News Release

Infection with the coronavirus: Two thirds of the population in Germany see a high risk in schools and day-care centres

Public transport is also considered a place of infection, but the majority feel safe outside

Reports and Proceedings

BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

Being together with many people in a confined space for a long period of time: What due to the current obligation to work from home has become a rarity for many employees in the work context, is part of everyday life in educational institutions and on public transport. Accordingly, these places are where the population sees the greatest risk of being infected with the coronavirus. This is shown by the results of the current BfR-Corona-Monitor, a regular survey commissioned by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). Thus, the probability of infection in schools and day-care centres is considered high by 69 percent - on public transport it is 61 percent. "In other areas of life, however, people feel much safer," says BfR-President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "For example, 88 percent rate their risk of infection as low when they are outdoors ."


Since the risk of infection depends not only on one's own behaviour but also on that of others, the majority of respondents pay attention to how the people around them deal with the risk of infection. According to this, when dealing with other people, it is important to 73 percent of the respondents that those people take protective measures. Older people aged 60 years and over place particular value on this. 85 percent of them consider it important that others take appropriate protective measures. For younger people under 40 years of age, this value is considerably lower at 65 percent.

The majority of respondents continue to make an effort not to get infected. For example, more than half are still limiting their personal lives by seeing friends or family less frequently (58 percent) or leaving their homes less frequently (56 percent). In comparison, only 16 percent of the respondents say they are building up larger stocks.

The data also show that a certain pandemic fatigue can be observed in some areas. For example, while at the beginning of the year 66 percent of the respondents were still in favour of the 2G rule, its acceptance has now dropped to 55 percent despite rising infection numbers. In the same period, the number of those who consider contact restrictions to be appropriate also declined from 73 to 59 percent. In contrast, the acceptance of the regulation on working from home and the mandatory use of masks remained largely unchanged: These continue to be evaluated as appropriate by around 90 percent.

The BfR has published FAQs on the topic of coronavirus:

About the BfR-Corona-Monitor

The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey on the risk perception of the population in Germany towards the novel coronavirus. Every week between 24 March and 26 May 2020, around 500 randomly selected people were asked by telephone about their assessment of the risk of infection and their protective measures, among other things. Since June 2020, the survey is continued every two weeks with about 1,000 respondents each. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.

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