Rheinland-Pfalz releases new COVID-19 ordinance

The German state of Rheinland-Pfalz released their eighteenth ordinance regarding local COVID-19 restrictions that went into effect March 22.

While most lockdown restrictions remained unchanged, several updates were included regarding COVID-19 testing and restaurant dining.

Free COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic people is now offered at multiple locations throughout Rheinland-Pfalz. More information about off-base testing is available on Ramstein’s COVID-19 site.

Self-test kits, known as Selbsttest or Schnelltest in German, are now available for purchase at various locations on the economy such as grocery stores. They are usually priced between 5-10€ and often located near the cash registers.

Restaurants may now open for outdoor dining, under strict restrictions. Patrons must make reservations in advance, provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test and comply with other health measures in place in order to enter. People must bring a point-of-contact test form to the restaurant as proof of their test.

Alternatively, self-testing kits can also be used to enter restaurants, but the rapid tests must be conducted at the restaurant in the presence of an appointed individual. The appointed individual must confirm the result, date and time of the self-test.

If a test comes back positive, members will need to quarantine and obtain a PCR test. More information about testing can be answered in the frequently asked questions on Rheinland-Pfalz’s government website.

Requirements may change depending on the state or municipality where the restaurant is located, and some restaurants will choose to remain closed to outdoor seating.

The installation is currently working through this latest guidance to determine impacts to on-base restaurants.  More information will be provided when it becomes available.

The Ramstein clinic is not offering rapid testing for the purpose of visiting a restaurant. Testing remains available only for beneficiaries who are sick or ill, for release from quarantine or restriction of movement, and for official travel/emergency leave.

Although spring break is around the corner for the Kaiserslautern Military Community, leisure travel outside the local commuting area remains highly discouraged. The “local commuting area” is roughly defined as the general area a person lives, works, and transits through on a regular basis through the course of day-to-day life. Avoiding unnecessary travel reduces exposure to others and to the virus, which helps our community remain safe and healthy. Those who do travel face potential difficulties associated with returning to Germany, quarantine requirements upon returning, and the overall health and safety concerns for all travelers.

Gatherings are still limited to two households, with a maximum of five persons age 15 or older.  Many retail locations are open with restrictions limiting the number of patrons allowed inside based on the number of available square meters.

For more information, visit Ramstein Air Base’s official COVID-19 webpage.