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COVID-19

Covid ‘recovered’ status only valid for three months, says German Health Ministry

Germany is set to reduce the period of time in which someone counts as recovered from Covid-19 to three months, the Health Ministry revealed on Monday.

Covid testing centre in Hannover
A woman and child walk past a Covid testing centre in Hannover, Lower Saxony. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Julian Stratenschulte

The change is a significant one for unvaccinated people who had been relying on their post-illness immunity to gain access to bars, restaurants and other indoors venues. 

Previously, this group of people had been able to get access to so-called ‘2G’ or ‘2G-plus’ venues for up to six months after recovering from Covid. 

However, with the highly transmissible Omicron variant now dominant in Germany, this period has had to be halved to three months, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health explained.

This means that unvaccinated people will now need a positive PCR test that was taken more than 28 days ago and no longer than three months ago to gain access to public indoor spaces like cinemas, non-essential shops and gyms.

In hospitality businesses like cafes, bars and restaurants, they will generally need a recent negative test as well – a system known as ‘2G plus’.  

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

Alternatively, they can ‘convert’ their status from recovered to vaccinated by getting one Covid jab. A single Covid vaccination is counted enough to ensure basic immunity following a Covid illness. 

The changes come as Germany is poised to reduce the validity of digital vaccine certificates from 12 months to nine. 

As of February 1st, people will have to get an additional jab in order to prevent their digital vaccine pass expiring after 270 days. This is in line with new EU legislation that comes into force next month

In recent weeks, numerous states have also passed legislation to shorten the amount of time people have to wait for a booster jab.

To combat declining immunity and reduce hurdles to getting an additional jab, people are able to get one after just three months. Previously, most people were told to wait six months before getting a top-up jab. 

Due to its numerous mutations, Omicron is much more capable of infecting people who have existing immunity from vaccinations and illness, experts say. 

The previous six month ‘recovery’ status was based on the Delta variant, the Health Ministry told German business publication Handelsblatt

Immunity from vaccinations and a Covid illness is believed to decline over time. 

Member comments

      1. I didn’t think they were. All I ever read is experts say. But never who these experts are or any evidence.

        Im no expert but it all seems a bit suspect to me. Almost like someone es profiting from it all. Pfizer expect to make 900 million in profit for the first quarter this year. Are Germany helping them make that every quarter now?

        And with the masks now having to be the FFP2 masks did the health minister fall out with the guy who makes the blue ones?

        1. And at the same time, I fully support wearing masks, testing, and mandating vaccines for risk groups and public workers. Pfizer’s profit has nothing to do with it. How much profit does the food industry make? You need food to survive, don’t you? Vaccines save lives. Just the specific rules don’t always make sense.

          1. I actually agree with you on nearly everything there. Only the mandating of things to go in or out of your body. Its really hard for healthcare workers. Since this vaccine can’t stop you spreading it. Im kinda ok with in not being needed.

            You’re bang on. vaccines save lives. We have data that show vaccines are great.

            The covid one. The data is still incomplete. I think, because of this. their profit margin does come into the equation at least a little.
            I pick on pfizers as they are the rolls Royce of the covid vaccination. They promised to sell the covid vaccination at cost during the pandemic. (Government funds. I.e. taxpayers money paid for the research) and before the second jab was fully rolled out they upped the price to become for profit.<- not illegal. But morally questionable.

            As for food. Most money is made from the unhealthy foods. If they've added sugar to it. Its adictive and profitable. I think everyone should try to get a garden and grow their own food. Be as self sufficient as possible. If you can travel to local farms many will sell fresh produce right from the farm including meat. (I love this topic. I always want to be more self reliant. I just have the habit of butchering my plants.)

            (On the stock market. The most profitable food and beverage industries involves alot of sugar. Healthy alternatives don't make as much profits.)

  1. Bremen has the highest cases yet is the most vaccinated State. Unvaccinated have been barred from public places for months now but still the figures rise. Hmmmmmmm

  2. It is becoming much easier to be more skeptical about or even to see right through this whole thing. The credibility of it all is at its lowest ever. I think it will only end when we, the people, end it!

    1. I saw that 30% of the population have lost complete trust in the government. Even people who were convinced the government would protect them are starting to question it. Its going to happen. Its just going to take some time.
      Its a shame we don’t have a Boris Johnson here. We need a good scandal. So they lower the restrictions to keep the masses happy. The numbers don’t go insane and the narrative falls away.

      Or when they start going after the triple jabbed people. (About March/April is my guess.. Then people will start asking questions.

      Or people will start noticing their neighbours are disappeared. In which case they should keep quiet.

  3. My doctor just told me today that in Switzerland they honor natural immunity for 1 year. In the US, they don’t honor it at all, really. This is not about science or medicine. If it were, the “experts” would draw the same or similar conclusions. This is about politics and money.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Germany to relax travel restrictions for summer

Germany is set to significantly ease its travel restrictions to enter the country from June 1st until the end of August, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said.

Germany to relax travel restrictions for summer

The so-called 3G rule applies to anyone entering Germany from abroad – and it means travellers over the age of 12 have to show proof of full vaccination, recovery from Covid or a recent negative test. 

Travellers who are transferring at an airport in Germany also have to present proof of their Covid status before arriving in the country. This applies both to non-Schengen transit from or to third countries outside the EU and to transit from or to Schengen states.

However, Health Minister Lauterbach said he planned to temporarily ease this rule from June 1st due to the falling number of Covid infections. 

“Until the end of August, we will suspend the 3G rule on entry,” he told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers. 

However, the rules for people entering Germany from so-called ‘virus variant areas’ will remain in force. They have to go into a 14-day quarantine on arrival, even if they have been vaccinated or have recovered. However, no country is currently designated as a virus variant region. 

Lauterbach said: “When such areas are defined, people entering the country have to go into quarantine. Even with lower incidences in the summer, we must remain cautious in the event of a global pandemic.” 

Travellers should keep an eye on any risk-level changes to countries they are travelling to Germany from on the Robert Koch Institute’s risk list.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s travel rule changes may affect your holiday plans

Change expected on vaccines

According to German media reports, the amendment to the Covid entry regulations is to be passed by the federal cabinet today.

It also provides for another change – in future all vaccines approved by WHO, not only those approved by the EU, will be recognised upon entry to Germany.

Under the current restrictions, you have to be fully vaccinated to enter Germany if you are coming from most non-EU countries. Unvaccinated people are not allowed to enter unless they have an essential reason.

Germany does, however, allow unrestricted entry for people coming from a small group of ‘safe list’ countries.

This regulation does not apply to German and EU residents.

The Local has asked the German Health Ministry to clarify if the rule on entry from non-EU countries will remain in place. 

Meanwhile, it is worth remembering that the 3G entry rule on coming to Germany still applies until the end of May. Before entering the country, people have to upload or show their Covid documents (proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test) while checking in or before boarding. 

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