Everything that changes in Germany in September 2020

Everything that changes in Germany in September 2020
A man looks at clocks in the Deutschen Uhrenmuseum in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA
From bonus payments for parents to greater enforcement of face masks, there's a lot changing in Germany as of Tuesday.

Minimum wage boost for temporary work

Minimum wages for temporary work (Zeitarbeit) are being increased as of Tuesday. In western Germany, the lower limit for hourly wages will rise from €9.96 to €10.15.

In the eastern German states – including Berlin – temporary employees can look forward to €9.88 instead of €9.66. A further increase to €10.10 will take place in October.

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End of free coronavirus tests for some travellers

Starting on September 15th, travellers returning from countries which are not risk zones (as designated on a continual basis by the Robert Koch Institute) will no longer be allowed to receive a free coronavirus test.

READ ALSO: Germany to offer free coronavirus tests to returning travellers

Travellers returning to Berlin's Tegel Airport. Photo: DPA

Previously all returning travellers could get a test at the German airport at which they landed.

Those returning from risk zones, however, will still have to undergo a quarantine of five days.

If they then test negative for the coronavirus, they can end the quarantine. If not, they must stay quarantined for 14 days. This is to ensure that they did not pick up the virus on their last days of travel.

More mask inspections on trains

From September onward, employees of German train company Deutsche Bahn will be checking more closely if people are wearing masks on trains and at stations.

So far, Deutsche Bahn, in cooperation with Germany’s Federal Police, has regularly checked compliance in 60 long-distance trains every day, according to their own figures. 

READ ALSO: Deutsche Bahn to increase masks inspections at train stations

Now they want to double the number of inspections and check about 120 trains a day.  The majority of the passengers wore the mouth-nose cover “in an exemplary manner”, according to Deutsche Bahn in a statement. 

Increased lottery ticket costs

Looking to hit the jackpot? It will now cost you slightly more to test your luck: starting on September 23rd, lottery players will have to fork out €1.20 for a ticket in the major German lottery “6aus49“. Until now, a game cost €1.

At the same time, the rules on when a lottery jackpot is paid out for “6aus49” will also change. 

A bonus for kids, and their parents

Parents in Germany will receive the first Kinderbonus payment of €200 in September, out of a total of €300.

Kita children in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA

The goal of the extra payment, part of a larger conjuncture package recently passed in Germany’s Bundestag, is to boost the economy and increase consumer spending.

READ ALSO: Here's when families will receive Germany's Kinderbonus cash

The money is given out as a true bonus, meaning that those who receive it are free to use it however they see fit.

According to Germany’s Families Ministry, the bonus will be paid out for around 18 million in children in Germany, regardless of the income of their parents.

Children and work, side by side

To make it easier to reconcile family and work, the Federal Government supports the establishment of company kindergartens (Betriebskitas).

For this reason, the “Company childcare support programme” will be relaunched on Tuesday. In the next two years, up to €9 are to be paid out to further their development.

New weapons law

From September, a stricter weapons law will be in place to combat the misuse of weapons and dangerous knives.

In future, according to Germany's Ministry of the Interior, gun owners will have to undergo a needs assessment for their gun ownership every five years. Certain large magazines will also be banned. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about guns in Germany

In addition, the weapon authorities of each of Germany’s states have to ask the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) whether a weapon applicant has connections to extremist or anti-constitutional associations.

From September onward, it will also only be possible to buy or sell weapons after presenting a National Arms Register identification number. In addition, as of September, states may also set up zones where weapons are banned in busy places or near educational institutions.

Easier path to become a psychotherapist

Anyone looking to train to become a psychotherapist won’t have to go through as many loopholes. Starting Tuesday, the law on the training of psychotherapists (Gesetz zur Psychotherapeuten-Ausbildung) will be reformed. 

In future, high-school graduates (Abiturienten) will be able to study psychotherapy at university level immediately. The course of study includes both a three-year Bachelor's and a two-year Master's programme. 

In addition, the required licence to take a state psychotherapy examination can be applied for directly after graduation.

Mask requirement in more schools

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are the last of Germany’s 16 states to go back to school in September.

Pupils wearing masks in a Bavarian classroom in May. Photo: DPA

And both are requiring that pupils wear a mask – though in Bavaria this applies in the classroom and in Baden-Württemberg outside of the classroom.  

READ ALSO: Bavaria to make face masks mandatory in secondary schools

But in Bavaria, secondary school pupils will only be required to wear a mask for the first two weeks. However, the requirement could be lengthened depending on the coronavirus situation following the 14-day period. 

Receipt requirement

Since the beginning of the year, retailers have had to issue a receipt to their customers for their purchases, so that payments could be tracked more easily.

As a result, Germany decreed that electronic cash registers must have a security device certified by the Federal Office for Security Technology which would allow the data to be digitally recorded and better checked. 

READ ALSO: 'Pointless paperwork' or necessary: Mixed views over Germany's new 'receipt obligation'

The deadline to upgrade these sales systems was officially September 30th. However, most of Germany’s states – with the exception of northern Bremen – have extended the deadline until March 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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