KEY POINTS: Germany's new Covid rules to fight fourth wave
Here's a look at Germany's new Covid restrictions and how the government and states want to break the fourth Covid wave.
Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Germany's 16 state leaders on Thursday to discuss these new measures.
The government and states said that the restrictions agreed are the "uniform minimum standards nationwide". Badly-affected areas can bring in further curbs.
Here's a look at the details of what the German government and states decided on:
Germany wants to achieve up to 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year. An expanded federal-state crisis team aims to iron out problems with vaccine supply and distribution at an early stage.
To speed up implementation, more people will be allowed to give out jabs. Doctors can delegate vaccinations to pharmacists, dentists and nursing staff.
As vaccination protection wears off over time, vaccination status is to lose its recognition as being "complete" after a certain period of time if no booster jab is given. German political leaders are to agree on when this will happen - nine months has been mentioned as a possibility.
The government wants to see compulsory vaccinations for certain employees, such as carers and hospital workers. The government and states have also welcomed a vote in the Bundestag "to decide on a general vaccination mandate".
Nationwide - and regardless of the number of Covid infections and hospitalisations - access to cultural and recreational facilities and events, such as cinemas, theatres and restaurants, will only be possible for those who have been vaccinated and have recovered. This system is known as the 2G rule. Political leaders also recommend that businesses ask for a test from the vaccinated and recovered groups (2G-plus rule)
According to the resolution, the 2G rule will also be extended to the retail sector. Shops for daily needs are exempt from this.
Exceptions are to be made for people who cannot be vaccinated and for people who are not eligible for vaccination. Exemptions are also possible for children and young people under 18.
In a bid to reduce the spread, contact restrictions for the unvaccinated are to be tightened. Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to meet with their own household and a max of two people from another household.
Spouses and partners are considered as one household - even if they do not share a home. Children under 14 are excluded.
The number of spectators at sports, cultural and similar large events will be limited. Both indoors and outdoors, only 30 to 50 percent of the capacity can be used. An upper limit of 5,000 people will apply to indoor events, and a maximum of 15,000 people will be allowed at outdoor events.
It means that a maximum of 15,000 spectators will be allowed to attend football matches.
Masks are compulsory and the 2G rule (or 2G-plus) applies. In states with a particularly high incidence of infection, there will be so-called ghost matches or even cancellations.
Clubs, discos and private parties
In areas with a 7-day incidence of more than 350 Covid infections per 100,000 people, indoor clubs and discos will have to shut their doors.
Furthermore, from this benchmark (an incidence of 350), private parties and gatherings will only be allowed with 50 (vaccinated and recovered) people indoors. Outdoors, this limit is 200 people. The government and states say that this is because "all contacts must be reduced".
States to be allowed to introduce further curbs
Federal and state governments have agreed to revise the Infection Protection Act to make sure regions are able to bring in tougher measures if needed.
The states are to have "appropriate additional measures" at their disposal, such as temporary closures of restaurants, bans on the serving or consumption of alcohol, restrictions on gatherings, restrictions on overnight stays in hotels.
New Year's Eve
On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, there will be a nationwide ban on large gatherings. As in the previous year, the sale of firecrackers and fireworks will be banned on New Year's Eve. Fireworks will be banned from public places.
READ ALSO: Germany to ban fireworks on New Year's Eve
Masks in schools
Face masks will have to be worn by all children while in school.