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COVID-19 HEALTH PASS

What documents do you need to carry for Germany’s 2G-plus restrictions?

Many people - including tourists - are wondering exactly what they need to carry for Germany's new restrictions that favour Covid- boosted people. Here's what you should know.

A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf.
A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf under the new 2G-plus rules. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

What’s happened?

Last week the federal government and states agreed on tougher entry restrictions to get into cafes, restaurants and bars. The 2G-plus rules mean that people have to be vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 and have a negative Covid test, or have had a booster shot. 

States are bringing in their own legislation on that, and many of them are extending the 2G-plus rule to almost all public places, including in leisure and cultural facilities. 

There are still a few unclear points, but we hope this information helps explain the current situation. 

What documents do I need to carry?

As with the previous 2G rules, the latest restrictions mean you will be stopped from entering a public place – like a restaurant – unless you show a number of documents. 

OPINION: The pandemic has revealed Germany’s deep obsession with rules and compliance

READ ALSO: What we know so far about Germany’s 2G-plus rules for restaurants

Vaccinated (geimpft)

You need to have proof that you are fully vaccinated – preferably with a QR code. That can be the EU digital vaccination certificate (either uploaded to the Corona-Warn or CovPass app) or the paper with the QR code. Other foreign digital vaccination passes – such as the NHS app from the UK – are also accepted. 

When it comes to people who were vaccinated abroad and don’t have a digital vaccination pass, things get a bit more tricky. 

If you are based in Germany and were vaccinated abroad you should be able to get an EU digital pass from a pharmacy. If you show them your documents (vaccine certificate with a vaccine approved in the EU, ID and possibly registration certificate or Anmeldung), they can convert it for you.

If you are not based in Germany – for instance if you are visiting as a tourist – you are technically not meant to get the EU digital vaccine certificate in Germany. 

The official line from the German government is that to get the digital certificate, you need to live, work or study in Germany.  However, some people have able to get it by trying different pharmacies. 

READ MORE: Visiting Germany – is it possible to get the EU digital vaccine certificate?

The Local has been reporting how some German states, such as Berlin, Baden-Württemberg and Saarland are phasing out paper proof like the international vaccination booklet and require a vaccination pass with a QR code. 

Some pharmacies are also now offering an alternative card to people who either don’t have a smartphone, or want a physical document proving their vaccination.

The Immunkarte, developed by a Leipzig start-up, is available either online or at about 7,500 partner pharmacies across Germany for just under €10.

READ MORE: How proving vaccinations in Germany changes in 2022

Tourists and visitors can still present the vaccination proof they were issued in their country (eg a CDC card from the United States).

It is usually accepted (Berlin for instance allows non-German residents to show proof of vaccination that doesn’t have a QR code). But keep in mind that some businesses could be super strict if they prefer to scan the QR code to allow entry. 

Booster shot (geboostert)

Under the 2G-plus rules, you will also need to show proof of being boosted – usually having three jabs. Currently about 45 percent of the German population has received a booster vaccination against Covid.

There is some debate over what being boosted actually means in Germany. For instance, the Health Ministry told us that people who’ve had the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine plus an mRNA shot, are technically not boosted as they require another shot three months later. 

But some Local readers say their J&J and top-up shot is accepted as being fully boosted.

According to broadcaster ZDF people who’ve had J&J and a single shot are accepted as being boosted in the states of Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia.

READ ALSO: What people who’ve had J&J in Germany need to know

States also handle vaccination breakthrough infections differently: while in Bavaria, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia a Covid infection after two vaccinations leads to the status “boosted”, this regulation doesn’t seem to apply in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Saarland and Thuringia. Here, recovered people have to also get a booster jab after a breakthrough infection in order to be considered boosted.

There is also some debate over when you are counted as being booster under the 2G-plus rules following your booster shot. Most states say that you are boosted straight after you get your top-up vaccination, but according to Focus Online, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein count people as being boosted for the 2G-plus rules 14 days after their booster shot.

A lot of it will depend on the operator of the restaurant or bar you’re trying to enter, which is not ideal. 

Hopefully these issues will be ironed out in the coming days as states bring in the rules. 

Covid-19 test (getestet)

If you have not yet received a booster vaccination, you need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test. This usually has to be taken within the last 24 hours if it’s an antigen test, or 48 hours if it’s a PCR test. 

In Germany, rapid tests are free and there are many test centres in towns and cities. People are allowed one per week, but lots of places offer residents one per day.

You will usually receive the result of the test in digital format and you will have to show that along with your vaccination proof when entering a 2G-plus facility. 

You can find more information on test sites across Germany here.

ID (Ausweis)

As well as your vaccination proof, you will usually be asked for photo ID. That can be a passport, residence permit or health insurance card.

Recovery (genesen)

In Germany you are classed as “recovered” if you received a PCR test  or a similar test checked in a lab taken at least 28 days ago. It must also not be older than six months. However, if you have recovered and have been vaccinated, you can be given an EU digital certificate from the pharmacy or doctor.

Member comments

  1. I’m vaccinated (two doses) and recovered (I was infected a few months after). I don’t understand why I’m not considered as boosted. Infection should grant an immunity better than a booster shot.

    1. Should have been infected before your two doses. Welcome to German bureaucracy.

      On a serious note. I think the rules have changed. And a PCR test showing infection counts. Regardless of date

  2. FYI —- Schloss Nymphenburg museum would NOT accept a residence permit (Aufenthaltstitel) as proof of identification. Incredibly frustrating.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

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