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Germany: New Corona Rules and Other Changes in October

A few hours ago, the new month of October commenced. It brings along several changes. Germany’s Corona regulations are different now. So is the country’s minimum wage. And we will have to adjust the time yet again.

Berlin, October 1st, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — There is a new compulsory mask rule in doctor’s offices and care facilities. Their patients and residents are supposed to be protected more, now that the Coronavirus infection numbers are on the rise again. That is why negative Corona tests are also required for any individuals who enter care homes or clinics.

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Aircraft and Clocks

Masks also have to be worn on regional and long-distance trains and in public transport. There is a weird aspect: For the first time since mid-2020, passengers on aircraft that depart from or go to Germany do not have to wear masks. The same applies to passengers on domestic flights. This new rule applies in spite of the fact that airline passengers usually are very close to each other for a long time, except in First Class.

To most people, wearing masks is probably less annoying than time changes. Towards the end of the month, the European daylight saving time goes and makes room for the regular time. The European Union was going to dump those time changes, but lost its focus on the matter when Corona hit. In the next few years, those time changes might vanish.

Wages and Taxes

So, energy and food are becoming more expensive by the week? At least Germany’s minimum wage just increased to 12 Euro (11.76 U.S. Dollars or 10.55 Pounds Sterling) per hour. On January 1st, it was elevated to 9.60 Euro (9.41 Dollars or 8.44 Pounds). Since, it rose to today’s new level in increments. This will make a difference to hundreds of thousands of Germans. Persons who have ‘mini jobs’ or ‘midi jobs’ may now earn a little more.

Are there more changes this month? You bet. The leaves on the trees will be turning yellow and brown before they fall on the ground without permission. You want another change? Here we go: Filled in property and income tax forms have to be handed in before this month is over.

Vaccinations and Gas

Let’s go back to Corona for a moment: Until yesterday, persons who got two Corona vaccinations were fully vaccinated. Not anymore. As of today, you need at least one booster shot (third vaccination) to have this status. First of all, those booster shots are recommended. Secondly, being fully vaccinated might become important again for people who want to visit restaurants or cultural venues because access could be limited yet again if and when the Corona infection numbers skyrocket during the cold season.

There is another change: The sales tax on gas delivered via the national natural gas network just decreased from 19 to 7 percent. This temporary measure is supposed to help people with their energy bills. On March 31st, 2024, the sales tax is supposed to bounce back to its usual high level.

Let’s mention one more change: Berlin now has a ’29 Euro Ticket’, which actually is a 29 Euro Subscription.

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