Changes to the Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz) and other laws have been in effect in Germany since 24 November 2021. The protective measures under the new law are in place until 19 March 2022 and via resolution of the German Bundestag can be extended once by three months.

The following measures apply nationwide:

  • Only those who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested are allowed to enter the workplace (so-called 3G rule).
    • This applies for employees and employers.
    • Information about the proof of compliance with the 3G rule can be left with the employer to simplify checks, but it is mandatory to carry the proof at all times for inspections by the authorities.
    • Regarding testing, employers must monitor and document the evidence on a daily basis.
    • All employers concerned can question employees, if they comply with the 3G rule.
    • Refusal by employees to comply may have consequences under labor law. In addition, employers may be fined up to EUR25,000 if they do not comply with the control and presentation of 3G proof obligations.
  • There is a return to working from home.
    • Employers must offer to employees the option to work from home, provided that their role is suited to home working. Whether the role is suitable for home working or not shall be made by the employer.
  • Additional testing obligations apply to employees, employers and visitors in certain locations such as care facilities, rehabilitation facilities and facilities for integration assistance. These obligations also apply to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered from COVID-19. The testing of the employees should be monitored.
  • In local and long-distance public transport as well as in air traffic, the 3G rule applies to passengers, and control and service personnel.

The federal states can impose stricter regulations if, and as long as, there is a concrete danger of the spread of COVID-19 in another country, and the parliament in the affected country determines so. However, curfews, and blanket precautionary closures of schools and daycare centers, restaurants, or retail stores should no longer be possible. Religious services and gatherings may not be banned across the board, and sports activities may not be prohibited. Likewise, travel and overnight stays may also not be prohibited. A transitional rule applies to previous measures by the federal states until 15 December 2021. That is why stricter measures are in force in some hotspots in Bavaria.

The newly formed government alliance made up of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP will reorganize the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. When the coalition agreement was presented, it was announced that a permanent federal-state crisis team would be set up in the future. The future coalition partners also spoke out in favor of compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups. In addition, a general compulsory vaccination was not excluded.

See here for further information from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.