How Bavaria’s new Covid-19 rules for shopping and schools affect you

How Bavaria's new Covid-19 rules for shopping and schools affect you
A garden centre in Munich on March 1st. Photo: DPA
The southern state of Bavaria has tightened coronavirus regulations in a bid to control the Covid spread. Watch out for the changes to shopping and mandatory testing in schools.

From Monday April 12th new rules mean many shops in Bavaria that were previously allowed to stay open despite a high number of Covid-19 infections will have to close.

Pupils in the state will also need a negative coronavirus test result to be in the classroom. Here’s a look at the new rules.

Retail

DIY stores, garden centres, flower shops and bookshops no longer count as essential shops in Bavaria.

As of Monday, the same rules apply to these retailers as other shops which are ‘outside of daily needs’. Essential shops include supermarkets, other grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies and petrol stations.

According to the new rules, if the number of infections per 100,000 residents in seven days (7-day incidence) is below 50 in a district or city, all shops (including non-essential retailers) can open with restrictions including an FFP2 mask requirement.

If the 7-day incidence is between 50 and 200, shopping in non-essential retailers is possible by prior appointment (the “click and meet” system). 

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However, when there’s an incidence rate between 100 and 200 in a region, a negative coronavirus test is also required for the shopping appointment.

Residents can either bring a PCR test no older than 48 hours or a rapid test no older than 24 hours.

If the incidence rate is above 200, only click and collect is allowed in shops. A negative test result is not required.

Shops for daily needs remain unaffected from the rules.

The federal government and state premiers had decided during Covid talks at the beginning of March that bookshops, flower shops and garden centres would be “uniformly included in the retail trade for daily needs in all federal states”.

Schools

From Monday, mandatory testing for pupils will apply in Bavaria. Pupils now have to do a PCR, rapid or self-test at school twice a week.

Pupils can attend in-classroom teaching with the negative result.

Until this point, compulsory testing was only planned in regions with an incidence of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within one week.

Students who refuse to do the test or have to go into quarantine due to a positive test or because they are a contact of someone with the virus will receive distance learning.

If a district or city has below 50 Covid infections per 100,000 residents, there is face-to-face teaching at primary schools and alternate teaching (both online and in-person) for older pupils.

If the incidence rate is between 50 and 100, all pupils must take part in both alternating classes.

In regions that see the incidence rise above 100, schools must switch to online teaching. However, in this case final-year pupils grades four at primary schools, grades 11 at grammar schools, as well as higher secondary vocational schools are exempt from distance learning.

Bavaria currently has a 7-day incidence of 153.3, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The nationwide incidence stands at 136.4. There are large differences between individual states and districts across the country.


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