So once again we find ourselves in the midst of another COVID-19 wave, the Omnicron wave to be exact!  And once again the conversation turns to restrictions and how to minimise the enormously high infection rate that Germany is currently experiencing.  As the government continues to try to prevent the health system buckling under the strain of yet another variant, restrictions are being tightened further.  

With this in mind, we breakdown what we can ascertain now about the latest restrictions.  Also, we wrote a simplified, or rather birds eye view of the restrictions for quick reference!

2G Plus measures implemented in Hessen

As the the government scrambles to contain the Omnicron wave, or rather manage the strain on health care facilities, the COVID-19 restrictions continue to evolve.  As a result of the increasing number of hotspots in Hessen, it has become evident that the 2G Plus rule will be more widely implemented.  These restrictions are in effect as of January 17th, 2022.

Restrictions implemented before Christmas will continue

Furthermore, the federal and state governments agreed, among other things:

  • It is strongly advised to wear FFP2 masks in shops and when using local and long-distance public transport. These are particularly effective in preventing infection.
  • The contact restrictions decided before Christmas continue to apply: For vaccinated and recovered people, private get-togethers with a maximum of ten people are allowed. People who have not been vaccinated or who have not recovered may only meet members of their own household and two people from another household. Children up to 14 years do not count.
  • The 2G regulation for access to facilities and events for cultural and leisure activities and to retailers will also remain. Shops for daily needs are excluded.
  • The federal and state governments are calling on employers and employees to make greater use of the home office in the next few weeks in view of the infection situation. Working from home means fewer contacts at work and on the way to work.
  • Financial support is still available for the companies affected by the Corona protective measures, including the new Bridging Aid IV.

The federal and state governments want to meet again on January 24th to discuss the current pandemic situation and possible further steps.

Latest Quarantine and Isolation Rules

Hessen is sticking to the previous rules

“The measures taken so far have proven their worth and we will continue with them in Hesse,” said Hesse’s Prime Minister Volker Bouffier (CDU) when he presented the federal-state resolutions in Wiesbaden following the deliberations.

These refer mainly to what has been in force in Hesse since mid-December. “We have therefore decided that we will keep the previous rules for Hessen.”

2G measures implemented in Hessen.

Further to the COVID-19 restrictions implemented on the 25th of November 2021, more extensive 2G measures are being implemented across Hessen and come into effect on 5th December 2021.  Whilst the further tightening of restrictions is set to be targeting the unvaccinated, we’d be naive to believe they won’t affect us all.

Notable Changes are as follows:

  • The 2G + option will be scrapped for operators of restaurants, cinemas, theatres or discos.  Meaning, it is no longer possible for them to completely do away with distance regulations and mask requirements, if, their patrons include only the vaccinated or recovered who also provide an additional daily quick test.
  • Introduction of 2G in retail with the exception of basic services. Basic services includes, for example, supermarkets, drug stores and pharmacies.
  • Young people up to the age of 18 will continue to have access to facilities and events where 2G applies due to regular participation in the tests in schools. However, this regulation is to expire as soon as a comprehensive range of vaccinations is available for this age group.
  • Vaccinated and recovered pupils will now receive an offer to be tested at school once a week.
  • Where access to facilities, companies, places or events is restricted to persons with proof of vaccination, recovered or test, they are obliged to provide proof of this at the request of the competent authority or the respective operator or organiser. From now on, the evidence should be provided in digitally readable form (e.g. with a QR code).

Notable Changes for the unvaccinated:

  • A maximum of 2 households may meet in public spaces, this is also a recommendation for private space.
  • Will be limited to basic services which includes, for example, supermarkets, drug stores and pharmacies.

The hope is that with the new measures in place it will drive more people to the vaccination centres.

Furthermore, RKI statistics indicate that most of the deaths related to COVID-19 can be traced back to unvaccinated individuals. And according to intensive care medics, 90% of the COVID patients in ICUs in Germany are unvaccinated.

Relief for those with booster vaccinations

Wherever the 2G Plus rule applies according to the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, vaccinated persons and recovered must also present a current negative corona test. This test specification does not apply to people who have already received a (third) booster vaccination.

