High Court overturns the 2G rule for retail in Lower Saxony Germany

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In Lower Saxony Germany, anyone can shop again without a vaccination certificate or armband: The 2G rule in retail has been temporarily repealed by the Higher Administrative Court (OVG) Lüneburg. The measure was not necessary to further contain the coronavirus and is also not compatible with the general principle of equality, the court decided on Thursday, according to the announcement. 

Since Sunday, the rule in retail in Lower Saxony has been that those who have not been vaccinated against Corona or have recovered from the virus could only shop in shops for daily needs. According to the notification, the court order is not contestable. According to the plaintiff’s attorney, the department store chain Woolworth had sued.

overturns the 2G rule

Lower Saxony still wants to implement the 2G rule

Lower Saxony’s Minister of Health Daniela Behrens (SPD) regretted the decision of the Higher Administrative Court in a statement:

“I am still convinced that the continuation of this measure would have been appropriate to the threat situation and also necessary from an infectious point of view.” 

overturns the 2G rule
Daniela Behrens (SPD), Lower Saxony’s Minister of Health

This applies all the more against the background of the advancing spread of the omicron variant. 2G in retail was a building block to reduce contacts among unvaccinated people, said Behrens.

Will FFP2 mask come in stores instead of 2G?

The 13th Senate of the court justified its decision, among other things, by saying that there are too many exceptions to the 2G rule. 

In addition, it is not possible to transfer knowledge from closed spaces in the sports and leisure sector to retailers. “In addition, as in many other everyday situations, customers could also be required to wear an FFP2 mask in retail,” the court wrote. 

Health Minister Behrens announced on Thursday evening that it would be mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask in retail stores wanting to anchor the Corona regulation .

overturns the 2G rule

FDP welcomes the verdict from Lüneburg

The FDP in the state parliament welcomed the judgment in the evening. In a contribution to the short message service Twitter, the parliamentary group chairman Stefan Birkner wrote: “It is wrong to try to increase the vaccination rate at the expense of certain industries and without looking at the infection rate.” For the state government in Lower Saxony, this is another sign of its planless and aimless corona policy, Birkner continued.

Greens: Government rush instead of diligence

With the OVG decision, revenge once again “that the state government has to be in a hurry before diligence as the top priority,” said the Green parliamentary group leader Julia Willie Hamburg in the evening in Hanover. The government must now quickly submit a new regulation that has been drawn up with more care, “so that there is no regulation-free space here”.

overturns the 2G rule

This is not the first time that OVG has judged critically

With the 2G decision, the OVG remained true to its critical line of the restrictions imposed by the state government. In mid-December, the court had already overturned the 2G-Plus rule for visits to the hairdresser, foot care or other body-related services. 

At the end of November, the court ruled that the country’s Corona ordinances had always been based on a suitable legal basis. But individual measures were exaggerated, for example the closure of car washes in spring 2020.


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