Corona Policy: Germany to Get Rid of All ‘Pervasive Protection Measures’ in Three Steps

By March 20th, the federal government and the federal states intend to remove all “pervasive protection measures” if the Corona infection numbers decrease as expected. Wearing masks is still supposed to be mandatory.

Berlin, February 15th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — The end of winter on March 20th, 2022, is supposed to coincide with an end to many of Germany’s Corona restrictions. A lifting of many rules that were implemented to slow down the third and fourth Corona waves is part of a draft resolution which will be discussed at tomorrow’s Corona conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the Governors from all sixteen federal states.

Incremental Retraction

“Until the beginning of spring, the extensive restrictions of the societal, cultural and economic life” in Germany “should be retracted incrementally”, it says in the document, according to several German-language media that published quotes from it. “Afterwards, basic protective measures, such as the mandatory mask rule, should apply.”

According to the proposal, the number of people who may gather will increase. Germany’s ‘2G rules’ at non-essential shops might be thrown overboard. Restaurants are supposed to be allowed to welcome unvaccinated guests as well, as long as they test negative. Even discotheques and similar clubs could reopen soon, if they adhere to strict rules. More people will be allowed to visit big events.

Three Steps

These are the steps the federal government and the states are discussing:

Step 1
Implementation: Soon

  • The number of persons who may be part of private gatherings doubles to 20, as long as everyone is vaccinated. For unvaccinated individuals, the old rules continue to apply. They may meet up to two people from up to one different household.
  • In non-essential shops, the ‘2G rule’ might fall. This would mean that everyone has access to all shops, stores and malls, including unvaccinated persons. Masks will still have to be worn.

Step 2
Implementation: March 4th, 2022

  • At restaurants, cafés and pubs, the ‘3G rule’ applies again. This means vaccinated, recovered and tested persons may enter.
  • Discotheques and similar locations may reopen for persons who recently recovered from Corona and vaccinated people who also provide a certificate with a negative Corona test result from the same day, as well as individuals who got booster shots.
  • Up to 4,000 people will be allowed to visit indoor events, but venues may only fill up to 40 percent of their capacity. Outdoors, stadiums and other location may use 60 percent of their capacity and welcome up to 25,000 people.

Step 3
Implementation: March 22nd, 2022

  • All “pervasive protection measures” are dropped.
  • The mandatory home office rule does not apply anymore.
  • The federal states may still implement protective measures.

Premature Decisions

Of course, there is no guarantee the draft proposal will be approved the way it was published beforehand. The decisions Scholz and the First Ministers take will likely be based on the latest recommendations by the government’s Corona Expert Council. It believes the Corona infection numbers will stop increasing “in the coming weeks”. Therefore, the time had come “to prepare opening strategies and communicate them”, the Council had said. The infection protection measures could be “reduced responsibly” in “controlled steps”. But masks still needed to be worn.

The city state of Berlin intends to ease restrictions prematurely, even before the Corona conference takes place on Wednesday. Today, the Senate will probably decide to get rid of the ‘2G rule’ in non-essential shops, museums, galleries, the city’s two zoos and Berlin’s botanical garden. But the implementation of any decisions will likely not take place before the weekend.

Looking for the daily Corona update for Germany? Find it here.
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2022
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2021
Corona Chronology for Germany, 2020

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