1. Health Information on COVID-19
Are you looking for information on COVID-19 in your language?
IOM info poster are available here in Amharic, Arabic, Bambara, Bengali, Chinese, Kurdish, Edo, English, Esan, French, Fula, Igbo, Italian, Mandinka, Hausa, Pashtun, Pidgin (Nigeria), Romanian, Russian, Somali, Soninke, Spanish, Tigrinya, Urdu, Wolof and Yoruba. (Source: IOM’s Coordination Office for the Mediterranean)
How is the health situation in Germany?
- Robert Koch Institute: Up-to-date information about the situation in Germany.
- German Federal Ministry of Health: General information, daily news and situation reports.
- World Health Organization (WHO): General and in-depth information on COVID-19.
Why is keeping distance so important?
Find answers to this question in the following languages:
What should I know regarding hygiene and quarantine?
Please find information in the following languages:
2. Political Information on COVID-19 in Germany
What are the current measures in Germany?
The Federal Government’s Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration informs about Corona in Germany in several languages here, including FAQs and current measures in place in Germany.
What restrictions apply to public life?
Find an overall summary of all restrictions and recommendations here.
What rules regarding social distancing are in place?
- Everyone is advised to limit contact with people other than those living in the same household to the absolute minimum necessary.
- When in public, distance of at least 1.5 meters should be maintained wherever possible between all persons other than those living in the same household.
- You are permitted to be outside your home only with one other person who does not live in your household, or with those who do live in your household. Update on 8 May 2020: Members of two different households can now meet in a public space.
- It is of course still possible to leave your home to go to work, buy food and other essential supplies, go to the doctor, take part in meetings, necessary appointments and examinations, provide care for others, engage in individual sport and exercise outdoors and other essential activities; if you work in a system-critical occupation (such as the police, fire service and health care), you may take your children to and from emergency child care.
- The police and local public order authorities are enforcing these rules. Violations will be prosecuted.
What about my friends, family and children?
Contact is only allowed with persons from your own household or with one other person who does not live in your household. Starting from May 8, members of two different households can now also meet in a public space.
The contact restrictions generally apply until at least 5 June 2020.
More information from the Ministry of the Interior here.
What does the Federal Government do to help workers and companies?
Find information from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy here.
Where can I find Chancellor Merkels weekly announcements in my language?
Translations of Chancellor Merkel’s regular video speeches and much more can be found here.
3. Travel restrictions & border crossing
Can I still travel out of or into Germany?
For further and up-to-date information, please visit
- Federal Foreign Office: Information for travellers
- Joint Crisis Task Force Federal Ministry of the Interior with Federal Ministry of Health: FAQs with information about the general situation, travel restrictions / border control, quarantine, stores at home, migration, major events in English
- Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: Information on coronavirus/international transport operations in English
What are the travel regulations in other countries?
- An overview of current travel regulations for all countries is available at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). You can also have a look at the IOM map showing mobility impacts due to COVID-19 or the WFP dashboard with global travel restrictions.
4. Asylum procedures and residence permits
Find information regarding relevant aspects on asylum procedures, renewal of residence permits, etc. at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
I want to apply for asylum, where and how can I do it?
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has changed its policy of accepting applications in person in order to comply with the need to avoid contact, and is currently only accepting applications in writing. Please check here for further information.
My residence permit is going to expire soon, how can I apply for prolonging?
If an application for an extension is submitted before the residence title expires, the fiction of the continued validity of the residence title comes into effect by force of law on submission of the application (section 81 subsection (4), first sentence, of the Residence Act [AufenthG]). This also applies if the application is submitted informally. Schengen visas form an exception to this rule. Please contact the responsible immigration authority with enough time ahead to apply for an extension. The immigration authority that is responsible for you can be identified using WebGIS.
5. Work Related Information
Due to the measures against the pandemic my working situation has changed. What do I need to know now?
- Handbook Germany provides information on various topics regarding working in Germany in English, German, Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, French and Pashto.
- Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy: Information on the economic impact in English.
- Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs: Questions relating to labour law.
I am receiving “Kurzarbeitergeld” now, does this change my residence permit?
No, it has no effect on your residence status. Generally, costs of living are recognized as secured if no additional social welfare is needed. For further information see here. In any case, please contact your responsible immigration authority if you are affected by short-time working.
6. Direct Contact
Where can I ask someone directly about Corona and migration?
The platform WDRforyou offers information for migrants and refugees in German, English, Arabic and Farsi. Many videos and reports are related to Corona. Each Thursday, experts answer your questions live via Facebook.
7. Psychosocial Support
Are you as a man experiencing pressure in the current situation? Have a look at this survival kit for men under pressure, including 10 suggestions for dealing with stress: Deutsch, English, Al-ʿarabiyya, Polski, Español, Italiano, Français, Fārsī, Shqiptar, Magyar, Türkçe, Kurdî (Kurmancî), Russkiy, Slovenčina, Português, Nederlands, Srpsko-hrvatski, Tamil, Tigriññā, Somali
Recommendations for activities on mental, health and psychosocial support during the pandemic can be found in the IOM guide "Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in the COVID-19 Response". It gives tips on how to protect oneself against mental stress and has compiled the most promising best practices in English.
8. Vulnerable Groups
I consider myself as LGBTQI+ and I feel unsafe in my home, where can I get support?
You can call www.lesmigras.de at 030-21 91 50 90 in several languages or write an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The “Lesben und Schwulen Verband” offers therapy and counselling for queer refugees on topics like asylum. A short guide can be found here.
I am a parent and feel overwhelmed – is there a support group for parents?
Where can I get information on Corona in sign language?
Please find further information here.
How can I talk to my child about COVID-19/Corona?
The best way to prepare for talking to your child about COVID-19/Corona is to inform yourself about the topic first. Use reliable sources only. Save the Children has put together a few tips for this here. Unicef recommends what parents should know about COVID-19/Corona (available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese).
Every child is different. Thus, your child´s reaction to news about COVID-19/Corona may depend on many factors such as your child´s age, development, their lived experiences and how parents and other adults react. When talking to your child, take enough time as questions may arise later. Create a safe environment where your child feels encouraged to ask questions. If you want to use child-friendly information material, there is a variety of different books, videos, and online information tools to choose from:
- Videos: Corona-virus awareness video for children by UNICEF Lebanon (Arabic); The coronavirus explained to children by Eurac Research (English).
- Online games and information for children: Coronavirus by brainpop (English).
How can I support my child in continuing their education and having something meaningful to do?
Especially during this time of social distancing and staying home, all children need as much normality, play and fun as possible.
My child seems stressed due to the isolation, what can I do?
Please find further information here.
How can I access health care for my child if needed?
Please go to your “Kinderarzt” or call them in advance of a visit.
How can teenagers protect their mental health during COVID-19/Corona?
Please find information from UNICEF here.
I am a child or a parent and I do not feel safe at home – where can I find help?
Please call “Nummer gegen Kummer” (only in German) if you are a child or a teenager via 116 111 or for parents 08001110550. Also check for online counselling here.
Where can parents of disabled children find help if they feel overwhelmed by the situation?
My family needs additional financial support, where can I ask for assistance?
Please have a look here.
I am female and experiencing domestic violence, where can I get help?
There is a direct hotline number to call for support if you are a victim of violence. It is accessible round the clock and free of charge in 17 languages: 08000 116 016.
If you do not want to be heard by your intimate partner when you ask for help, you can also instantly chat with a person who can help you. Available daily between 12 and 8 pm.
9. COVID-19 in countries of origin
Find figures of the worldwide developments regarding COVID-19 at John Hopkins University.
10. IOM Programmes
Does IOM continue with its programmes in Germany ?
- IOM’s global response to COVID-19
For more information regarding IOM’s global response to COVID-19, please visit https://www.iom.int/iom-responds-covid-19