Protection for tenants who can't pay rent
Until the end of June, tenants don’t need to fear getting kicked out of their flats if they can’t pay their rent. The regulation (called 'Kündigungsschutz' or 'Protection from termination') also affects commercial tenants.
But take note: the tenants' obligation to pay the rent still remains, and is only being postponed. The arrears must be settled after two years at the latest – by June 30th, 2022. Otherwise, the landlord can give notice to the tenant for this reason.
Sick leave no longer granted by phone
Anyone who needs a sick leave by telephone, for example because of a cold, will have to show up at a doctor's office to be granted a special note, called a Krankenmeldung or Krankenschein, from now on.
On May 31st, a special regulation that allowed sick leave to be granted by phone due to the coronavirus crisis expired.
Rental relief in Baden-Württemberg
Through a new Mietpreisbremse (rental break) many towns and communities in Baden-Württemberg, landlords will only be able to issue a rent that’s a maximum of 10 percent higher than the local average rent for new rentals.
Housing in Stuttgart, which many complain continues to get more expensive. Photo: DPA
Good news for travellers
The travel warning for 31 countries in Europe is being repealed as of mid-June, although some countries – such as Spain – may have their own individual restrictions in place as to when they allow tourists.
Many airlines, including Germany’s Lufthansa, Swiss and Eurowings, are also opening up again for tourism flights.
New weather warning
Just in time for summer, the German Weather Service (DWD) has introduced a new warning level: There was already an indication for a “Hitze”, or heat wave, but now there will be a warning for an “extreme Hitze” just in case it should arrive.
In summer 2019, temperatures rose to a record 43 degrees Celcius in Germany.
Social distancing rules to expire
The country’s contact ban – which states that two separate households, or up to 10 people at a time, can meet – is officially in effect until June 29th. States can decide, however, whether they want to adopt that rule or set their own ones. In Berlin for example, only up to five people are allowed to meet.
After June 29th, every individual state will likely set their own rules.
Extra support for families on the way
In order to help families and at the same time create demand in the retail sector, a family bonus is set to be approved by the government in June. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz plans to give parents a one-time payment of €300 for each child, according to Der Spiegel.
The North Rhine-Westphalian state government has even proposed a bonus of €600 per child – also to reward families who have to master the balancing act between childcare and working at home. The state's Christian Democrats proposed a travel voucher for holidays in Germany.
Loans can be deferred until the end of June
All consumer loan agreements signed before March 15th may be suspended until June 30th for a maximum of three months. The regulation has been in force April 1st and covers repayment, interest and redemption payments.
If debtors are therefore unable to fulfil their contractual obligations due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is no threat of legal consequences.
New app for coronavrus tracking
Tracking infection chains is essential to contain the corona pandemic. To this end, a voluntary app for Germany is slowly taking shape and is expected to be available in mid-June.
The app – developed by software company SAP and Deutsche Telekom – is intended to enable infected persons to voluntarily share their data. Subsequently, all people who have been in the vicinity of the infected person will be notified – provided they also use the app.
The app will be available for general download for iOS and Android in mid-June, but a concrete date has yet to be set.
Cancellation of Deutsche Bahn tickets
Deutsche Bahn put together so-called goodwill regulations for the corona crisis. That means that customers who bought a ticket at the super economy fare (Super Sparpreis) or economy fare (Sparpreis) before March 13th can cancel their trip – but only until the end of June.
However, the regulation only applies to journeys that were planned between March 13th and May 4th. Yet for anyone who misses the deadline, tickets can still be used until October 31st.
Schools and Kitas begin regular operations
Saxony was the first of Germany's 16 states to reopen primary schools and day-care centres in regular operation – in some cases with restrictions. Instead of relying on small groups and distance rules, groups and classes are separated from each other.
Berlin Cosmopolitan School and Musical Friends created a rap video showing children hygiene rules for returning to school.
Schleswig-Holstein had now also decided on Wednesday that all primary school pupils there should go back to school from June 8th – without distance rules.
Starting in mid-June, Saxony-Anhalt also aims to have a company for elementary school children in the entire class size. In Baden-Württemberg this is planned from the end of June. State by state, we break down when children around Germany can return to the classroom or Kita.
Due to the annual pension adjustment, approximately 21 million pensioners in Germany will receive more money as of July 1st. However, the pension increase will not be transferred to all pensioners at the same time.
When the increased pension will be paid depends on when the pension starts: Those who were already retired before or in March 2004 will receive the adjusted pension at the end of June.
If the pension started in April 2004 or later, the surplus will not be on the account until the end of July. The payment is made automatically.