For members


These maps will help you understand the current state of the pandemic in Germany

Five weeks into the so-called “lockdown light” average daily cases have plateaued slightly below the 20,000 mark. But the spread of the virus varies markedly between regions, and even from town to town. We break down where the latest outbreaks have been.

These maps will help you understand the current state of the pandemic in Germany
Passau in Bavaria is one current hotspot. Photo: DPA

The first thing that is interesting to note about the virus is that, generally speaking, it has hit the south and west of the country much harder than the north since the beginning of the pandemic.

The two northernmost states, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania both have infection rates of less than 50 per 100,000 people at the moment.

Source: Robert Koch Institute

The east of Germany is an interesting anomaly. It was barely hit by the first wave back in March. But, while cases have been dropping elsewhere for several weeks, they have skyrocketed in Saxony. The eastern state now has a case weight of 330 per 100,000. This high number is putting a strain on hospitals in parts of the state.

Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, which all had low case rates in the spring, have also seen infections rise during the lockdown, albeit to a lesser extent than in Saxony.

Of the city states, Hamburg has seen the biggest fall in cases since the beginning of November. They peaked at 172 per 100,000 on November 13th but have since dropped back to 96 per 100,000. But cases have also dropped off in Berlin and Bremen.

READ ALSO: Germany records 23,449 new Covid-19 cases amid call for tighter regional restrictions

In terms of the cumulative death rate, Bavaria has a considerably higher mortality in relation to its population than any other federal state, with 30.9 deaths per 100,000. 

The state with the second highest death rate is Saxony, which has had 26.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants since the start of the crisis.

At the bottom end of the scale in terms of deaths is Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which has had just 4.2 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. Berlin is solidly in the middle in terms of fatalities, with 16.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants since the start of the epidemic.

District level hotspots

On the more granular level, we can see that there are significant differences in infection rates inside the various federal states.

The current district with the largest number of cases per head of population is Passau in the south-eastern corner of Bavaria, which currently has 458 cases per 100,000. Also hard hit are the rural regions outside of Dresden and Chemnitz in southern Saxony.

Meanwhile the district with the highest case rate over all is Nuremberg, with 1,931 cases reported over the past week.

Both Passau and Nuremberg have introduced stricter lockdowns, only allowing residents to leave their homes for “essential reasons.”

The district with the lowest current caseload is Nordfriesland, right up in the northwest corner of the country. It has only had 22 positive cases in the last week and has recorded just four Covid deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Situation in hospitals

In terms of the current strain on intensive care beds, the chart below shows that the east of Bavaria and the east of Saxony are facing the greatest strain on their clinical resources.

In the Erzgebirgskreis in Saxony, just three of the district’s 80 intensive care beds are free, with close to two thirds of the beds being taken up by corona patients.

Mühldorf am Inn in Bavaria is facing a similarly tough situation in ICU with only one of its 16 beds still available. Showing just how large local differences can be, none of the ICU beds in nearby Kelheim are taken up by Covid-19 patients.

The situation is most relaxed near the Danish border, where none of the intensive care beds are taken up by Covid-19 patients.

Overall, some 5,000 intensive care beds are still available nationwide, with corona patients occupying close to 4,000 beds.

Member comments

  1. According to some doctors we know in our area in Friesland only a blood test can really indicate whether or not someone has the virus. They are highly critical of the current testing and the way the MSM are reporting it

  2. At over 13,000,000 confirmed cases and over 200,000 deaths in the States, Germany and probably any other country is doing infinitely better than us; even the so-called developing countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore are superior to us, though many here would mock them because they are still developing; the jokes on us though as it’s our hospitals that are being forced to turn patients away due to reaching capacity, or giant refrigerated trucks being used as “mobile morgues” in my home state of Texas, as bodies are piling up and the funeral homes can’t store them all.

    The States have failed miserably when dealing with corona, but hopefully the rest of the world can learn from us on how NOT to handle a pandemic, and don’t end up like we are now.

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For members


How unvaccinated people can use France’s health passport

A health passport is now required to access a range of venues in France including bars, cafés, tourist sites and long-distance travel. For those who are not yet fully vaccinated, accessing the passport is still possible, but more complicated. Here's how it works.

How unvaccinated people can use France's health passport
Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP

The French government has been clear that part of the intention of the pass sanitaire (health passport) is to push people into being vaccinated and as such daily life in France is now more complicated for those who are not vaccinated.

But for those who either cannot be vaccinated or have not yet completed the full vaccination course, it is still possible to access the passport.

EXPLAINED When and where you need the French health passport


The health passport requires one of three things; proof of fully vaccinated status, proof of a recent negative Covid test or proof of recent recovery from Covid.

‘Fully vaccinated’ here means having a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca – including Covishield – or Johnson & Johnson) so those who received a Sinopharm or Sputnik vaccine do not count as ‘vaccinated’ under French rules. You also need to be at least seven days post your final dose of the vaccine.

Most people have two doses of the vaccine, but ‘fully vaccinated’ can also mean a single dose of Johnson & Johnson, a single vaccine dose if you have previously had Covid or three doses if you are severely immunosuppressed.

Those vaccinated outside France may need to convert their certificates to make sure they are compatible with the French app – click HERE if you were vaccinated in the UK or HERE if you were vaccinated in the USA.

Covid recovery

If you have recently recovered from Covid you will need a positive Covid test that is no more than six months old. If you did not have a test while you were ill, or had Covid more than six months ago, you cannot use this route.

Recent negative test

If you are going for the testing option, there are some stipulations;

  • The test must be no more than 72 hours old (expanded from 48 hours initially) so if you intend to rely on testing you will need regular tests
  • The test must be taken in France, the app does not recognise foreign test certificates
  • The test can be either a PCR or antigen test. Home-testing kits can be used, but only – the health minister says – if done under the supervision of a pharmacist or medical professional (so it seems that you may as well get the pharmacist to do the test).

How to get a test

Some good news for those travelling from the UK, France’s testing system is much less chaotic and considerably less expensive than the UK’s and tests are relatively easy to access.

You can find tests at either medical testing labs, pharmacies or pop-up testing centres – either a PCR or an antigen test works with the health passport.

Medical labs require advance booking but most pharmacies advertise tests sans rendez-vous (without appointment) and pop-up testing centres (which are often just a gazebo on a street corner) operate on a walk-in basis.

Almost all pharmacies offer tests and even quite small French towns generally have at least one pharmacy, and you can also book tests online either via the medical app Doctolib or at

READ ALSO Vital French vocab to get a Covid test

Results for PCR tests are sent out later via email or SMS (usually within 24 hours) while for antigen tests they are generally given on the spot, although some pharmacies send them via SMS, this should not take more than 30 minutes.

How much?

At present all tests are free for residents of France, but from September ‘convenience tests’ for the unvaccinated will need to be paid for. Tests for any reason for vaccinated residents of France will continue to be free, and tests for those with symptoms or who are contact cases will be free for all residents.

Tourists and visitors to France need to pay for their tests.

Costs are capped by the French government at;

PCR – €49

Antigen – €29

What about children?

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the health pass requirement.

Those aged between 12 and 18 are required to use it, but have a grace period until September 30th to allow them time to get vaccinated, after that they will need to show a health pass to access relevant venues.

France, along with quite a few other European countries, is currently vaccinating all over 12s, but if you are travelling from October from a country where the vaccine is not available to under 18s, then your children will need a test to access the health pass.