For members


KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid rules to fight fourth wave

Here's a look at Germany's new Covid restrictions and how the government and states want to break the fourth Covid wave.

A restaurant with the 2G plus rule (vaccinated and recovered people have to show a test) in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony.
A restaurant with the 2G plus rule (vaccinated and recovered people have to show a test) in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Germany’s 16 state leaders on Thursday to discuss these new measures. 

The government and states said that the restrictions agreed are the “uniform minimum standards nationwide”. Badly-affected areas can bring in further curbs. 

Here’s a look at the details of what the German government and states decided on:

Vaccination campaign

Germany wants to achieve up to 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year. An expanded federal-state crisis team aims to iron out problems with vaccine supply and distribution at an early stage.

To speed up implementation, more people will be allowed to give out jabs. Doctors can delegate vaccinations to pharmacists, dentists and nursing staff.

As vaccination protection wears off over time, vaccination status is to lose its recognition as being “complete” after a certain period of time if no booster jab is given. German political leaders are to agree on when this will happen – nine months has been mentioned as a possibility. 

READ ALSO: Germany gives out nearly a million Covid jabs in a day

Compulsory vaccination

The government wants to see compulsory vaccinations for certain employees, such as carers and hospital workers. The government and states have also welcomed a vote in the Bundestag “to decide on a general vaccination mandate”.

2G rules

Nationwide – and regardless of the number of Covid infections and hospitalisations – access to cultural and recreational facilities and events, such as cinemas, theatres and restaurants, will only be possible for those who have been vaccinated and have recovered. This system is known as the 2G rule. Political leaders also recommend that businesses ask for a test from the vaccinated and recovered groups (2G-plus rule)

According to the resolution, the 2G rule will also be extended to the retail sector. Shops for daily needs are exempt from this. 

Exceptions are to be made for people who cannot be vaccinated and for people who are not eligible for vaccination. Exemptions are also possible for children and young people under 18.

READ ALSO: Germany to impose sweeping new Covid curbs on the unvaccinated

Contact bans

In a bid to reduce the spread, contact restrictions for the unvaccinated are to be tightened. Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to meet with their own household and a max of two people from another household.

Spouses and partners are considered as one household – even if they do not share a home. Children under 14 are excluded.

Large events

The number of spectators at sports, cultural and similar large events will be limited. Both indoors and outdoors, only 30 to 50 percent of the capacity can be used. An upper limit of 5,000 people will apply to indoor events, and a maximum of 15,000 people will be allowed at outdoor events.

It means that a maximum of 15,000 spectators will be allowed to attend football matches.

Masks are compulsory and the 2G rule (or 2G-plus) applies. In states with a particularly high incidence of infection, there will be so-called ghost matches or even cancellations.

Clubs, discos and private parties

In areas with a 7-day incidence of more than 350 Covid infections per 100,000 people, indoor clubs and discos will have to shut their doors.

Furthermore, from this benchmark (an incidence of 350), private parties and gatherings will only be allowed with 50 (vaccinated and recovered) people indoors. Outdoors, this limit is 200 people. The government and states say that this is because “all contacts must be reduced”.

States to be allowed to introduce further curbs

Federal and state governments have agreed to revise the Infection Protection Act to make sure regions are able to bring in tougher measures if needed. 

The states are to have “appropriate additional measures” at their disposal, such as temporary closures of restaurants, bans on the serving or consumption of alcohol, restrictions on gatherings, restrictions on overnight stays in hotels.

New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, there will be a nationwide ban on large gatherings. As in the previous year, the sale of firecrackers and fireworks will be banned on New Year’s Eve. Fireworks will be banned from public places.

READ ALSO: Germany to ban fireworks on New Year’s Eve

Masks in schools

Face masks will have to be worn by all children while in school.

