Last week, the German Bundestag and Bundesrat approved a necessary amendment to the COVID-19 Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance, which cleared the way for the Federal states to implement the new “Corona Quarantine Rules” announced on January 7, 2022 at the Conference of Minister Presidents.
The increasing 7-day incidence proves that the Omikron virus variant is spreading rapidly. Due to the increasing numbers of infections, the duration of quarantine/isolation for contacts and infected persons will be adjusted and simplified. In essence, the new regulations are about keeping important supply areas such as hospitals, police and fire departments running – even if very many people are infected at the same time.
Until now, for example, a strict quarantine regulation of 14 days applied to contact persons of someone infected with the Omikron virus variant. It was not possible to “clear” oneself from this quarantine by means of a negative test. This is now changing fundamentally.
For infected persons the following will apply from now on:
- Infected individuals must be in isolation for 10 days, regardless of vaccination or recovery status. Isolation then ends without the need for testing.
- After seven days, it is possible to test clear by a negative PCR or certified rapid antigen test and end the isolation early.
- For healthcare professionals, as well as people working in nursing facilities and institutions for integration assistance, early termination of isolation after seven days is only possible if they have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours and can present a negative PCR test.
In particular, easier regulations will apply in the future for contact persons of infected persons:
- Contacts with full vaccination protection no longer need to be quarantined. Fully vaccinated persons are those who have already received a third booster vaccination. There is also no quarantine obligation for persons who just received their second vaccination dose, vaccinated convalescents and convalescents who just recovered, i.e. persons in whom the illness or second vaccination occurred no longer than three months ago.
- All other contacts must go into quarantine for 10 days.
- However, individuals can clear themselves after seven days with a negative PCR or certified rapid antigen test and end the quarantine early.
- Children and adolescents in daycare centers, schools, etc. can end quarantine as a contact person after only five days by presenting a negative PCR or certified rapid antigen test. Exceptions are possible if there are additional protective measures in place at the respective facility, such as regular testing and strict mask and distance concepts.
The regulations agreed between the federal and state governments are nationwide minimum standards, most of which have already been implemented by the federal states (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, Hesse (English version), Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia – all links except for the one for Hesse point to the German versions of the respective state regulations). In Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the federal-state resolution has apparently not yet been implemented. The respective state regulations must be observed; stricter regulations remain possible.
The next Conference of Minister Presidents regarding the corona situation is scheduled for January 24, 2022. We will keep you up to date on further developments.