Bundestag and Bundesrat approve new quarantine rules in Germany
The Bundestag and the Bundesrat have paved the way for Germany’s new quarantine rules to come into force. In future, quarantine periods for people who test positive for coronavirus and their close contacts will be significantly reduced. The new rules will come into effect at different times across the country.
Federal Council approves Germany’s new quarantine rules
The Federal Council (Bundesrat) has given the green light to reduced quarantine and self-isolation periods for positive COVID cases and contact persons. After the measure received the approval of the Bundestag on Thursday, it was also waved through by the Bundesrat on Friday morning.
Among other things, the revised rules mean that the quarantine periods for both COVID cases and close contacts have been reduced to a maximum of 10 days. Both groups can also test out of isolation on day seven with a PCR test or approved rapid test (not a self-test).
Contact persons are further exempt from having to quarantine if they have received a booster shot, or have been vaccinated against or recovered from coronavirus in the past three months.
The regulations will now be left up to the individual federal states to implement, and so there may be some differences as to timing and detail. If in doubt, it’s best to check with your local authority for the current rules in your area.
Karl Lauterbach calls for people to get vaccinated
“We have tried to shorten the quarantine period as much as is medically possible,” Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told the Bundesrat. “We want the quarantine to be as short as it can be, especially for those who work in medical fields.”
While warning the public not to underestimate Omicron, Lauterbach did strike a hopeful note, saying that he saw an opportunity to end the pandemic in Germany this year. “We have to seize this opportunity, and we have the resources to do it,” he said. “We are privileged.”
He once again called for anyone who has not yet been protected to get vaccinated or boosted - and reaffirmed his intention to proceed with a general vaccination mandate - to help defuse the pandemic into a situation where Germany only sees sporadic outbreaks and few deaths.