Germany Restricts Access to Non-Essential Businesses for Unvaccinated Individuals

Germany announced that it will impose new restrictions on individuals who are not vaccinated. Although an official version of the rules has yet to be released, Germany’s government website has provided a summary of the new restrictions.

Based on that summary, individuals who have not been vaccinated are allowed to shop only in grocery stores, pharmacies and drugstores. Only individuals who have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 are allowed to enter all other stores. Restaurants, cinemas, movie theaters, and other “leisure facilities” are limited to vaccinated and recovered individuals as well.

The new restrictions also impose limits on gatherings and events. A person who is not vaccinated can meet only with members of their own household and, at most, two people of another household. This restriction does not apply to children under 14 years of age. Furthermore, in counties where there is an incidence rate greater than 350 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, private gatherings of vaccinated and recovered individuals are limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors. Clubs and discotheques must be closed in areas where there is an incidence rate of 350 or greater. The number of attendees at sporting, cultural and other major events is also limited to 30 to 50 percent of seating capacity, and no more than 5,000 attendees for indoor events and 15,000 attendees for outdoor events.

In addition to restrictions on unvaccinated individuals, gatherings, and events, the new rules require masks to be worn in schools at all grade levels. The rules also ban the sale of firecrackers and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

The rules further provide that dentists, pharmacists and nursing staff are allowed to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and that aid for companies affected by the pandemic will be extended. The government will also initiate a vaccination requirement for employees in certain facilities, such as hospitals and elderly care facilities. We will provide information on further developments in future blog posts.