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Germany To Lift Most Covid Restrictions In March

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Germany is planning to lift most of its COVID restrictions in March. On Sunday, the German government’s expert committee proclaimed a “new phase of the pandemic”  Because of Omicron’s mild symptoms and went on to say “a responsible easing or changing of measures” would be possible.

Berlin Germany

The Plan, unveiled this week, would see the country open in 3 stages. 

  • Step one would see the upper limit for private gatherings of vaccinated and recovered people increased, restrictions on non-essential events lifted across the board, and replaced with the requirement to wear a medical mask. 
  • Step two would come around March 4, and involve the replacing of 2G rules in restaurants and bars with 3G rules, meaning entry would be granted to those who are vaccinated, recovered, or have tested negative. The same would apply to hotels. Nightclubs would be allowed to reopen with 2G plus rules in place.
Vaccine Passport
  • Step three, the final step, would take place around March 20th and would involve the lifting of all “more profound protective measures,” including the obligation to work from home. 

The final decision will be made on February 16th, and it seems likely that the government will decide to lift the restrictions.

German town riverside


This decision comes as the Omicron variant is raging in Germany. The country has seen record numbers of new cases day after day for the past month. Some days have gone as high as 400,000 new cases. Luckily, hospitalizations and deaths have not followed this trend. Experts believe that Germany will see the peak of Omicron infections in the next week and then a sharp decline, as we’ve seen in other countries. 

Omicron Variant


Germany has had strict restrictions throughout the pandemic, even going as far as locking down the unvaccinated at one point. The government has also seen massive protests against some of the regulations it has put in place. This recent shift in government policy follows a shift in the public’s concern about the virus. 

Berlin Protest


Germany isn’t the only country in Europe loosening restrictions.

Several countries on the Continent have relaxed or even removed all restrictions. Including Finland, Norway, Denmark, France, and the list is growing every day. 

German Christmas Market

What do the rules “3G”, “2G” and “2G plus” mean?


This system is used across Germany and Austria but can be a little confusing for an outsider. Here’s what these designations mean:

  • 3G: persons who recovered from COVID, fully vaccinated persons, or tested persons are admitted
  • 2G: persons who recovered from COVID or fully vaccinated persons are admitted
  • 2G plus: persons who recovered from COVID or fully vaccinated persons are admitted if they can also present a negative test result (People with a booster vaccination do not need a test)
German Christmas Market

It’s mandatory to wear a mask indoors, on public transit, and where social distancing is not possible. The mask must be FFP2 or KN95, cloth masks are not accepted.  Work from home orders are still in place throughout most of the country. Schools are beginning to reopen in most regions.

75% of the country is fully vaccinated and 55% have received a booster shot. The government has floated the idea of a vaccination mandate, similar to Austria’s, but some officials are beginning to question if it’s necessary at this point in the pandemic. 

FFP2 Face mask


Currently fully vaccinated Americans can enter Germany without providing a negative COVID test. For unvaccinated travelers, it’s a little more difficult. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will need to “demonstrate an important need to travel”. You can find more information about that here. To get a German digital COVID certificate, foreigners can enter any pharmacy and a temporary certificate will be generated for you.

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Ken

Saturday 19th of February 2022

This isn't lifting restrictions. Lifting restrictions is returning to 2019 policies. But global politicians have decided that controlling the movement and other important aspects of people's lives, like eating, needs to happen because of a mild flu.

Sandy Twiddy

Friday 18th of February 2022

I am travelling from Canada to Portugal mid March with a two hour stopover in Frankfurt. I am a little confused if I have to fill out the e forms before I enter if I am just on a stopover. Also I have my booster vaccine. Any knowledge would be so helpful.

marina staseva

Friday 18th of February 2022

Does fully vaccinated have an expiration date i.e. 270? Still confusing on what is considered vaccinated once restrictions are lifted.

ajdj

Friday 18th of February 2022

what about masks?

Adam

Friday 18th of February 2022

@ajdj, Masks are supposed to make you remember plandemic is not over and they can reimpose all the restrictions any time they please.

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 18th of February 2022

Look like unless they change their minds before now and then, masks will still be required in most indoor spaces

Sebastian

Friday 18th of February 2022

As a german native i can tell you, don’t visit germany. We still have the strictest restrictions in the world (Look Covid Stringency Index), high inflation ( Most expensive Fuel and electricity cost in europe) and political tension. I live in a 1,1 million habitant city and the streets are empty like in a small polish village. The only social life right now in Germany are demonstrations. Better visit Switzerland if you want to have a „German Like Experience“ or any other european country. But Germany is really a nightmare for non authoritarian, freedom loving people.

Dreamgirl

Saturday 19th of February 2022

@Sebastian, I would also not recommend Germany due to internal tensions, as well as considering that Germany is looking to make vaccines mandatory for all adults by October. Quoting DW, despite the seeming loosening of restrictions, "Chancellor Scholz left no room for doubt that he remains supportive of a general vaccine mandate [...] He also said he was confident that German politicians — whom he "is taking at their word" — would pass legislation enabling a vaccine mandate by October."

This is a bit disconcerting because many EU nations look up to Germany and adapt their legislation.

Christian

Friday 18th of February 2022

@Sebastian, looks like East Germany during the Cold War had more freedom.