Man and woman with face mask. Man and woman with face mask. | © GettyImages/martin-dm

Corona Crisis and Germany

The global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has far-reaching implications for business and the economy. Germany Trade & Invest provides regular information updates and answers to your questions about the potential effects for your project in Germany.​

Germany Trade & Invest is working for you during this difficult time.

With major restrictions placed on movement and travel in place across the world, many planned events and trade fair visits have been cancelled or postponed. Although we are not able to meet you in person for the time being, Germany Trade & Invest will continue to provide its full portfolio of “virtual” services during the current crisis. All of our industry teams remain available to provide ongoing support – in Germany and around the world.


  • Entry Regulations, Border Controls, Travel Restrictions

    Entry Regulations, Border Controls, Travel Restrictions

    A number of restrictions on entry to and travel within Germany as well as onward transit from the country have been introduced to safeguard public health since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has prepared important information relating to entry and travel restrictions, behavior when in Germany, and transit through other countries.

    Germany has also introduced travel restrictions for entries from outside the Schengen area. All corresponding entries from non-EU-citizens and citizens of non-Schengen states by plane or ship are affected.

    National Guidelines to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus 

    The federal government and the individual federal states have introduced a national agreement restricting social contact in public in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This agreement was extended on March 22, 2020. On April 1, 2020, a further extension – keeping the current restrictions in place until at least April 19, 2020 – was decided.

    One main restriction is the German-wide ban of public gatherings of more than two people - with the exception of relatives living in the same households. The extended rules will apply for an initial period of two weeks and sanctioned with fines.

    For more information please refer to the FAQs provided by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. 

  • Financial Support for Business

    Financial Support for Business

    Germany’s government has moved swiftly and decisively to confront the potentially devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

    The country’s economy is in a strong position to introduce measures supporting the economy over a prolonged period. By providing businesses with sufficient liquidity, the government measures will help ensure that enterprises emerge from the crisis intact.

    The Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy have unveiled a joint assistance program and tax policy measures totaling billions of euros. The package of measures and instruments has been put in place to protect the employment market and enterprises of all sizes in all sectors.

    Liquidity Aid Loan Programs

    The federal development bank KfW has expanded and eased access and terms on two existing loan programs:

    • the ERP-Universal Start-up Loan
    • the KfW-Entrepreneur Loan

    KfW has also introduced a new KfW Special Programme. This programme includes generous terms and conditions on consortial financing for larger projects, as well as emergency liquidity aid for micro-enterprises and freelancers/self-employed persons experiencing financial difficulties caused by the corona crisis.

    Please refer to the KfW website for details on loan program conditions. Applications for all these can be made through high-street banks.

    At the same time, both federal and state governments are setting up a variety of aid programs to support companies in Germany. The range of services is continuously being updated and expanded. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides an overview of all state programs (so far in German only). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    More Flexible Rules for Short-Time Allowance Schemes

    The Federal Employment Agency pays the short-time allowance as partial compensation for a loss of earnings caused by a temporary cut in working hours. This reduces the costs faced by employers in the context of employing workers, and enables companies to continue to employ their workforce even in the event of a loss of orders. In other words, short-time allowances help to prevent dismissals.

    Currently short-time allowances schemes can be granted on a more flexible basis for a limited period until December 31, 2020. For instance, companies are eligible to apply, if 10 percent of the employees are effected by shorter working hours. Moreover, social security contributions which have to be paid solely by employers for employees working short-time are reimbursed in full.

    Tax Policy Measures

    Tax measures improving companies’ liquidity situations have been decided. For instance, options for deferring tax payments and reducing prepayments will be enhanced. Enforcement rules will also be adapted - there will be no foreclosures or late payment fines, if the debtor of a pending tax payment is directly affected by the coronavirus.

  • Corona Crisis - Germany's Medical and Research Infrastructure

    Corona Crisis - Germany's Medical and Research Infrastructure

    Amidst the corona crisis, the world is looking to Germany for medical and biotechnological know-how. Find out who’s who and what’s what in these three maps.

    List of Biotechnology and Medical Technology Clusters Researching the Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19

    List of Major German Institutes and Companies Researching Coronavirus Vaccines, Drugs and Tests

    List of University Clinics in Germany

  • 3D Printing Providing Quick Solutions to Covid-19 Crisis

    3D Printing Providing Quick Solutions to Covid-19 Crisis

    Additive manufacturing technologies have an important role to play in the supply of materials in the corona crisis, with urgently needed components being produced in short lead times.

    European Commission call for printed components

    Around the world, innovative manufacturing solutions are in great demand to meet the medical challenges created by the global coronavirus pandemic. Significant shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and glasses as well as prohibitive production times of life-saving respirator valves have led to 3D printing technologies being deployed to slow down this global emergency.

    The European Commission has called for additive manufacturing companies, Fablabs, Makerspaces, and 3D printing users across Europe to make printed components available. More than 250 companies from all industries including the automotive and sportswear sectors have answered the request to date.

    All proposals are currently being reviewed and validated by the European Commission, which is being supported in Germany by the Association of German Engineers (VDI)

    Industry pledges support

    An increasing number of additive manufacturing plant operators and the industrial 3D printing systems manufacturer EOS have also pledged their support. 

    The aim is to be able to provide fast and direct support for the expected – and in other countries already concrete – demand for spare and wear parts for medical devices using 3D printing processes.

