3G to 2G: Hamburg venues can allow entry for Covid-vaccinated and recovered people only

Unvaccinated people can soon be excluded from restaurants, cinemas, theatres and events in Hamburg.

3G to 2G: Hamburg venues can allow entry for Covid-vaccinated and recovered people only
Hamburg is to allow the '2G' model, which bans unvaccinated people from entry to some spaces. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Markus Scholz

German states on Monday moved to a uniform Covid health pass system which allows entry to many public spaces, such as indoor dining, only to people who’ve been vaccinated (geimpft), have recovered from Covid (gensesen) or have been tested against Covid (getestet). It’s known as the 3G model in Germany.

But on Tuesday, Hamburg announced it will introduce a “2G option model” for event organisers and business owners – effectively banning unvaccinated people.

It means venue and event bosses will be allowed to offer their services and allow entry only to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid within the last six months. Those who are eligible for vaccination but haven’t got it will not be allowed to enter. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s 16 states bring in uniform Covid-19 rules

Businesses have to let the city know if they plan to use the 2G entry system. 

The obligation to provide proof also applies to employees working on the premises in question, said the Senate. 

Under 2G, businesses will not need the same hygiene regulations. It will allow bosses, for instance, to admit more guests or offer a free choice of seating without mandatory spacing requirements. However, masks will remain compulsory in all indoor settings.

The 2G option will be launched on Saturday. Organisers can also opt for the 3G model – but if they do, they will have to follow previous Covid restrictions, such as caps on the amount of people who can attend. 

The 2G or 3G option is aimed at theatres, cinemas, trade fair operators, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and fitness studios, among other businesses.

Organisers of sporting events with visitors, public festivals or educational courses should also be able to exclude unvaccinated people if they want to, said the Hamburg Senate.

The Senate said operators will face heavy fines if they do not check for proof of vaccination or recovery (or a negative test if it’s a 3G event).

Will there be any exceptions?

Special rules will apply to children and young people. All under-18s will be allowed to attend 2G events without full vaccination protection, at least for a grace period. 

For 12 to 18-year-olds, who have been urged to get vaccinated, this transitional period will expire in six weeks. For children under 12, for whom no vaccine has been approved, it will continue to apply.

The Local asked the Hamburg Senate if there were exceptions for people who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons. 

A spokesman told us that the small number of people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons “are generally at high risk of infection and should avoid crowds”.

Therefore 2G events are “aimed exclusively at vaccinated and recovered people”.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Germany’s new ‘3G’ Covid health pass rules

There is also no obligation for businesses to use the option of allowing access only to vaccinated and recovered people.

According to the Senate, providers can decide for themselves whether to use it or to remain open to all under the previous 3G rules.

Hamburg mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) said the decision was made because there are clear differences in the infection dynamics between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

He said the current Covid fourth wave, unlike the second and third, is a “wave of the unvaccinated”. 

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said Tuesday that more than 90 percent of Covid patients in intensive care wards had not received their jabs

Tschentscher also said the 2G option would offer more security to providers and help them plan better. 

But the opposition has slammed the move. FDP Hamburg state chairman Michael Kruse said the Senate was creating “first- and second-class citizens”.

It comes as the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is set to move away from taking the contact details of customers as part of the new 3G Covid health pass system, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. 

Other German states are also considering a change in strategy as the new entry rules take effect. 

Member comments

  1. Wont be visiting Fascist Hamburg anytime soon .Irony is the non vaccinated are being tested constantly so in theory it is probably more safe to be around them. Us and them. Them and us. How are we allowing this?

  2. The rules should be all 3G. I concur with careyjg, testing is very possibly better. Restrictions should be about reducing the likelyhood of someone being contagious and spreading the virus. It appears a person who is vaccinated or has recovered, may still get CoVid and not show symptoms. They could unknowningly be spreading the virus while a person who is tested is most likely to be safer to be around. Except for those who are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons, I don’t understand people who don’t get vaccinated – especially now.

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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