KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid rules to fight fourth wave

A restaurant with the 2G plus rule (vaccinated and recovered people have to show a test) in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony.
A restaurant with the 2G plus rule (vaccinated and recovered people have to show a test) in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt
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:

Vaccination campaign

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. 

READ ALSO: Germany gives out nearly a million Covid jabs in a day

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Compulsory vaccination

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”.

2G rules

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.

READ ALSO: Germany to impose sweeping new Covid curbs on the unvaccinated

Contact bans

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.

Large events

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.

Member comments

  1. Shelley, give me a break. VAERS is a start, but anyone can write anything and it takes time to verify it. Take for instance, some 12,000 deaths were reported from the vaccine, but when the reports were “verified”, the actual deaths are around 15. You can see that VAERS is entirely useless for factual data. Nearly EVERYONE who is catching Omicron who IS vaccinated is asymptomatic or having mild symptoms. Countries high in Omicron are ALL reporting the same thing, 80-90% if the hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated. Again, I don’t know where you get your data, but it seems they are lies or anecdotal. Those who provides negative tests to get into Spain and then test positive indicate to me to scope of fake tests being peddled in South Africa. Or they were antigen tests which aren’t picking up Omicron well. PCR tests are picking them up.

  2. 100% with you, Denise. Guaranteeing to cover damage is the only way the gov’ts and pharma could prove to me that they trust their own vaccines. So obvious. It’s logic and Science.

    (I’ve also had tragic losses from medications promoted as “safe and effective, trust us”.)

    1. Me, too. These companies have been fined millions and millions for claiming their products were safe when they knew they were not. Why do people trust them now?

  3. If my mom talked with the false information you peddle, I’d put her in timeout. If your kids are punished for telling people they are wrong or incompetent, well your raising perfect little robots. Are you vaccinated? If not your antivax. If you think you would even understand what the FDA reviewed if they released it, your sadly mistaken.
    You think you are allowed to talk and spread lies and falsehoods with impunity and not be criticized when you are verifiably wrong. Sorry hun, that’s not how the world works.

  4. Well, this is precisely why there can be no debate. Just on this short thread the people on the other side of the debate have been called “anti-vaxxers” (which is ridiculous, so many of them have taken all the other shots), told to “shut up”, been blamed, “tin foil hat BS”, to be getting their news from Face Book and Tik tok, virtually yelled at. I mean, it’s unbelievable the level of rude and unacceptable behavior. If my kids talked like that to another person, I would put them in time out.

  5. The numbers coming out of Israel (or any hospital) are only an indication. The nurses are reporting that when a person comes into the hospital they are tested for antibodies and if they are too low, even if they have been double jabbed, they are counted as unvaccinated. I would imagine that in a country that has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world (but no system in place for registering adverse effects to the vaccinations like VAERS in the USA), if those people are sick from Covid, the majority would have had to have been double vaccinated. In Ireland they are seeing the same thing in a county with 96% vaccination rate. As for your colleague, that looks like an exception to me. Everywhere I look the vaccinated are getting sick. My son took a flight to Paris and was not required to show a test because he was vaccinated. Crazy. This is Easy Jet’s policy (or was at least a month ago… Idk what it is now.) A flight arriving from Johannesburg, headed to Amsterdam with 600 passengers when news of the new variant struck was made to land and test everyone before entering Amsterdam proper. 61 people had corona. 13 had the new variant. Obviously, the unvaccinated had to enter the plane with a test, so you do the math. I believe that OP is correct in stating what she did. I know so many people who are sick and have given it to other people and they are all vaccinated. She is incorrect in stating that the FDA wants 55 years to release the data they used in approving the Pfizer vaccination, however. The FDA has now upped that to 75 years.

  6. What you said about Israel’s hospitalizations and vaccination is 100% false. It is a lie. I don’t know where you are getting your info, but it’s incorrect. 100% wrong. Quite the opposite in fact.

    In Israel – “128 people are currently hospitalized with COVID in serious condition, of whom 73 are connected to ventilators. 10 percent of them are fully vaccinated, and the vast majority did not get any dose of the vaccine.”

    90% of the critically ill are UNVACCINATED. You need to stop believing the lies. All but 1 person at my work got vaccinated. Guess who tested positive? Guess who is sick? Her!

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