On the move in 3G land: what bus and train commuters need to know


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Exceptions, controls, risk of infection: 3G corona rule for bus and train commuters in Germany

3G Land: Bus and train travel in Germany is about to be more complex soon: Only those who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested are allowed to ride. Checking the receipts will not be easy.

3G land

Get used to proving your 3G status when communiting

“Transport only with a valid ticket” – this is what it says on the doors of underground trains, trams and buses. But a ticket alone is no longer enough. It has been a long time since you can go without a mask, and now a third thing should not be missing: the 3G certificate. To protect against the coronavirus, passengers are only allowed to ride if they can prove with a vaccination certificate, certificate or app that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested.

3G Land green light probably from Wednesday

It is not yet entirely clear when 3G will apply in buses and trains. The federal government assumes Wednesday. But it also depends on when Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signs the amended Infection Protection Act. The presidential office said it would not come into force before the middle of the week.


Exceptions for children

Children and adolescents who go to school and children under six years of age do not need any test, vaccination or recovery certificates in local transport. Students are expected to take regular tests at school.

3G land


The daily commute to work, university or shopping can be a complicated affair for the unvaccinated – especially if you need a bus or train to get to a test station. At the start of the journey, the test acceptance must not be more than 24 hours ago. Employers have to offer two tests a week. There is at least one free “citizen test” per week at the test stations. Anyone who pays for tests beyond that is open.

Controls in local transport

Proof must be shown on request. According to the law, the companies are responsible for the controls – despite all warnings that their employees are not 3G police.

“The transport companies are already approaching the local police and public order offices so that effective spot checks can be carried out together,” said the Association of German Transport Companies. “At the same time, this increases the security required for our inspectors to carry out this difficult sovereign task.”

The Hessian transport associations have already agreed random checks with the police and the regulatory authorities. The head of the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, Knut Ringat, also appealed for personal responsibility – similar to speed limits, which most people adhere to even without complete control.

Deutsche Bahn

The group wants to announce at the beginning of the week how it is dealing with the new requirements. Deutsche Bahn had shown that it was open to 3G at an early stage. It is true that it is easier to keep an eye on passengers in an ICE than in an underground train. Comprehensive controls are not to be expected on the railways either.

3G land

Risk of infection

With a mask, the risk of getting Covid is no higher in buses and trains than elsewhere, emphasize the transport companies since the beginning of the pandemic and refer to studies. The virologist Christian Drosten recently dampened expectations of 3G in traffic. One is in a time of high incidence and must expect that vaccinated people present have a substantial risk of being infected undetected. The goal of protecting unvaccinated people from infection is thus missed.

Economic consequences

If the number of passengers on buses and trains was around three quarters of the last time as before the pandemic, the transport companies are now expecting a decline again. They are counting on the billion-dollar state rescue package being set up over local transport in the new year as well.


There are no access restrictions for passengers there. 3G does not apply here. The industry is relieved that drivers don’t have to check corona tests and vaccination certificates. “For the drivers, however, as at all other workplaces, 3G applies,” said Michael Oppermann, Managing Director of the Federal Association of Taxi and Rental Cars. However, if you get into a taxi, you have to wear a mask.

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