Spring is just around the corner and people are craving a coronavirus-free summer more than ever. German politicians have decided to come out ahead and lift many of the restrictions that have been in place so far. The draft of the new Federal Infection Protection Act stipulates that most federal requirements will cease to apply on April 2. Until then, however, states can decide for themselves which measures will continue to apply. Here’s what each state has decided:
Baden-Württemberg: In this state, important coronavirus restrictions are lifted starting today. For example, there are no longer any restrictions on private gatherings, even for unvaccinated persons. In addition, stadiums and concert halls can again be full. During events, the number of spectators or guests no longer has to be restricted.
Bavaria: Also in Bavaria, the regulations regarding coronavirus are being relaxed. Among other things, as of today all limits on capacity and number of people at events have been lifted, as well as the ban on dancing and music in catering. Until April 2, the 2G and 3G rules and the obligation to wear masks will continue to apply in Bavaria, including in schools and stores – with one exception: in primary and special schools, the obligation to wear masks during lessons will be lifted from Monday (March 21), and a week later also in fifth and sixth grades.
Berlin: The capital will maintain the current coronavirus-related measures until March 31, after which they will be lifted with a few exceptions. The Senate made the decision to extend the deadline on Saturday, the Senate Office reported on Twitter. Actually, the federal government and the state governments had agreed that all far-reaching restrictions were to be lifted on Sunday (March 20). However, Berlin, like other states, is currently enjoying a transition period.
Brandenburg: Brandenburg is extending most coronavirus regulations until April 2, but easing them for trips and hairdresser visits. The cabinet decided to lift the 3G rule from Friday (18 March) in hair and beauty salons, hotels and excursions. It will remain in force in restaurants, theaters and cinemas. In clubs and discos under the 2G rule, access will be granted to vaccinated and tested persons. Many protective measures, such as the obligation to wear masks in schools, will remain in force.
Hamburg: Unvaccinated people can meet as many people as they like again. The contact restriction in place since early December last year is no longer included in the new Senate regulation, which took effect at midnight Saturday. Also, the upper limits on the number of attendees at parties and major sporting events no longer apply. In addition, the new ordinance will keep the existing restrictions in place.
Hesse: In Hesse, several restrictions will no longer apply as of Saturday, including previous restrictions on contact with unvaccinated persons. Audience numbers will no longer be required at events, and the collection of contact information will be phased out. Other restrictions will initially remain in place until April 2. This applies, for example, to entry into restaurants. The requirement to wear masks and to maintain distance and hygiene rules will continue to apply to the same extent as before.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Here, as in other federal states, it was decided to leave many regulations in place until April 2. The previously applicable 3G rule on public transport is no longer listed in the state government’s online publication. So starting this Sunday, people who are unvaccinated or do not have proof of convalescence can again use public transport without a negative test result.
Lower Saxony: Due to new regulations of the Federal Infection Protection Act, Lower Saxony is introducing a new regulation that will keep the previous regulations in force until April 2. This means that for two more weeks, the existing regulations regarding mandatory masks, presentation of proof of vaccination, convalescence and testing, the distance requirement and the obligation to prepare a hygiene concept will remain in force throughout the state.
North Rhine-Westphalia: In North Rhine-Westphalia, major restrictions on coronavirus have been lifted since Saturday. For example, restrictions on contact with unvaccinated people are now no longer in place. Similarly, upper limits on spectators at mass events such as Bundesliga football matches have been lifted. On the other hand, the obligation to wear masks indoors – for example when shopping and in schools – has been extended until April 2. Meanwhile, in places of entertainment such as theaters, museums, cinemas, zoos, hotels and restaurants, the 3G rule will continue to apply in NRW for the time being.
Rhineland-Palatinate: In this state, until April 2, the rule is that where vaccination status, testing or convalescent status is controlled, in most cases masks need not be worn. Masks are still required in retail and other uncontrolled public places. For two more weeks, masks will be mandatory in all high schools. Testing will be conducted in schools twice a week.
Saxony-Anhalt: The state government is maintaining basic protection measures against coronavirus until April 2. The obligation to wear a mask still applies on buses and trains, as well as in closed areas such as restaurants, accommodation facilities and stores. On the other hand, contact restrictions for private gatherings in public and private places will be lifted. Upper limits on the number of attendees at events, cultural offerings, and sporting events will be lifted. However, the 2G-plus access model can be chosen voluntarily by the organizer.
Saarland: Restrictions on contact with unvaccinated people will be lifted – for those who have recovered and for those who have been vaccinated, they were already lifted on March 4. According to the Ministry of Health, upper limits on the number of people at public and private indoor and outdoor events will also be lifted. In addition, although in principle it will still be necessary to wear masks in closed rooms accessible to guests or customers, it can now be dispensed with if the 3G rule is controlled and observed.
Szleswig-Holstein: In Schleswig-Holstein, most of the strict coronavirus regulations have been lifted. As of Saturday, regulations such as occupancy restrictions no longer apply. However, mask and testing obligations still apply in some areas. There are also restrictions on access to discos and similar places. The 2G Plus rule still applies there.
Thuringia: Due to the high number of coronavirus infections, Thuringia is applying the interim rule and maintaining several protective measures until April 2. For example, the state government is maintaining the 3G rule for visits to restaurants, gyms, swimming pools and saunas under a new regulation that takes effect Saturday. The obligation to wear masks will also apply for the next two weeks in indoor areas open to the public.