New restrictions in Germany: Decisions not effective immediately!

The German government decided today to tighten the restrictions, as announced by Angela Merkel at a special press conference (details).

However, the restrictions do not come into effect immediately. On the one hand, the federal states still have to regulate the implementation of the new regulations in their ordinances, on the other hand, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat still have to reach an agreement. In some cases, however, nothing may change because regulations such as mandatory masks in schools or 2G in retail are in force in some German regions.

It takes a particularly long time if the agreement of several parliaments is required – for example, in the case of planned restaurant closures. For this, the Infection Protection Act must be amended. Probably in the middle of next week the coalition parties will introduce the amendment in the Bundestag, then the Bundesrat will have to give its approval, and finally the federal states will have to approve the restaurant closures through their own parliaments.

So their entry into force will not be possible until mid-December. Both the coronavirus ordinances of the states and the law changes at the federal level must be officially promulgated, i.e. published in the Official Gazette, before coming into force.

Compulsory vaccination and time limitation of vaccination status – When will this be implemented?

The planned introduction of universal mandatory vaccination will also take some time – for several reasons. Although it is said that the Bundestag will vote on the ethically controversial issue “in due course” and presumably without factional coercion. But at the same time, the Ethics Council is supposed to have until the end of the year to prepare a recommendation on the issue. Moreover, everyone knows that such mandatory vaccinations can only be used if there is certainty that enough vaccine is available for everyone. Therefore, the federal and state governments are aiming for a February 2022 start date.

When will vaccine certification be time-limited? The federal and state governments want to wait with this issue until the end of the year for now. It is likely that a regulation will not be adopted until the new year, according to which vaccination certificates “expire” after a certain period of time, for example, after six months, and can only be reactivated by a booster vaccination.


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