Corona regulations: what will apply from October?

The Bundestag has decided on changes to the Infection Protection Act for the coming months. On September 16, the Federal Council also approved the changes. What applies in the period from October to Easter?

Some regulations apply nationwide, others can be determined individually by the federal states. Depending on the infection situation, those responsible have different options.

Corona rules – these apply nationwide

In the period from October 1, 2022 to April 7, 2023 (Good Friday), the following regulations apply nationwide:

  • Long-distance transport:  People aged 14 and over must wear an FFP2 mask on long-distance public transport. Exceptions apply to children between the ages of 6 and 13 as well as bus and train staff. In these cases, a medical mask (surgical mask) is sufficient. Children under the age of 6 still do not have to wear mouth and nose protection. Masks will no longer be compulsory on airplanes from October 1st.
  • Clinics and care facilities:  Both employees and visitors must wear an FFP2 mask. For a visit to a hospital or a care facility, a current, negative antigen rapid test must also be proven. The staff must test themselves three times a week.
  • Medical practices and comparable facilities:  In medical practices and therapeutic practices, dialysis centers and comparable medical facilities, there is an obligation to wear an FFP2 mask. Pharmacies are not affected by this regulation, but owners can set a mask requirement for the respective pharmacy by domiciliary rights.

Which regulations can the federal states adopt?

The individual federal states can each decide on different regulations. These are partly dependent on the pandemic situation.

In the following areas, the introduction of extended corona regulations is possible regardless of an aggravation of the infection situation:

  • Local public transport and publicly accessible indoor areas:  In local public transport, countries can make it compulsory to wear a medical mask or an FFP2 mask. The same applies to publicly accessible indoor spaces.
  • Culture and leisure:  Masks may also be compulsory in cultural and leisure facilities. These include, for example, restaurants, bars or museums. As an alternative to wearing mouth and nose protection, proof of a daily negative antigen test can serve. For people who have just been vaccinated or have recovered, the federal states can decide to exempt people from the obligation to wear masks for a maximum of three months after they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the illness.
  • Schools and day-care centers:  If classroom teaching cannot otherwise be maintained, the federal states can decide to make masks compulsory from the fifth grade. In general, there may be an obligation to test in day-care centers and schools.

If the pandemic situation requires it, the federal states can decide on  further measures by resolution of the state parliaments  . These include, among other things, an extension of the mask requirement, distance regulations and restrictions on people indoors. According to the decision, a concrete aggravation of the situation and thus the possibility of extended restrictions occurs when the critical infrastructure and the health system in the respective federal state are endangered in their function.

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