61 Overall Score (down 6.2 since Aug 1st.)


  • 33 Public Health
  • 39.3 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 33 Public Health
  • 39.3 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Germany has improved its score a bit in the past few months, after a sharp decline in the fall. Its improvements in contact tracing, which are already likely underestimated in the data, and restrictions on public gatherings, have played important roles in this turnaround, although there has been a recent spike in cases, likely due to both recent restriction relaxations and vaccine rollout issues.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Germany’s healthy population, relatively low level of inequality, and accessible healthcare system contributed to high health and social capacity prior to COVID-19.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 61.7%
  • GDP/capita $55,306
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 31.9
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 86.4
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 59.9

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)

Public Health Directives

Germany’s public health policy score dropped slightly, as it loosened restrictions while still facing high case rates, and worsened on testing policy and contact tracing. Given that the data does not adequately account for its very strong contact tracing, this score likely underestimates its performance.

  • Stay at home order 2
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 1
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $790.13
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 567.1
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

Germany has had a relatively weak financial response, with strong income support countered by a very poor debt-relief policy.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 20.3%
  • Income support 2
  • Debt forebearance 0

Fact-Based Communication

Chancellor Merkel has delivered regular press briefings at which her scientific approach has been praised, keeping Germany among the strongest performers in this category.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15

Germany has a relatively strong score in this category, with lower death and case rates since January and a much-improved positivity rate in the past two months.

  • Total deaths 10,229
  • Death rate per 100K 122.1
  • Total cases 2,585,385
  • Cases per 100K 209
  • Percent of positive tests 6.8
  • Change in positivity rates -6.2
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Apr 20 Smaller shops reopen 22.45
2 May 04 Some schools and cultural venues reopen 5.83
3 May 26 Restrictions are eased on gatherings of up to 10 people 7.16
4 Aug 18 Restriction relaxation is paused due to a rise in cases 16.95
5 Sep 23 New restrictions in Bavaria, including closing restaurants and bars early 19.25
6 Nov 02 Lockdown light: bars, restaurants, sports personal services closed nationally, gatherings limited to 5 people, hotels can't accommodate tourists 301.39
7 Dec 16 Lockdown tightened, as all non-essential shops, schools, and daycares close (until mid-January); some states also imposed nightly curfews 390.82
8 Jan 05 Lockdown tightened: schools closed through January, travel limitations out of German hotspots, limits on private meeting sizes, additional parental leave, double testing plus quarantine for visitors from high-risk areas abroad 219.00
9 Jan 19 Lockdown extended to February 14th 146.01
10 Jan 30 Ban inbound travel from countries with high incidence of new COVID-19 variants, with some exceptions 209.09
11 Feb 10 Extended lockdown until March 7th 110.36
12 Mar 03 Lockdowns extended until March 28th, but with gradual reopening based on regional incidence of cases 129.52

Differentiating Factors

  • Spike in cases as Oxford-AZ vaccine suspended: Relaxed restrictions likely played a major role in the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases throughout Germany in the past few weeks, particularly variant strains, and its suspension of the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has happened at a particularly dangerous time. Read More
  • Germany begins easing some lockdown restrictions: Lockdown restrictions in place since December 2020 are being lifted on a conditional basis on shopping, cosmetics, cultural centers, and organized sports in phase two of a five-part plan. Read More
  • Record-high COVID-19 surge prompts new lockdown measures: On December 15th, 2020, Germany closed shops and schools and limited private gatherings to five people in a renewed effort to bring its COVID-19 levels under control. The new lockdown measures expand on the steps taken in November 2020, which closed bars and restaurants. Read More
  • Germany seeing record COVID-19 levels as previous success fades: After initially being lauded for successfully navigating the first wave of the virus, Germany's fall surge in cases is higher compared to close those of European neighbors in France and Italy. The German government is now moving toward shutting down bars and restaurants in attempts to get the virus back under control. Read More
  • Querdenker protesters increase: Protests led by Germany’s anti-lockdown “Querdenker” (translates as: lateral thinker) movement against government COVID-prevention measures occurred throughout German cities. Read More
  • Calls for closer coordination: The process of easing lockdowns has been criticized as all sixteen states have taken their own approach, leading to confusion among residents about what restrictions remain in place. Read More
  • Income support tied to reduced hours: Germany's income support program paid 60 percent of paychecks for employees on reduced hours. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
  • 48.6
    Italy 3,238,394
    Per 1M

    While hit hard by COVID-19, Italy’s reliance on facts and improved contact tracing has helped slow the spread and slightly improved its overall score since January.

  • 31.3
    Spain 3,195,062
    Per 1M

    Spain's score jumped since January to just over the median, having implemented stricter public health policies, but the country's minimal stimulus support still drags down its overall score.

  • 72.5
    France 4,138,345
    Per 1M

    France maintained its improved public health policy from the early fall, keeping its score relatively strong, although poor contact tracing and a relatively small stimulus package kept it from being higher.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million