    "3D Printing Fights Corona"

    3D Printing Fights Corona is an initiative of MGA - Medical Mobility goes Additive e.V. and its members as well as a number of additive manufacturing actors. Pooling resources from the additive manufacturing industry in Germany and beyond, the initiative aims to build the necessary infrastructure and help the general public through the ongoing crisis. Virtual sessions and a special website provide a platform for knowledge sharing and development of urgently needed medical equipment including PPE and spare parts for ventilators. 

    Siemens makes design services available

    Siemens is making its Additive Manufacturing Network (AM Network) available to all who require medical device design or print services in order to address the growing shortage of medical devices needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the Siemens initiative is to enable fast and uncomplicated 3D printing of spare parts such as fans. The AM Network connects users, designers and 3D printers. 

    German Institute for Standardization opens up standards

    DIN, the German Institute for Standardization has, in agreement with all members of the European standards organization CEN and CENELEC, decided to make a series of European standards (ENs) for medical devices and PPE freely available in a concerted move to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision will help tackle the current shortage of PPE and other products in a number of European countries. By providing free access to the standards, companies will be able to reconvert their production lines to manufacture the urgently needed equipment. In Germany, DIN is making standards for breathing apparatus, eye and face protection equipment available free of charge to ensure that as many companies from as many industries as possible are able to participate.

    For more information on additive manufacturing in Germany please contact our 3D printing industry specialists.

  • Maintaining Supply Chains in the EU

    Maintaining Supply Chains in the EU

    European supply chains are maintained through an extensive network of freight transport services, including all modes of transport.

    In order to ensure the proper functioning of the EU’s internal market, the EU has requested member states to immediately designate all of the relevant internal border-crossing points of the trans-European transport network and additional ones – to the extent deemed necessary – as “green lane” border crossings.

    Green Lane Border Crossings

    These green lane border crossings should be open to all freight vehicles – whatever goods they are carrying. Crossing the border, including any checks and health screening, should not take more than 15 minutes.

    The European Commission has presented a practical guide to ensure continuous flow of goods across EU via green lanes. Moreover, the Commission has also set up a network of national contact points and a platform to provide information on national transport measures taken by member states in response to the coronavirus. 

  • Economic Developments

    Economic Developments

    The coronavirus outbreak in Germany has brought an abrupt end to the positive economic start to the year. The country’s economy must address unexpected challenges.​

    Economic Forecast Germany 2020-2021

    According to the German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE), the most likely scenario will see the economic situation normalize over the summer in a way similar to the pattern emerging in China. However, this assumed recovery in the second half of 2020 will not prevent Germany experiencing a drop of 3.1 percent in GDP this year – making it the second most affected economy in the euro zone after Italy. In 2021, large catch-up and carry-over effects should buoy the economy, with a projected GDP increase of 3.7 percent. The GCEE also expects Germany’s recovery in 2021 to be the strongest of all euro zone countries.

    Countering the Crisis - Record Package of Financial Support Measures

    Germany’s government has moved swiftly to counteract the worst effects of the crisis, introducing a far-reaching package of financial measures to safeguard health, jobs and the economy. The record aid package includes a supplementary government budget of EUR 156 billion to absorb the immediate consequences of the crisis. The complete program of help measures – including guarantees and subsidized KfW bank loans – planned represents EUR 1.2 trillion in total. By moving quickly and decisively to mitigate the worst outcomes of the crisis, Germany’s government is creating the conditions to ensure that businesses – of all sizes – emerge from the crisis intact. 

    Germany was one of the safest investment locations worldwide before the global coronavirus pandemic. The country’s strong and stable economy now puts it on a strong footing to deal with the current crisis. The record financial aid package announced – with further measures foreseen as and when required – is a sign of the German government’s commitment to ensuring that the country maintains its proud position.

    Global FDI Perspectives

    A global recession now seems certain, with economic recovery only possible when the virus can be effectively contained. According to the OECD, a sharp slowdown in world growth is expected in the first half of the year as supply chains and commodities are affected, tourism falls away and business confidence falters.

    UNCTAD reports that the outbreak and spread of Covid-19 will negatively affect global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows in the period 2020-2021. Downward pressure on FDI will be in the range of -30 to -40 percent according to new forecasts. Developed countries in particular will feel the effect of this downturn as a result of their dependence on global supply chains.

    Sectors expected to experience the greatest decline in FDI levels include aviation, tourism, entertainment, retail trade, and luxury goods. The automotive, consumer goods and IT sectors should experience minimal decline, with biotechnology, e-commerce, digital technologies, and healthcare potentially recording FDI increases according to some forecasts.

  • Industry Information

    Industry Information

    Stay informed about developments in your industry with regular industry information updates, insights and webinars.

    Healthcare and Life Sciences

    German companies are at the forefront of the emergency development of potential coronavirus vaccines. Germany is Europe’s leading pharmaceutical location, with no other country spending as much on pharmaceutical research and development. 

    German Firms Fighting Covid-19

    German companies are at the heart of the emergency development of potential coronavirus vaccines. Germany Trade & Invest Director of Chemicals and Health, Dr. Marcus Schmidt, provides insights into the development and production of crucial medicines. Read the whole interview in Markets Germany magazine.

    “Digital Health in Germany” Webinar

    The cancellation of the HIMSS20 event saw the Healthcare team hold a “Digital Health in Germany” webinar to provide an update on developments in the digital healthcare market.

    The webinar provided insights about the latest regulatory changes and the novel “Fast Track Program” for medical apps as the demand for digital solutions in the German healthcare system continues to grow steadily. 

    Download all of the speaker presentations at our webinar review site. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about Germany's digital healthcare market.

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