Member comments

  1. And who will they blame when case numbers still go up. Hospital Doctors in Israel are speaking out about the number of fully vaccinated people in hospitals as far outweighing the unvaccinated. Dr Robert said that its the fully vaccinated that should be locked down as they are the danger not the unvaccinated.
    A former WHO official has talked about this but is anybody listening. How many boosters 3,4,5,6,7,8 ad-infinitum. No discussion about the rising deaths and adverse reactions. A recent world in data chart showed that there have been more deaths and adverse reactions from this so called vaccine that doesn’t stop people catching the virus or spreading it than in 51 years of all other vaccines. A flu jab I once had made so seriously ill i thought I was going to die, I was told by the Doctor who gave me the flu jab not to have any further flu or similar vaccines.
    There is an Agenda and it’s certainly nothing to do with People’s health. It’s all about Money Power and Control. Who is goingto pay compensation to those damaged this so called vaccine, who is going to pay the relatives of death caused. Why is there a 55 year rule on the release of documents about this vaccine from Pfizer.

      1. Well, this is precisely why there can be no debate. Just on this short thread the people on the other side of the debate have been called “anti-vaxxers” (which is ridiculous, so many of them have taken all the other shots), told to “shut up”, been blamed, “tin foil hat BS”, to be getting their news from Face Book and Tik tok, virtually yelled at. I mean, it’s unbelievable the level of rude and unacceptable behavior. If my kids talked like that to another person, I would put them in time out.

        1. If my mom talked with the false information you peddle, I’d put her in timeout. If your kids are punished for telling people they are wrong or incompetent, well your raising perfect little robots. Are you vaccinated? If not your antivax. If you think you would even understand what the FDA reviewed if they released it, your sadly mistaken.
          You think you are allowed to talk and spread lies and falsehoods with impunity and not be criticized when you are verifiably wrong. Sorry hun, that’s not how the world works.

        1. What you said about Israel’s hospitalizations and vaccination is 100% false. It is a lie. I don’t know where you are getting your info, but it’s incorrect. 100% wrong. Quite the opposite in fact.

          In Israel – “128 people are currently hospitalized with COVID in serious condition, of whom 73 are connected to ventilators. 10 percent of them are fully vaccinated, and the vast majority did not get any dose of the vaccine.”

          90% of the critically ill are UNVACCINATED. You need to stop believing the lies. All but 1 person at my work got vaccinated. Guess who tested positive? Guess who is sick? Her!

          1. The numbers coming out of Israel (or any hospital) are only an indication. The nurses are reporting that when a person comes into the hospital they are tested for antibodies and if they are too low, even if they have been double jabbed, they are counted as unvaccinated. I would imagine that in a country that has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world (but no system in place for registering adverse effects to the vaccinations like VAERS in the USA), if those people are sick from Covid, the majority would have had to have been double vaccinated. In Ireland they are seeing the same thing in a county with 96% vaccination rate. As for your colleague, that looks like an exception to me. Everywhere I look the vaccinated are getting sick. My son took a flight to Paris and was not required to show a test because he was vaccinated. Crazy. This is Easy Jet’s policy (or was at least a month ago… Idk what it is now.) A flight arriving from Johannesburg, headed to Amsterdam with 600 passengers when news of the new variant struck was made to land and test everyone before entering Amsterdam proper. 61 people had corona. 13 had the new variant. Obviously, the unvaccinated had to enter the plane with a test, so you do the math. I believe that OP is correct in stating what she did. I know so many people who are sick and have given it to other people and they are all vaccinated. She is incorrect in stating that the FDA wants 55 years to release the data they used in approving the Pfizer vaccination, however. The FDA has now upped that to 75 years.

  2. The fully vaccinated should be locked down since they count for fewer hospitalizations and deaths in Germany? What danger do they pose, spreading common sense to the anti vaxers? Guess this is what happens when people get their news from Facebook and Tiktok.

  3. 100% with you, Denise. Guaranteeing to cover damage is the only way the gov’ts and pharma could prove to me that they trust their own vaccines. So obvious. It’s logic and Science.

