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The 3G rule is becoming stricter across Germany

Germany is tightening Covid-pass guidelines to promote vaccination

Germany is tightening Covid-pass guidelines to promote vaccination

The country is hoping to provide a uniform framework for the future that would mitigate devastation from a possible fourth wave

Germany is getting ready to pass regulations, tightening its Covid-pass system amid rising infection rates across the country. The Federal government will sign the new guidelines, creating a uniform response to the situation by 23 August at the latest.

The aim is to increase vaccination while formalising the patchwork regional approach that Germany’s 16 states have been having in place since the end of the last Covid shutdown. The new approach is supposed to help control the possible fourth wave and is similar to other countries pushing for the use of a national health pass, including France and Italy.

The end of an era and the start of a new one

The ‘3G rule’ is the main idea behind the upcoming regulations. The Gs stand for the German geimpft (vaccinated), genesen (recovered) and getestet (tested). It means that people will have to show proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test to enter a lot of places, such as cinemas, theatres, nursing homes and indoor dining spaces.

But there is more. The German government announced that it will end free-for-all testing on 11 October. This means that people who can get the vaccine but choose not to have it will start paying for tests. This could automatically make skipping the vaccine a pricey luxury.

This will not apply to people who have Covid-like symptoms or to the testing centres serving school children and school staff.

Likewise, it will not apply to people who cannot get the vaccine (due to allergies or pregnancy for instance). They will need to provide a note from their GP in order to be eligible for free testing.

People will have to get used to showing a Covid-pass much more often

The federal and state governments agreed that the 3G rule will apply in areas where the 7-day incidence of Covid cases goes above 35 cases per 100,000 people. If the number is below that, states are free to decide if they want to implement the rule.

Things could vary from state to state, but in general, people will need to show at least one of the 3 Gs to go into cinemas, theatres, amusement parks, museums or galleries. The measures will also apply to crowded outdoor events as well as indoor dining, the gym and hairdressers.

Essential shops, petrol stations, pharmacies and doctors will be exempt from these regulations. However, hospital and nursing home visitations will require one of the three Gs regardless of the incidence rate in their state.

Under Berlin’s new rules, which come into effect on 20 August, unvaccinated people will have to show a negative test when checking into hotels and will have to re-do it every three days.  

Meanwhile, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia mandated that all nonvaccinated and non-recovered club goers get a test before a night out. The states of Hesse and Baden-Württemberg are also barring unvaccinated people without recent PCR tests from nightclubs.

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