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In and around Hamburg

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In and around Hamburg


Mandatory face masks

Passengers using public transport must wear at least a medicinal (surgical) mask. From 18 June 2021 on, it is no longer mandatory to wear an FFP-2 mask.

Children under the age of 7 do not have to wear a mask, children aged 7 to 13 can also wear a cloth mask.

Different rules may apply in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.

Wearing a mask is mandatory on all hvv services and  in the areas at stops and stations where you have to have a valid ticket.

Wearing a medicinal mask is mandatory on all hvv services and  in the areas at stops and stations where you have to have a valid ticket.

Persons who can provide proof that they cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask.

The mandatory requirement to wear a protective mask or a covering for mouth and nose does not apply to children under the age of 7.

The reason why someone is unable to wear a particulate respirator mask (FFP2 or equivalent) should be credibly documented by some suitable form of proof; for example, an official pass certifying that someone suffers from an allergy or some similar doctor’s certificate.

Face shields do not give enough protection against infection. Wearing a face shield is therefore not accepted as complying with the rules and is subject to a penalty. 

The transport operators in the hvv check compliance with the obligation to wear a mask daily.

This can also lead to having to pay the penalty. Not wearing the face mask correctly (e.g. leaving the nose free) also counts as a violation of the directive that a particulate respirator mask (FFP2 or equivalent) covering the nose and mouth must be worn.

Yes. When you buy a ticket you accept the hvv Conditions of Carriage.


The basic rule is: the particulate respirator masks (FFP2 or equivalent) may not be taken off. The only exceptions from the requirement to wear a mask on the hvv are those set out in the Hamburg SARS-CoV-2 Containment Ordinance or in the relevant ordinances of the other Federal States. Eating and drinking do not fall under these exceptions.

Without a particulate respirator mask (FFP2 or equivalent) you are not permitted to use hvv services.

In principle, hvv staff with customer contact who are not protected by other means such as a plexiglass partition are also required to wear a mask. There are exceptions on some rail services which run across different regions.

In communication with and by people who are hard of hearing or deaf and rely on lip-reading, the obligation to wear a particulate respirator mask (FFP2 or equivalent) covering the nose and mouth is not cancelled but, providing the rules on social distancing are kept to (at least 1.5 metres), they can take the mask off if the person opposite them signals that they need to read their lips to understand them because they are hard of hearing or deaf.

Organisational and Safety issues

Although passenger numbers are reduced, the hvv is still maintaining its full range of services without any cuts. At peak travelling times all our capacity is used. That means that there is much more space available for passengers. At the same time, the mandatory wearing of masks means that it is safe to travel even when it is not possible to keep your distance from others.

Our tip: especially in the rush hour, buses and trains running late are very full. You often only have to wait a few minutes for the next bus or train, which has far more empty seats.

All the S-Bahn trains which are technically equipped for it have doors which will continue to open automatically. (Please note: it may take up to 2 seconds before a door automatically opens after stopping in a station.)

The doors in the U-Bahn meanwhile no longer open automatically, but can now be opened individually again. The Hamburg Hochbahn has made this change in order to exclude technically the possibility of the train personnel opening the doors on the side facing away from the platform by mistake. Hochbahn is working to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible.

No. Passengers must still indicate their wish to get off as before by pressing the “stop” button inside the vehicle. Stopping automatically at every stop without anyone getting on or off would cause unnecessary delays for other passengers. Every time the bus stops at a stop the doors will be opened so that fresh air can enter the bus.

No, under the present circumstances we are particularly focused on giving everyone as much space as possible.