    (I’ve also had tragic losses from medications promoted as “safe and effective, trust us”.)

    1. Me, too. These companies have been fined millions and millions for claiming their products were safe when they knew they were not. Why do people trust them now?

  4. Shelley, give me a break. VAERS is a start, but anyone can write anything and it takes time to verify it. Take for instance, some 12,000 deaths were reported from the vaccine, but when the reports were “verified”, the actual deaths are around 15. You can see that VAERS is entirely useless for factual data. Nearly EVERYONE who is catching Omicron who IS vaccinated is asymptomatic or having mild symptoms. Countries high in Omicron are ALL reporting the same thing, 80-90% if the hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated. Again, I don’t know where you get your data, but it seems they are lies or anecdotal. Those who provides negative tests to get into Spain and then test positive indicate to me to scope of fake tests being peddled in South Africa. Or they were antigen tests which aren’t picking up Omicron well. PCR tests are picking them up.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


End of the pandemic? What the expiry of Sweden’s Covid laws really means

With the expiry of Sweden's two temporary Covid-19 laws, the downgrading of the virus's threat classification, and the end of the last travel restrictions, April, officially at least, marks the end of the pandemic. We explain what it means.

End of the pandemic? What the expiry of Sweden's Covid laws really means

What are the two laws which expire on April 1st? 

Sweden’s parliament voted last week to let the two temporary laws put in place to battle the Covid-19 pandemic expire on April 1st.

The first law is the so-called Covid-19 law, or “the law on special restrictions to limit the spread of the Covid-19 illness”, which was used during the pandemic to temporarily empower the authorities to limit the number of visitors to shops, gyms, and sports facilities. It also gave the government power to limit the number of people who could gather in public places like parks and beaches. 

The second law was the “law on temporary restrictions at serving places”. This gave the authorities, among other things, the power to limit opening times, and force bars and restaurants to only serve seated customers.  

What impact will their expiry have? 

The immediate impact on life in Sweden will be close to zero, as the restrictions imposed on the back of these two laws were lifted months ago. But it does means that if the government does end up wanting to bring back these infection control measures, it will have to pass new versions of the laws before doing so. 

How is the classification of Covid-19 changing? 

The government decided at the start of February that it would stop classifying Covid-19 both as a “critical threat to society” and “a disease that’s dangerous to the public” on April 1st.

These classifications empowered the government under the infectious diseases law that existed in Sweden before the pandemic to impose health checks on inbound passengers, place people in quarantine, and ban people from entering certain areas, among other measures. 

What impact will this change have? 

Now Covid-19 is no longer classified as “a disease that’s dangerous to the public”, or an allmänfarlig sjukdom, people who suspect they have caught the virus, are no longer expected to visit a doctor or get tested, and they cannot be ordered to get tested by a court on the recommendation of an infectious diseases doctor. People with the virus can also no longer be required to aid with contact tracing or to go into quarantine. 

Now Covid-19 is no longer classified as “a critical threat to society”, or samhällsfarlig, the government can no longer order health checks at border posts, quarantine, or ban people from certain areas. 

The end of Sweden’s last remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions

Sweden’s last remaining travel restriction, the entry ban for non-EU arrivals, expired on March 31st.  This means that from April 1st, Sweden’s travel rules return to how they were before the Covid-19 pandemic began. 

No one will be required to show a vaccination or test certificate to enter the country, and no one will be barred from entering the country because their home country or departure country is not deemed to have a sufficiently good vaccination program or infection control measures. 

Does that mean the pandemic is over? 

Not as such. Infection rates are actually rising across Europe on the back of yet another version of the omicron variant. 

“There is still a pandemic going on and we all need to make sure that we live with it in a balanced way,” the Public Health Agency’s director-general, Karin Tegmark Wisell, told SVT

Her colleague Sara Byfors told TT that this included following the “fundamental recommendation to stay home if you are sick, so you don’t spread Covid-19 or any other diseases”.