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Autumn/Winter Corona Rules

The Covid rules for the Autumn/Winter season in Germany have been finalised and agreed upon by the Government. The aim of the new Infection Protection Act is to prevent a high number of deaths,  the loss of productive hours, and to avoid the long-term effects of Covid-19.

The new rules come into effect on 1 October 2022 and will be valid until 7 April 2023.

Public tansport

  • FFP2 masks are mandatory on long-distance trains.  Children and people between 6 and 13 years, as well as staff, can wear medical masks.
  • Air passengers no longer have to wear masks inside a plane

Hospitals and care facilities

  • It is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask inside medical practices, dialysis facilities, hospitals, care facilities (Pflegeeinrichtungen) or other healthcare facilities
  • Access for staff and visitors to clinics, hospitals and care facilities is subject to a negative test. This also applies to employees in outpatient care facilities and comparable service providers
  • Exceptions may be made for visitors who have just been vaccinated or recovered.

Federal States (Bundesländer) - Stage 1 (Stufe 1)

The federal states can also issue more extensive regulations to ensure the functionality of the health system or other critical infrastructure. From October they are allowed to tighten their corona measures if the situation warrants it. The following rules can be added or amended:

  • They can amend the mask requirements, and include local public transport, and publicly accessible indoor spaces, which include restaurants. Exceptions can be allowed if the person can present proof of a negative test. It can also apply to people who have proof of vaccinations or recovery
  • Masks can be made mandatory for children from the fifth grade if it is necessary to maintain regular face-to-face classes
  • Tests obligation (Testpflicht) in schools, daycare centres and other facilities such as accommodation for asylum seekers, shelters for the homeless and detention facilities.  A rapid antigen test should be sufficient for suspected corona infections. There will be no need for a medical certificate
  • Lockdowns and limitations on contacts are not foreseen or planned

The federal states can issue further regulations if there is a concrete risk to the health system. If a parliament identifies a specific threat to the health system or other critical infrastructure for the entire state or a specific region, additional measures can be mandated. The following rules can be added or amended:

  • Mask requirement (FFP2 mask or medical mask) at outdoor events if a minimum distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained.
  • Distance requirement and a limit for the number of people at events in publicly accessible indoor spaces.
  • Obligation to implement hygiene concepts for wholesale and retail, companies, facilities, trade, and events in the leisure, cultural and sports sectors.

Federal States (Bundesländer) - Stage 2 (Stufe 2)

Vaccination status

From October 1, 2022, you need to have been vaccinated three times to be seen as fully vaccinated.
If you had two vaccinations and one recovery, you will also be seen as fully vaccinated if:

  • before the first vaccination, an infection was detected by an antibody test or
  • if an infection detected by a PCR test occurred before the second vaccination or
  •  if, after the second vaccination, an infection has been detected by a PCR test and 28 days have passed since the test.

Vaccinations will not play a role in access to restaurants or events as they did last winter. Vaccinations are seen as necessary to be well protected.


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