Germany: Some COVID Rules Eased But little is Expected to Change Right Away

Pandemic restrictions are being lifted with alacrity across Europe despite many countries experiencing a record surge in coronavirus cases and concerns about the failure to vaccinate many people considered vulnerable to the disease. Germany’s parliament voted to loosen restrictions in public places across the country. The government wants to let Germany’s 16 states decide for themselves where targeted restrictions are required, rather than impose nationwide rules.

What are the rule changes?

Masks are no longer required on airplanes and inter-city public transport but are still mandatory on local transport services.

The so-called 3G rule of being vaccinated, recovered, or tested is also no longer needed for long-distance rail travel.

Mask wearing and compulsory tests can be ordered in hospitals, care facilities, and doctors’ clinics.

The legal obligation to meet the 3G rule at workplaces is also lifted. Companies can set their own rules, dependent on infection rates.

The 16 German states are free to keep basic measures in place and introduce additional curbs where large infection clusters emerge.

On Sunday, Germany reported 131,792 new virus infections, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. The 7-day incidence rate across the country is 1,708.7, up from 1,526.8 a week ago, and 1,346.3 a month ago. According to the case numbers recorded, and in the fall the situation may once again worsen. So several states delay ‘Freedom Day’.

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