The German coalition government has agreed to introduce new and less stringent local rules for COVID-19 once existing rules are no longer in place.
The current rules that Germany will remain in place will remain in effect until March 19. Then, German ministers suggested that the country only maintain basic COVID-19 rules, such as wearing a face mask in hospitals and on public transport, TheSchengen.com reports.
If only basic provisions are kept, this means that travelers, as well as German citizens, will not be required to follow additional rules when arriving at bars, cafes, restaurants and other indoor public places.
However, German authorities still need to come up with an official statement on the matter and provide more detailed information on which rules will be relaxed.
According to Deutsche Welle, even after the rules are relaxed, German states will still have the possibility to introduce specific measures for specific regions based on the level of risk. This means that places in certain areas with high infection rates will be able to reintroduce the requirement to provide a certificate of vaccination for people who wish to access.
The same note that apart from the requirement to wear masks, other rules may remain in place, at least until April, when states need time to outline the new restrictions.
The decision to ease some of the COVID-19 restrictions comes despite increased vaccination rates within the territory of Germany.
Germany recorded the largest number of infections recorded in a single day for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic. The German body responsible for disease prevention and control, the Robert Koch Institute, announced that Germany has reported more than 262,700 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
In addition, the same showed that the number of cases per 100,000 residents has also increased in the past seven days, reaching more than 1,388,500 infections.
Previously, Germany updated its entry rules for all travelers. Since March 3, all countries have been removed from the high-risk list. All travelers, regardless of their country of origin, can now enter Germany without having to follow additional entry rules such as testing and quarantine requirements.
However, the authorities made it clear that travelers from the EU/Schengen area and those from a safe third country still need to provide a certificate of vaccination, refund or a negative COVID-29 test result in order to be allowed unrestricted entry into the country.
In turn, stricter rules apply to travelers from third countries. Non-EU travelers are only allowed to enter Germany if they hold a valid vaccination certificate. Return certificates and negative test results issued by authorities of other countries not recognized in Germany.