The “2G” rule: here’s how the rules now apply in the individual German states

The “2G” rule (Geimpfte und Genesene – vaccinated and recovered) sounds simple, and it would be, were it not for the fact that regulations vary from state to state. Here is an overview of the current regulations in the individual federal states.


Vaccinated persons and survivors in Berlin can look forward to further improvements despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Senate decided Tuesday that in certain areas, such as catering and mass events, the owners or organizers will be able to decide for themselves whether only vaccinated or recovered persons (“2G”) or also those with a negative coronavirus test result (“3G”) will have access to the facilities. If they opt for the “2G” option, existing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, such as the obligation to keep a distance or wear a mask, will no longer apply.


Discussions on the introduction of the “2G” rule are also taking place in Brandenburg. However, nothing has been decided yet.

Lower Saxony

In Lower Saxony, too, it should be possible in future to apply the “2G” principle in further areas (such as gastronomy, culture, events and sports). This was announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) at a parliament meeting in Hanover. Also in this federal state, if the “2G” option is chosen, it will no longer be mandatory to wear masks and keep a distance.

People under the age of 18 will also have access to these services, even if they are not vaccinated and are not recovered, as they are regularly tested for coronavirus before going to school. The current rules issued to combat the coronavirus pandemic are in effect until Sept. 22. So changes to the wider application of the “2G” rule are likely to be implemented next week.


Hessian Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) wants to introduce a similar measure in his state. He wants to allow the “2G” rule to be applied by restaurant owners and event organizers. All indications are that under the new regulation, they will only be allowed to allow vaccinated and cured (“2G”) people into their private facilities, Bouffier told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.

Organizers of various events, restaurateurs and hairdressers will be able to decide for themselves whether to accept only vaccinated and recovered people, who will be largely exempt from the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said. The “3G” rule is to remain in place in offices and on public transport.


The Bavarian government, on the other hand, does not want to push for solutions based on the “2G” principle. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) explained earlier this month in Munich after a meeting of his cabinet that people with a negative coronavirus test would continue to be treated in the same way as vaccinated and recovered persons when it comes to access to restaurants, cultural and sporting events, or gyms.

The application of the “2G” rule is also “theoretically possible and not prohibited in Bavaria, but it is not proposed by the state,” Söder said.

North Rhine-Westphalia

Already last month, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet stressed that the “2G” rule granting more rights only to vaccinated and recovered persons is out of the question as far as North Rhine-Westphalia is concerned.


Hamburg was the first state to introduce the possibility of applying the “2G” rule. This took place on August 28. With this, the Senate allowed events to be almost free of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic – as long as only people vaccinated and treated for COVID-19 attend.

Event organizers and restaurant owners can therefore decide for themselves whether they want to allow only vaccinated and recovered persons into their facilities, who will be largely exempted from the previous distance-and-mask requirements, or whether they want to continue to use the “3G” model and thus also allow access to the services they provide to those who are able to submit a negative coronavirus test result.

Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein

In Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Schleswig-Holstein, the “2G” rule is to be applied only when hospitals are threatened with overload due to the high number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 illness.

Should the limit values in Baden-Württemberg be exceeded in the future, the “2G” rule would apply. Unvaccinated persons would then no longer have access to restaurants, cultural and sporting events, and would also have to keep social contact to a minimum. The new regulation will come into force on Monday.

Daniel Günther (CDU), Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, has made it clear that if the situation in hospitals becomes serious again, the regulations will be tightened. A “2G” rule would then be introduced with an option to opt for a “3G” rule.

Rhineland-Palatinate has also announced the introduction of a “2G” rule if the situation in intensive care units worsens. The government does not expect to introduce another lockdown. Instead, access to various services for unvaccinated people will be restricted as the incidence increases.

Bremen, Saarland

In both federal states, the vaccination rates are among the highest in Germany. However, no decision has yet been made on whether to introduce the “2G” rule.


On Tuesday, the state government in Saxony-Anhalt also decided to introduce the possibility of the “2G” rule. According to a revised regulation presented in Magdeburg, businesses and event organizers can decide for themselves whether they want to provide services only for people vaccinated and treated with COVID-19. This is only a proposal and not an obligation, the government explained. The option chosen must be notified to the public health authority in advance and made public by posting a notice or bulletin board at the location.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony and Thuringia

So far, it is not known what decisions will be made in these federal states regarding the possible introduction of the “2G” rule.


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