Hände waschen

How to protect yourself

Protect yourself and others by taking the right measures. Find out how the coronavirus is transmitted and what relatives of senior citizens can do.


How is the coronavirus transmitted?

The coronavirus is mainly passed on by droplet infection. When someone coughs or sneezes, viruses can be transported to the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth or eyes of another person. This usually requires close contact. In other words, spending 15 minutes or more within 2 metres of an infected person.

However, it is likely that, once released through coughing or sneezing, the virus may even survive for several days in tiny droplets that land on inanimate surfaces such as door handles. It can get into your system if you touch your face after touching one of these surfaces. That's why it's so important to wash your hands regularly.

Can the virus be transmitted by people with no symptoms?

The current data does not allow us to answer this question with any great certainty. To date, only one case is known in which a person with no symptoms has spread the virus.

How long does it take for the first symptoms to appear after becoming infected?

The first symptoms of the disease appear within 1 to 14 days of becoming infected with the coronavirus.


How can I protect myself against the virus?

According to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the following measures should be taken to protect against the coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser. Washing your hands properly means washing them with soap and warm water for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Don't touch your face. Cough or sneeze into a paper tissue/handkerchief and dispose of it immediately. If this is not possible, use the crook of your arm.
  • Keep your distance from other people and avoid gatherings and groups of people, such as standing in a queue.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Stay at home if you have a high temperature and a cough. Use the phone to contact your doctor if you have any questions.

You can find all the hygiene rules and other recommendations on the FOPH website.

Hand sanitisers are no longer available. What can I do?

Washing your hands thoroughly – i.e. for 20 to 30 seconds with warm water and soap – is just as effective in preventing infection.

Is wearing a face mask recommended?

You are not generally required to wear a face mask in public. However, when using public transport, you may not always be able to keep 2 metres apart from other passengers: according to the protective measures adopted by the transport industry, you should wear a mask in this case.

Can grandparents look after children again?

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) makes the following recommendations:

  • If the grandparents are over the age of 65 or have an underlying medical condition, their grandchildren should not make lengthy visits.
  • Grandparents should not start looking after their grandchildren again either.
  • However, a short visit with a hug is allowed as this is good for everyone's mental well-being.

What should older people do?

The same hygiene rules generally apply to senior citizens: i.e. thorough handwashing, keeping a safe distance, etc. The over-65s should avoid places frequented by large numbers of people and any unnecessary contact. Older people should ask family members to do their shopping for them or have it delivered.


The health-related information comes from the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Robert Koch Institute. The guidance provided here is purely for information purposes and is no substitute for medical advice. If you experience health problems, you should ask your doctor or another medical professional for advice.

Exclusion of liability

The information presented here on the products and benefits of the CSS Group is designed to provide a general overview and is in no way complete. Actual details can be found in the statutory provisions of the Federal Health Insurance Act (KVG), the Federal Insurance Contract Act (VVG), the General Insurance Conditions (AVB), and the Supplementary Conditions (ZB), which determine the obligation of the CSS Group to provide benefits. The information is provided "as is" without any warranty, and is subject to change at any time.