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Everything that changes in Germany in June 2021

From more vaccine appointments to better funding for trainees, here's what's different in Deutschland in June.

Everything that changes in Germany in June 2021
Clock in Rehna, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Photo: picture alliance / Jens Büttner/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa | Jens Büttner

No more vaccine priority list

Starting on June 7th, vaccine appointments around Germany will be open to anyone 12 and over, regardless of whether they belong to a priority group or not.

Currently appointments at vaccine centres are available in most states to groups 1 and 3, which include anyone over 60, certain professions, and those with pre-existing medical conditions. Most states also allow GPs to issue vaccines at their own discretion, although appointments can be hard to come by.


Germany’s Deutsche Bahn gets supersized – and refunds go digital

As the state-owner rail operator announced in December, the new fourth-generation high-speed train (XXL-ICE) is scheduled to hit the tracks for the first time in June. With 919 seats and 13 train sections, it will be the largest of its kind to date. According to Deutsche Bahn, the first area of operation will be the route between Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Munich.

If you book a trip on one of these super fast trains, and it’s still running late, fear not: for the first time in June, Deutsche Bahn will also be offering online refunds that can be issued at just a few button clicks. 

An ICE train in Berlin. Photo: DPA

More apprenticeships

Starting on June 1st, companies that maintain or even expand their available spots for trainees despite major coronavirus-related problems can receive up to €6,000 per training place, twice as much as before. Companies with a maximum of 499 employees – instead of the previous 249 – will be eligible.

School holidays start

For millions of schoolchildren, the second “coronavirus school year” is coming to an end. Children and young people in the coastal states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein will be the first to start their summer vacations – their last day of school is June 18th.

Bavaria will be the last state to start on July 30th. August 1st will then mark the only weekend in Germany when all schoolchildren will be on summer holidays at the same time. 

Gender reassignment surgeries of children

Parents of intersex children may no longer have gender reassignment surgeries performed on their offspring. When the law came into effect at the beginning of June, treatments intended to align a child’s physical appearance with that of the male or female sex were banned. The law was put in place to better allow children to decide for themselves at a later date on the gender they most identify with.

Exceptions are only allowed if the procedure cannot be postponed medically and is approved by an interdisciplinary commission. Estimates put the number of people born with ambiguous gender characteristics in Germany at around 160,000.

Goodbye (free) Google storage space

Google is doing away with unlimited storage space in its photo service. Previously, “Google Photos” allowed users to upload images in reduced quality – the company calls this “high quality” instead of “original” – to the cloud without restrictions. 

Starting on June 1st, they will be counted toward the free limit of 15 gigabytes. Anyone who reaches it will have to buy additional storage space. Users of Google’s Pixel smartphones are excluded.

Digital passport

By the end of June, it should be possible to use a digital corona vaccination certificate throughout Germany, according to Health Minister Jens Spahn. 

The so-called CovPass is planned both as a separate app and as a new function in the existing Coronavirus Warning app.

The digital vaccination pass. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild-Pool | Soeren Stache

The digital vaccination passport will not only certify Covid vaccinations, but also show negative tests or recovery from an infection. It would thus be important proof for all people who are entitled to relaxations. However, it is not to become compulsory: the traditional ‘yellow booklet’ vaccine card will remain valid.


Changes to travel rules?

New coronavirus virus entry regulations were introduced May 12th and relate to several provisions – for example, the quarantine requirement. This same regulation applies “until June 30, 2021, at the latest,” according to the federal regulation.

At the moment there are strict quarantine and testing requirements in place. 

We’ll find out how the rules will change after this date and make sure to provide you with an update. 

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the latest rules on travel to and from Germany

Member comments

  1. I work in Germany, come from Scotland, live in England and am married to a Danish lady. The Local is invaluable to me with regards to keeping up with ever changing restrictions and news. My German is not great, but I always make the effort. Thank you for providing this great service.

    1. Hi Frank, thank you so much for your lovely comment! We’re glad you find the information really helpful.

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Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now