2G and 2G plus: Germany to tighten restrictions on unvaccinated

The German government and states have agreed on nationwide rules that would see unvaccinated people excluded from many public places, and vaccinated people will have to take Covid tests if the situation worsens.

A restaurant in Frankfurt am Main displays a sign informing customers that only vaccinated and recovered people are permitted to enter the premises
A restaurant in Frankfurt am Main displays a sign informing customers that only vaccinated and recovered people are permitted to enter the premises. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Arne Dedert

State leaders and the government say that 2G rules will have to be brought in when the hospitalisation rate reaches a certain threshold.

When that happens, access to many public places would only be granted to people who are vaccinated against Covid (geimpft) or have recovered from Covid in the last six months (genesen). Unvaccinated people would be barred from entry.

Lots of states, including Berlin, Bavaria and Hamburg have already brought in the 2G rule.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about Berlin’s latest Covid rules

According to the states and government, only vaccinated or recovered people will be allowed to access leisure, cultural and sporting events, hospitality venues as well as to body-related services and hotels when the Covid situation in hospitals gets worse.

The measures are to take effect – if they have not already done so – when the hospitalisation rate for an area rises above the benchmark value of three. This figure describes the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospitals per 100,000 population over a seven-day period.

“We need to quickly put a brake on the exponential rise” in cases and intensive care bed occupancy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the meeting with state leaders. 

Currently, all of Germany’s 16 states except Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland have a rate above three.

The regional leaders also want the 2G rule applied to Bundesliga footballers, reported AFP.

2G plus

If the hospitalisation rate reaches six, the so-called 2G plus rule will apply.

In places with a particularly high risk of infection – such as clubs or bars – people who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered will also then have to show a recent negative Covid test, according to the draft paper agreed by the state ministers and government.

From a hospitalisation incidence of nine, further measures such as contact restrictions are to be implemented.

The 2G rules can be waived if the hospitalisation number drops again over a certain period of time.

Checks will have to be “consistently and even more intensively monitored than before”, said the government and state leaders.

Exceptions to the 2G rule would be possible for children under 18.

As The Local reported, the government and states had drafted this rule earlier – but they were yet to thrash out how and when 2G would be brought in. 

Member comments

  1. What are the rules in obtaining the 2G+ negative test? If I have an event at 15:00, can I test the night before under the principle it is valid for 24 hours?

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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