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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Four German states call for end to mandatory Covid isolation

People in Germany have to isolate at home for at least five days if they test positive for Covid. But four states want to see a change to this rule.

Four German states call for end to mandatory Covid isolation

In a joint letter, the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, and Schleswig-Holstein called on Health Minister Karl Lauterbach to drop the isolation requirement for people who get a Covid infection in Germany. 

Baden-Württemberg health minister Manne Lucha, of the Greens, said there should be a move towards people taking personal responsibility rather than the state ordering an isolation period, reported the Tagesschau. 

“We should gradually get into the mode of treating a corona infection like any other infectious disease where the rule is: if you are sick, stay at home,” said the Green politician.

The rules on isolation differ slightly from state to state in Germany, but the general requirement is that people who test positive for Covid have to go into isolation at home and avoid all contact with people outside the household. The isolation period lasts at least five days or a maximum of 10 days.

In some states, and for hospital and care workers, a negative test is required to end the isolation period early.

Several politicians – as well as Andreas Gassen, chairman of the board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, have previously spoken out in favour of ending all Covid isolation and quarantine obligations.

READ ALSO: Should Germany get rid of Covid mandatory isolation?

The four German states called on Lauterbach, of the Social Democrats, to change the rules by October 10th.

In their letter, they refer to Austria, where the isolation obligation has been replaced by so-called “traffic restrictions” since August 1st.

Under these rules, people who get Covid-19 have to wear an FFP2 mask for 10 days in most places, and they are not allowed to visit nursing homes and clinics. They can, however, go to their workplace.

“The end of mandatory isolation has not led to any relevant increase in reported cases in Austria,” the four German health ministers said in their letter.

They argued that much of the population in Germany is immunised, either through vaccination or infection.

However, Lauterbach has so far rejected calls to get rid of the isolation requirement. He said that due to Covid cases rising, he didn’t want to “add fuel to the fire” and increase the risk of infections occurring in companies or at gatherings.

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU), said he was worried about lots of people having to take time off work to isolate at the same time, which could put pressure on critical infrastructure. 

Schleswig-Holstein’s health minister Kerstin von der Decken (CDU), said the adjustment of the isolation rules would be “a step on the way back to normality.”