The current Infection Protection Act, which forms the legal basis for Covid measures in Germany expires at the end of March 19th.
The German government and states are this week thrashing out new legislation to allow for almost all restrictions to be lifted from March 20th – bar some basic measures – and a clause for ‘hotspots’.
However, it is emerging that several federal states plan to keep the current restrictions in place as part of a transitional phase.
This two-week grace period is in the federal government’s draft amendment to the new Infection Protection Act, reported broadcaster Tagesschau on Wednesday.
It comes as Covid-19 infections reach record highs in Germany.
In Bavaria, the cabinet said that existing 2G or 3G access rules (Germany’s version of the Covid-19 health pass for entry into restaurants and bars) and a mask requirement, including in schools and shops, will remain in place until April 2nd.
Baden-Württemberg also wants to make use of the transitional period, deputy head of government Thomas Strobl (CDU) said.
In Lower Saxony, the state government plans to present a transitional regulation this week – and this will apply until April 2nd.
North Rhine-Westphalia also plans to use the transitional regulation up to the same date, reported DPA.
However, a final decision by the CDU/FDP state government is not expected until after the Bundestag has voted on the future Infection Protection Act. This is set to happen on Friday.
Other states that say they want to extend restrictions as part of the transitional phase are Thuringia, Saarland, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Hamburg.
We should have more information on the plans among German states in the coming days.