Everything that changes in Germany in April 2018

From soggier chips to not being able to see into the future anymore, these are the things that will change for Germans in April 2018.

Everything that changes in Germany in April 2018
Chips will contain less of the chemical acrylamide from April 1st. Photo: DPA

Minimum wage on the up

The minimum wage will go up for contract and temporary workers. In western Germany, the wage goes up to €9.47 (an increase of 2.8 percent), while in eastern Germany it will increase to €9.27 (an increase of 4 percent).

Higher prescription costs

Higher copayments for certain prescribed medicines will be required, with up to a €10 charge per medicine, reported the Deutscher Apothekerverband. The list of prescriptions falling under the new law include the painkillers Fentanyl, Morphine and Oxycontin, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners and medicines with the antibody Infliximab, which fight against tumors.

Credit: DPA

Good news for young entrepreneurs

There is more venture capital available starting in April for German start-ups thanks to the European Recovery Programme (ERP) fund. Start-ups can apply for capital from the fund, which has a total of €790 million available, or more than half of the previous amount.

Interested parties can make an application with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau.

New car emergency system

All new cars which are put on the market after April 1st are legally required to have an emergency call system, called an eCall. In the event of a serious crash, the technology will automatically alert the authorities, giving them the time of the incident, location of the car and number of occupants in the vehicle.

Owners of older cars aren’t obliged to kit out their vehicles with the eCall system, but they can do so if they want to.

Melting lead in order to tell fortunes on New Year's Eve. Credit: DPA

Dropped like a lead balloon

An EU-wide act bans all products which contain a proportion of lead higher than 0.3 percent. In December, this will put a definitive damper on the New Year’s Eve tradition of Bleigießen (lead pouring), a German tradition to tell fortunes based on the shapes that form when molten lead falls into cold water.

The reason for the ban lies in the health dangers that, when exposed to heat, the substance can turn into lead oxide, which when inhaled has damaging effects on the nervous system, brain, liver and kidneys.

Healthier chips

From April 11th onwards chips, coffee, bread and Muesli will have to contain less of a chemical called acrylamide, which has possible links to cancer. That means that chips will have to contain less starch and potatoes will have to be soaked before they are fried.

A possible downside is that your fries will be less crispy from now on.

For members


What changes about life in Denmark in June 2021?

Coronavirus rules, travel restrictions and car registration fees are among the areas set to see announcements, updates or rule changes in Denmark in June.

What changes about life in Denmark in June 2021?
An electric-powered harbour bus operating in Copenhagen in June 2020. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Changes to coronavirus restrictions

Denmark initially outlined a phased plan to lift its coronavirus restrictions back in March. The plan has been updated (and accelerated) on a number of occasions, with politicians meeting regularly to discuss adjustments based on the status and progression of the epidemic.

Initially, the government said it would lift the majority of restrictions by the end of May, when it expected to have vaccinated everyone over the age of 50 (apart from those who choose not to be vaccinated). Although the vaccination calendar was pushed back, restrictions are still being lifted, with the government citing progress with vaccinations and general good control of the epidemic.

In an agreement reached earlier this month, the government said rules requiring the use of face masks and corona passports will be revoked when all people over 16 in Denmark have been offered vaccination. The end-stage of the vaccination programme is currently scheduled to be reached at the end of August. But more detail on the plans for phased lifting of these rules is expected to surface in June.

READ ALSO: When will Denmark stop requiring corona passports and face masks?

A return to offices and shared workspaces, already set out to occur in three steps, will continue. In the first phase, which began on May 21st, 20 percent capacity were allowed back at physical workplaces. Remaining staff must continue to work from home where possible. This proportion will increase to 50 percent on June 14th (and 100 percent on August 1st).

Public assembly limit to be raised indoors, lifted outdoors

The current phase of reopening, which has been in place since May 21st, limits gatherings indoors to 50 people. This is scheduled to increase to 100 on June 11th.

Outdoors gatherings, currently limited to 100 people, will be completely revoked on June 11th.

August 11th will see the end of any form of assembly limit, indoors or outdoors, according to the scheduled reopening.

Unfortunately, this does not mean festivals such as Roskilde Festival – which would normally start at the end of June – can go ahead. Large scale events are still significantly restricted, meaning Roskilde and the majority of Denmark’s other summer festivals have already been cancelled.

Eased travel restrictions could be extended to non-EU countries

Earlier this month, Denmark moved into the third phase of lifting travel restrictions , meaning tourists from the EU and Schengen countries can enter the country.

The current rules mean that foreigners resident in EU and Schengen countries rated orange on the country’s traffic light classification (yellow, orange and red) for Covid-19 levels in the relevant countries, will no longer need a worthy purpose to enter Denmark, opening the way for tourists to come to Denmark from across the region.

Denmark raised the threshold for qualifying as a yellow country from 20-30 to 50-60 cases per 100,000 people over the past week.  

However, the lower threshold only applies to EU and Schengen countries, which means that, for example, the UK does not qualify as a yellow country despite falling within the incidence threshold.


But the 27 member states of the European Union recently announced they had agreed to allow fully vaccinated travellers to enter the bloc.

A Ministry of Justice text which sets out the plan for Denmark’s phased easing of travel restrictions suggests that the fourth phase, scheduled to take effect on June 26th, will see Denmark adopt the EU’s common rules on entry for persons from outside the bloc, meaning non-EU countries could qualify for the more lenient rules for yellow regions.

New car registration fees come into effect

New rules for registration fees for new vehicles, adopted in February, take effect on June 1st.

The laws, which will be applied retroactively from December 18th 2020, mean that different criteria will be used to calculate the registrations fees applied to cars based on their carbon dioxide emissions, replacing the existing rules which used fuel consumption as the main emissions criteria.

New rules will also be introduced offering more advantages for registering electric and hybrid vehicles.

You can find detailed information via the Danish Motor Vehicle Agency.

READ ALSO: Why is it so expensive to buy a car in Denmark?