A new corona infection protection law was passed in the German Bundestag today, the 18th of November. Which rules could come – and what happens if they fail before the Federal Council?
The NEW German corona infection protection law: The coronavirus situation in Germany is dramatic. Rising numbers of infections and Covid 19 deaths are just as worrying as gloomy winter forecasts. A major controversial topic was the expiry of the epidemic situation of national scope from November 25th. On Thursday, the Bundestag passed a new infection protection law with the votes of the new coalition government partners. This should enable Corona measures even after November 25th.
- 3, 6 or 9? The federal and state governments have decided in the NEW German corona infection protection law:
- What does the NEW infection protection law say in detail?
- According to the new coalition government partners, what should no longer be possible?
- How long will the new rules apply – and what happens if the Federal Council fails?
3, 6 or 9? The federal and state governments have decided in the NEW German corona infection protection law:
Hospitalization rate as the central limit value for measures:
From threshold value 3:
▶ Only vaccinated or convalescent people (2G) have access to leisure, cultural and sporting events, gastronomy as well as body-friendly services and accommodation if the hospitalization rate shown for the respective federal state exceeds threshold value 3.
▶ The hospitalization rate is the number of corona patients admitted to clinics per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days. If the threshold is not reached for five days in a row. Adherence to the access regulations will be “controlled consistently and even more intensively than before”. Exceptions to the 2G rule are possible for children and young people under 18.
From threshold 6:
▶ If the hospitalization rate reported for the respective federal state exceeds threshold value 6, the so-called 2G-plus rule should apply. In places with a particularly high risk of infection – such as discos, clubs or bars – vaccinated and convalescent people must also show a current corona test.
From threshold value 9:
▶ In the event of a particularly high incidence of infections and particularly high levels of exposure, the federal states should make consistent use of the “further possibilities of the Infection Protection Act”. According to the changes decided today in the Bundestag, this should include, for example, contact restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, but no more lockdowns and school closings.
The hospitalization rate in Germany is currently 5.2.
What does the NEW infection protection law say in detail?
- Public transport: In the future, the 3G rule will apply nationwide in buses and trains. Passengers must therefore submit a negative test if they have not been vaccinated or have recovered. The regulation also applies to domestic flights, with the exception of taxis and school transport. Leave the type of controls to the transport company. As a rule, they will probably be done during the ticket inspection.
- 3G at work: nationwide, employees should have to present their employer with a corona vaccination certificate or proof of recovery. If you are neither vaccinated nor recovered, you must present a current corona test every day before entering your workplace . Employers face a fine if they fail to control status. If employees avoid the 3G rule, the employer must try to enable work without direct contact with other employees. If that is not possible, those affected face a loss of wages – and in case of doubt even termination.
- Home office obligation: The regulation that was lifted on July 1st is to be reactivated. If there are no compelling reasons to the contrary, employers must offer their employees work in the home office again. The employees must again accept the offer if there are no reasons to the contrary.
- Shopping: The shops should remain open. Closures are not planned. However, a mask requirement still applies here.
- Bars and restaurants: These can remain open if they offer their seats in compliance with the respective hygiene rules. However, closings could occur if it gets too tight to abide by the rules.
- Free time: When visiting theaters, cinemas, fitness studios or football stadiums, federal states can prescribe the 2G rules. This means that non-vaccinated people can no longer participate in these leisure activities – even if they could show a negative corona test. For events, the so-called “2G Plus” rule comes into question: Those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered would also have to submit a negative corona test. In addition, there should be capacity limits.
- Retirement and nursing homes: There is agreement that staff in the homes should be obliged to have regular tests – daily for those who have not been vaccinated. The new coalition government partners (SPD, FDP, Grüne) have not yet agreed on mandatory vaccinations for employees there. This is not part of the Infection Protection Act that is now being discussed and should be clarified in the coming weeks and is apparently also in the draft resolution of the corona summit by the federal and state governments.
According to the new coalition government partners, what should no longer be possible?
- Exit restrictions
- Comprehensive school and daycare closings
- Comprehensive bans or restrictions on travel, accommodation and catering
- Comprehensive bans on demonstrations, gatherings or church services
- Extensive closure or restriction of shops and businesses
- Prohibitions on exercise
How long will the new rules apply – and what happens if the Federal Council fails?
With the NEW Infection Protection Act, the Bundestag would have the opportunity to prolong the epidemic situation of national importance.
If he does not do this, the country opening clause in the current law would apply. It enables the federal states to apply the previous measures if their respective parliaments have decided to do so. 3G in the workplace as well as in buses and trains would not exist for the time being.