Corona virus - Two weeks at home - what should you bear in mind when under quarantine
Domestic quarantine withdraws people from circulation for two weeks: shopping has to be done by others, dog owners are suddenly dependent on help. Apart from that, the question arises: What should you do when confined to your apartment for 14 days?
If there is reasonable suspicion of a corona infection, those affected are not allowed to leave their home for about 14 days. Home quarantine is designed to break the chain of infection and slow the pandemic so that the health care system is better prepared for a large number of patients. What should you do when under quarantine and what should you not do?
What does quarantine mean?
Health authorities do not order quarantine only for infected people [berlin.de]. Home quarantine can be set as a precaution when someone has had contact with an infected person or has been in a corona risk area. Quarantined people are not allowed to leave their homes. In the case of suspected corona, this measure normally lasts at least 14 days due to the incubation period.
Health authority Officials are to call the victims once a day to determine and log the health of those affected. At the end of the quarantine period, those affected are usually tested again for the virus. If the result is negative, they can then move freely again.
What happens if you ignore the quarantine regulations?
Home quarantine is mandatory and can even be forced upon people. Anyone who violates the quarantine, leaves the apartment and, in doing so, may infect others, can face severe fines or even imprisonment of up to two years. This and much more is regulated by the Infection Protection Act [berlin.de], the legal basis for the restriction of personal rights.
Who does the shopping?
Quarantined people are not allowed to leave their homes to go shopping. If you have no supplies, you can use the option to order food online and indicate to the delivery service that there is a possibility of illness. However, due to the Corona crisis, deliveries of food are only possible by ordering way in advance. Possible delivery dates are several days ahead in the future.
The Berlin Health Authority recommends that friends or acquaintances should do the shopping for your everyday needs. If you do buy groceries for those affected, you should place your purchases in front of the apartment door to avoid direct contact.
Who takes the dog for a walk?
The corona virus cannot be passed on to pets. However, quarantined people are prohibited from going outside the door. Dog owners should seek support during the quarantine period to allow their animals to have a run-around and take walks. However, direct contact with other people is prohibited.
Anyone who has taken a quarantine patient's dog for a walk should make sure they disinfect their hands afterwards.
Who pays in the event of a loss of earnings?
If the quarantine has been officially ordered by the health department, the employer usually pays, who then retrieves the money from the appropriate authority. Anyone who stays at home for fear they will be infected by people on the bus or train will not get any money.
What do I do with my free time at home?
“Suddenly you have an unusually large amount of time on your hands, because you cannot go to work or take part in your usual leisure activities,” writes the Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Risikobewertung (Federal Office for Civil Protection and Risk Assessment) in a brochure on domestic quarantine. “Create a daily structure and set goals. The goals should be realistic under the circumstances. Think about how you can fill the time.”
It is specifically advised that people maintain social contacts even in quarantine, for example by phone or social media. The Federal Office also recommends that those affected should stay mentally active by writing, reading or by playing games. According to the experts, physical activity should not be stopped either: “Sport/exercising can also be performed in a limited space,” it says. There are many tips and suggestions on the Internet for this.
The health administration has set up a hotline under which those affected are to be helped in an emergency (030/90282828).
Translation: Paul McCarthy