There are still Corona restrictions in Bavaria, but there aren't many anymore - and the biggest one has been history since this Saturday: the mandatory wearing of masks on local buses and trains. The Bavarian state government has decided that mouth-to-nose coverings no longer have to be worn here.
However, the mask requirement continues to apply in various health and care facilities. In addition, there is a mandatory test in clinics and nursing homes. That's basically it for Corona regulations. An overview of the currently valid rules in Bavaria:
Where does a mask requirement apply?
- It is true that masks no longer have to be worn on local public transport in Bavaria - i.e. on regional trains, city buses and underground, suburban and streetcar trains. In long-distance trains and buses, however, things are different: Here, if you are older than 14, you still have to put on an FFP2 mask. However, this only applies in the vehicles, not at the stations and stops.
- In many health care facilities and homes, you need an FFP2 mask. These include doctors' offices, hospitals and day clinics, preventive care, dialysis and rehabilitation facilities, rescue and outpatient care services, full and partial inpatient care facilities, as well as facilities for people with disabilities, shelters for the homeless and refugees. In principle, this mask requirement applies to patients, residents and visitors. However, there are exceptions.
Who is exempt from the mask requirement?
- Children up to their sixth birthday, the deaf or hard of hearing, and people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, which must be documented by a certificate, are generally exempt from the mask requirement.
- In places where FFP2 masks are mandatory, a medical mask (surgical mask) is also sufficient for children and adolescents between the ages of six and 16.
- In doctors' offices or clinics, the FFP2 mask can be removed if this is necessary during treatment - for example, at the dentist.
- Bavaria has also imposed the mask requirement only where "there is a risk of contact with vulnerable groups of people" - for example, not in the administrative building of a hospital.
- Nursing home residents do not have to wear masks in their rooms or even in common areas. Visitors, however, do - they may only take it off in the room of the person they are visiting if that person has a single room.
- Bavaria also waives the mask requirement in therapeutic daycare centers and workshops for the disabled, in contrast to what is actually prescribed by the federal government.
Where is a Corona test required?
In hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, as well as retirement homes, nursing homes or facilities for the disabled, there is a testing requirement: Here, visitors and employees need a current, negative Corona test; for employees, two tests per week are sufficient if they have been vaccinated or have recovered.
Exemptions: Employees of these facilities are exempt if they have no contact with particularly vulnerable people - for example, if they work in the administration of a hospital. In Bavaria, there is also no compulsory testing at daycare centers for special needs children. The testing obligation also does not apply to children up to their sixth birthday or to children who have not yet started school.
Test certificates must be submitted in writing (printed out or on a cell phone). A PCR test may not be older than 48 hours, a rapid test not older than 24 hours. A self-test is only sufficient if it was done under supervision, which is confirmed in writing (maximum 24 hours old). Only vaccinated or recovered employees may perform a self-test even without supervision.
A dying person may always be visited, i.e. even without presenting a negative corona test.
What else is recommended?
The state government recommends protecting oneself by, for example, keeping a distance from other people or generally wearing a mask indoors, on buses and trains. It advises recreational facilities or stores to adopt hygiene concepts (for example, disinfection). However, all this is no longer mandatory.
How are violations punished?
A fine of 250 euros is provided for violations of the mask or testing obligation. For facilities that do not take care of the implementation of the mask obligation, up to 5000 euros can be due.
What applies in schools and daycare centers?
There are no special rules for schools, nor for kindergartens, daycare centers or after-school programs. Regulations such as the mask or testing requirement there have been abolished.
What applies in the workplace?
The 3-G rule in the workplace no longer applies since March 2022 - nor does the obligation to allow employees to work from home or to offer free corona tests. Although companies must define hygiene concepts in the workplace, there are no specific requirements for this.
What new rules could be coming?
A new Infection Protection Act has been in force since the beginning of October. With it, the federal government enables the states to adopt more far-reaching corona measures if they deem this necessary in view of the respective corona situation. The state government has not yet done so - and there are no signs that this will change anytime soon. If it did, then it would be possible in Bavaria, for example, to impose a mask requirement in secondary schools, cultural and leisure facilities, to introduce a testing requirement in daycare centers and schools, or even to set visitor restrictions or distance bans for events.
What applies upon entry?
In Bavaria, the same regulations apply upon entry as nationwide - i.e., no restrictions at present. It is true that anyone entering from a so-called virus variant area must register and, under certain circumstances, go into quarantine. However, there are currently no such restrictions, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
The legal basis
The special Corona rules for Bavaria are in the Seventeenth Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance (17th BayIfSMV). It is still valid until January 20. Since December 10, the mask obligation in public transport is no longer in it.The legal basis for this is the Infection Protection Act of the Federal Government, which also regulates the obligation to wear masks in long-distance travel or in health care facilities.
All regulations for Corona patients, which replace the previous obligation to quarantine or isolation, are in a separate general decree of the Bavarian Ministry of Health.Corona regulations in the workplace are found in the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV) of the federal government.
Image by Fernando Zhiminaicela