Germany | Corona Crisis

Stricter rules for gastronomy decided nationwide

In Germany, recovered and double-vaccinated persons will in future have to present a negative rapid test or booster proof when visiting a restaurant.
IMAGO / Sven Simon
In Germany, recovered and double-vaccinated persons will in future have to present a negative rapid test or booster proof when visiting a restaurant.

In the fight against the swelling next Corona wave, the federal and state governments have agreed on uniformly stricter requirements for visits to restaurants. Accordingly, vaccinated and recovered persons must in the future additionally prove a negative test or a booster vaccination for a visit to a restaurant.

Due to skyrocketing infection numbers, the federal and state governments have decided to take new measures in the fight against the Corona virus. In particular, the gastronomy in Germany came into focus at the meeting. In Germany, for example, only vaccinated and recovered people with an additional booster or a daily negative rapid test will soon be allowed into restaurants. This so-called 2G-plus rule is to be applied nationwide, irrespective of incidence.

Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt hesitate

However, not all states want to participate. For now, Saxony-Anhalt will stick with its current Corona measures and will not additionally rely on tests for convalescents and vaccinated persons in restaurants. In Saxony-Anhalt, unlike in other states, there is almost only the delta variant of the corona virus, so new measures are not necessary for the time being, said Minister President Reiner Haseloff (CDU) in Magdeburg. "It is our task to find differentiated solutions." Everyone will find their own tact.

Implementation in Bavaria has also not yet been decided. "I have asked the Minister of Health to check whether this is really necessary from our point of view. We are very, very reluctant and skeptical there. We have also made a statement on this today, we will decide it next Tuesday then finally," said Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). Söder stressed that Bavaria had made a protocol declaration, according to which the federal-state decision "in large parts falls short of the Bavarian legal situation already in force."

Even before the consultations of Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) with the state premiers on Friday, several politicians of the federal and state governments had spoken out in favor of vaccinated and convalescent (2G) in the future to additionally prove a negative test or a booster vaccination. In order to relieve in particular the catering trade in this difficult situation, economic aids are to be extended, so Scholz in the press conference.

Sharp criticism from Dehoga

Sharp criticism came from the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga)."Nationwide 2G plus would be a catastrophe for pubs and restaurants," chief executive Ingrid Hartges told the Bild newspaper. Innkeepers should not be the ones to suffer if the government "apparently wants to create incentives for the third vaccination". Instead it applies to develop inoculation and test capacities, so that this "demoralizing situation" is terminated as fast as possible.

"Once again, after the recent decisions, it is the case that the system catering industry is again faced with clear and harsh restrictions. This is more than disappointing, makes stunned and plunges once again the many medium-sized companies in my industry in existential worries," so also Andrea Belegante, chief executive Bundesverband Systemgastronomie (BdS) in a first statement.

Berlin's governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) explained that 2G plus is actually an improvement. In the capital, half of the population will soon be boosted and will then be able to go to restaurants without testing, she told rbb-Inforadio. "You always have to see: The alternative is complete closure. And the restaurant association definitely doesn't want that either."

Omicron spreads rapidly

For the first time in a good two and a half weeks, the seven-day incidence rose above the 300 mark, with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) giving the number of reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days at 303.4 on Friday. It had been rising steadily recently, with the RKI assuming under-reporting of new infections due to fewer tests and reports in the wake of holidays and vacations. The proportion of the more contagious Omikron variant of the virus is increasing rapidly.