection Ordinance]
Can foreign trade fair participants enter Germany?
It is generally possible for trade fair participants from abroad to enter Germany.
No travel restrictions apply for travellers from EU member states and from countries on the positive list.
Trade fair participants from all other countries can also enter Germany, as they are considered business travellers with an urgent need to travel.
Trade fair participants from these countries must provide proof of their participation in the trade fair when applying for a visa or respectively when entering Germany:
Employees of exhibiting companies must present a confirmation of their participation in the fair from the trade fair organiser.
Visitors to the trade fair must present their entry ticket to the trade fair and additionally provide proof of an appointment for a business meeting with at least one exhibitor at the location at the trade fair.
Can I offer catering to my event participants?
Self-service buffets are permitted at MICE events if it is ensured that visitors keep the minimum distance from each other or wear a mouth-and-nose cover when not at the table.
When offering food and beverages, care is to be taken that groups do not form. In addition, the valid distancing regulations are to be observed (floor markings).
To accelerate the serving of food and beverages, these are to be labelled clearly and legibly. Where appropriate, provision should be made for cashless payments. To avoid the excessive density of guests and staff at a single location, decentralized serving points shall be planned and set up (the maximum number of people allowed in the catering area is to be determined in advance). Alternatively, food and beverages may be provided in sealed packaging and placed on the chairs/tables in the event area or via specific forms of serving (e.g., vendor’s tray).
At MICE events, all catering services must cease from 11pm, including bar services, and the supplying and selling of alcoholic drinks. Measures should be taken to prevent an excessive consumption of alcohol, since this may lead to breaking the regulations on social distancing. Anyone who is clearly drunk should be warned and, if necessary, escorted from the premises.
Can I book a band to perform at an indoor event?
As a performance, bands and vocal music are allowed indoors. However, dance events in enclosed rooms are not permitted (Infection Protection Ordinance, Section 7: Prohibitions). In the Hygiene Guidelines of the Senate Department responsible for culture, singing together and a band performing are subject to the conditions stipulated under IV (see Infection Protection Ordinance, Section 5, Para. 1).
What requirements are there for exhibitions?
For the entire duration of the exhibition, the event organiser is to ensure compliance with the hygiene regulations, the valid social distancing regulations and further coronavirus health and safety standards (Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs).
Appropriate methods, such as floor markings, room partitions, automated gate systems, signal light systems and pull principles can help to regulate flows at entrances and exits so they comply with the present regulations on social distancing. Allocating time slot tickets helps to avoid queues forming in the entrance areas.
The flow of visitors can be smoothly steered by marking traffic paths. Flows of people in opposite directions are to be avoided through the use of one-way systems, distance markers and spacers. The currently valid regulations on social distancing must also be applied at stands for merchandise, sponsors, etc.
Interaction with visitors is only possible under very strict conditions, and these must be set out in the individual hygiene plan. interactive displays and devices must be cleaned after each use.
Organisers have to ensure that visitors or participants are informed of the valid hygiene and safety measures even during the exhibition (if appropriate, via announcements).
During the event / exhibition, stewards and security staff are responsible for ensuring compliance with social distancing regulations.
Please note: We are very glad to support you as far as possible with the information on our website. However, the information we provide is for guidance only.
Although care is taken to ensure the accuracy of such information, it makes no claim to be correct, complete and up-to-date, and in particular does not offer legal advice and assistance.
For questions on interpretation and application in your particular case, we must ask you to seek individual legal advice.
Berlin Congress Fund provides support for event planners
The Berlin Senate has approved a Congress Fund* to support event organisers who plan and hold congresses, conferences, meetings or events in Berlin.
It provides basic funding per participant per event day, a supplement for hybrid events combining in-person events and options for online participation as well as further funding for sustainable events designed to meet a set point score on the Sustainable Event Score Card.
The application procedure is currently being coordinated with the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises. Once the process is activated, we will let you know through our various channels. Applications will only be possible online.
We are looking forward to your event!
Feel free to contact us at any time for more information on Berlin as a destination for meetings or for concrete suggestions for hotels, locations and event services: convention@visitBerlin.de.
*Resolution passed on 21.07.2020
Important travel information
- Since 15 June 2020, controls at the German borders have been lifted completely. For more details, see the German Federal Government website.
- Air traffic is restricted. You can find the latest information on air traffic in Berlin on the Berlin Airports website.
- Please note the current guidelines and advice from the Robert Koch Institute, the WHO and the coronavirus information on the State of Berlin website.