If you think you might have been exposed to COVID-19 in Berlin, it can be hard to find the info you need — especially in English. When should you get a test? Where should you get a corona test in Berlin?
Here are the most important things you need to know about coronavirus in Berlin right now, in line with the latest advice from Berlin’s Senate and the Robert Koch Institut, Germany’s disease control and prevention institute.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organisation, the most common coronavirus symptoms are:
- dry cough
- difficulty breathing (severe cases)
It’s possible to have the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
When should I get tested for coronavirus in Berlin?
In light of the current partial lockdown and in line with changes to criteria from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Senate Department for Health recommends that you be evaluated if you have even mild symptoms, such as a cough or a sore throat. Even in such cases, getting a corona test makes sense. In addition, it is recommended that you get tested if …
- … you show symptoms typical of COVID-19, or any other symptoms compatible with acute respiratory diseases
- … you had contact with someone who has a confirmed case of Covid-19, such as someone in your own household or someone identified as a contact by Germany’s contact tracing app (Corona-Warn-App)
- … you work in a hospital, rehab facility, nursing home, etc. and provide care to COVID-19 patients
- … you work or live in or regularly visit a communal residence or home in which a COVID-19 outbreak has been registered
Even before you have any test results, you should self-isolate at home, maintain a distance of two metres to other people, follow the rules for handwashing, and wear a mask covering your mouth and nose when in contact with others.
People who meet these criteria should contact their local health authority so their case can be evaluated. Based on the criteria of the RKI and the patient’s individual situation, the public health officer (Amtsarzt) will make a decision on how to proceed and on whether the patient should be quarantined at home or needs to be treated in the hospital. If a test is done and you are waiting for the results, please self-isolate at home – initially, for 14 days – and follow the general rules on hygiene.
Berlin’s Senate health authority has also set up a central coronavirus hotline. If you think you might have been exposed to coronavirus and are showing symptoms, you can call the hotline from 8am to 8pm each day on 030 90 28 2828.
The Berlin Senate has also approved an updated testing strategy. Throughout Berlin, testing centres are to use a coordinated approach to identifying at an early stage people at risk of serious illness from a coronavirus infection and those who would be more likely to spread the disease. The focus here is on health care facilities, nursing homes, schools, and daycare centres, as well as tests in places with high potential for dissemination of the disease, such as restaurants or correctional facilities.
Where can I get tested for coronavirus in Berlin?
If, after calling the designated hotline, your local health authority or speaking to a doctor you’ve been advised to get tested for coronavirus, here are the five screening centres currently open for corona testing in Berlin:
- Charité Campus Virchow-Klinikum
Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin (address on the campus: Mittelallee 1)
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 1pm. Please call the hotline before you come: 030 9028-2828. A video consultation is also possible. Book an appointment here.
- DRK Kliniken Berlin Köpenick out-patient diagnostic center
Salvador-Allende-Strasse 2-8, Haus 5.3, 12559 Berlin
The separate entrance to the screening centre is accessible only from Salvador-Allende-Strasse. The entrance is to the right, approx. 50 metres from the entrance to the ‘Ärztehaus’ of the DRK Kliniken Berlin Köpenick.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 12pm
Currently unable to perform more than 50 tests a day
- Drive-through testing centre in Neukölln (Corona-Abstrich-Zentrum – CAZ)
Riesestraße, 12347 Berlin
A swab sample will be taken only from people who have registered in advance and can show an official ID. No tests will carried for people who show up at the centre without notice. People can be registered only by their employers, who will need to call the borough health office in Neukölln for this purpose, and only if their workplace is in Neukölln. More info.
- Coronavirus Testing Centre
Car park behind Rathaus Wedding, Müllerstraße 146/147, 13353 Berlin (access via Genter Straße)
This testing center is only for people who live in Mitte and are being monitored by the Mitte health office after having had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, are returning travellers with symptoms, are seasonal workers with symptoms, or are medical, caregiving, or pharmacy staff, police officers, or firefighters, with or without symptoms. If you wish to be tested, you must contact the borough health office in Mitte by phone on 030 9018-45271. They will give you a time slot for your test. More info.
- Drive-by testing at Gesundheitsamt Reinickendorf
Teichstr. 65, 13407 Berlin
This testing station is for people from Reinickendorf. If you have had contact with someone who is infected and/or you have symptoms and you have a car, please call the borough’s coronavirus hotline on 030 90294-5500 for an appointment. More info.
Can I go to a doctor for a COVID-19 test?
Some doctors’ surgeries are offering testing to their registered patients. If you have a regular Hausarzt, you can call them to find out if they offer this service.
Otherwise, 30 family doctors’ surgeries (Hausarztpraxen) in Berlin have agreed to test patients who may have COVID-19, but are unable to go to their usual doctor. These COVID-19 centres have established the necessary protective measures and will ensure that patients with a suspected case of COVID-19 can be seen and treated separately.
Berlin’s Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Berlin) has information on where these surgeries are located and the conditions that should be met by patients who want to be tested. Here is the list of practices across Berlin, by district.
Can I pay for a quick coronavirus test?
If you need to get a test done quickly and are prepared to pay, Schnelltest Berlin offers adults and children short-notice testing (also available without appointment) at their Mitte testing station, 7 days a week. The test costs €49, including a medical certificate confirming the result. Antigen and PCR tests are both available. Book an appointment here.
- Corona Teststation Berlin Mitte, Auguststraße 20, 10117 Berlin // 030 28599654 // email: [email protected]
From December 10th, a rapid coronavirus testing service will also be available at Admiralspalast and at Kaier-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche at a cost of €40 (incl. VAT) per test. Tests will be available to all citizens, every day, from 10am to 10pm. The team will be overseen by a doctor from Charité. Registration at www.coronatest.de.
For the full list of rapid corona testing services in Berlin, including price, how to book, opening times — plus the difference between antigen, antibody and PCR testing — see our guide to rapid Covid-19 testing in Berlin.
Which coronavirus apps can help me in Berlin?
The medical team at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals, have developed CovApp, a simple questionnaire-based risk assessment app designed to help determine whether someone should get tested for SARS-CoV-2. The responses provided can then be sent anonymously to Charité via QR code to help streamline treatment, if needed.
The government also encourages people to download the Corona-Warn-App to help with contact tracing. Your corona test results will be uploaded to the app anonymously. Get it here.
All information up to date as of November 24th, 2020. Follow the latest coronavirus updates from Berlin’s Senate and the Robert Koch Institut. Both have current information in English.
Bored of being at home all the time? Take a look at 12 locations from Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit filmed in Berlin. And if you’re keen to stay trim and healthy during the pandemic, here are Berlin’s most beautiful running routes.