2G and 2G+ COVID-19 Restrictions  and where they applicable

    1. Indoors (for all of the above):
      • Up to 10 people: no regulation.
      • From 11 to 100 people: 2G as well as distance and hygiene concept.
      • From 101 people: 2G + as well as distance and hygiene concept.
      • From 250 people: approval from the responsible health authorities.
    2. Outdoors (for all of the above):
      • Up to 10 people: no regulation.
      • From 11 to 100 people: 2G distance and hygiene concept.
      • From 101 people: 2G as well as distance and hygiene concept.
      • From 3,000 people: 2G approval requirement and capacity restriction from the 3,001th place to 25 percent.  Masks must continue to be worn even if distance can be maintained

**Cultural Activities ie. museums, memorials

**Events ie. theatre and cinemas MASKS REQUIRED WHILST SEATED

  • Gastronomy masks required until seated, hygiene precautions and social distance required
    • Indoors:  2G+
    • Outdoors: 2G
  • Retail services excluding basic services which include for example supermarkets, drug stores and pharmacies.
  • Body-related services ie. massage. FFP2 masks are also mandatory
  • Prostitution establishments plus compulsory tests, hygiene precautions and recording of contact data.

3G COVID-19 Restrictions  and where they applicable

  1. Work place, access to the workplace is only permitted for employees with 3G status as of November 24th . So if you want to go to work, you either have to be vaccinated, recovered or tested on a daily basis. A rapid antigen test is valid for 24 hours, a PCR test for 48 hours. The employer must check the G status of his employees. Unvaccinated people have to provide evidence of tests themselves on all working days.
  2. Medically and hygienically required services
  3. Public Transport, masks are required on all vehicles and within station buildings
  4. Universities masks are also mandatory
  5. Church Services and other indoor religious gatherings the application of the 3G rules is strongly recommended
  6. In children’s day care, the 3G rule applies to (self-employed) staff.

Contact restrictions when meeting with unvaccinated people

There are additional contact restrictions for meetings in public, in which at least one unvaccinated or not recovered person takes part: Only one’s own household and a maximum of two people from another household are permitted. The previous exceptions, e.g. for people under the age of 18, remain in place.

Liquidity assistance of up to 500,000 euros is being extended again

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the commercial sector (including commercial social enterprises with the intention of making a profit) and freelance workers based in Hesse can apply for liquidity support for Hessian SMEs beyond December 31, 2021. The Hessian Ministry of Finance, together with the Hessian Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Hessen Economic and Infrastructure Bank (WIBank), decided to renew the aid program until March 31, 2022.

Schools will continue classroom teaching after the Christmas break

Schools will start again on Monday in Hesse after the Christmas break.  The Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs met on Wednesday 5th of January, in which questions about school operations were discussed in light of the expanding Omicron variant.  It was decided that classroom teaching would continue and that all necessary measures would be in place to keep classroom lessons in place despite the increasing threat of the Omnicron variant.  Hessen will continue to adhere to their tried and tested strict protective and hygiene measures. For the time being, this includes compulsory masks in class and three tests per week for not fully vaccinated pupils. ”Vaccinated pupils and teachers have also been able to test themselves regularly in schools for several weeks. “The state also appeals to parents and their children to be vaccinated or boosted as recommended. As that is the safest protection and the fastest way out of the pandemic. “

NEW Hotspot regulation

As soon as the incidence in a district or an independent city is over 350 on three consecutive days, additional “hotspot regulations” apply from the next day.

  • Alcohol ban in busy places and spaces. These are to be determined by the municipalities.
  • Mask requirement in pedestrian zones . The municipalities will specify where this comes into effect.
  • For events (more than 10 people) as well as in the cultural, sports and leisure area (sports field, fitness studio, cinema, theater, etc.) and in restaurants and tourist overnight stays, the following applies: Inside 2G-Plus. Outside 2G.
  • Christmas markets : Access only for vaccinated and convalescent people (2G) . The municipalities can also issue an alcohol ban within the 2G area.
  • 2G Plusrule will be applicable for events outside with over 3,000 participants. The mask requirement remains.
  • The number of people at private parties and gatherings is limited to 50 indoors and 200 outdoors .
  • Closure of dance halls , clubs and discos as well as prostitution centers .

These “hotspot regulations” cease to apply as soon as the incidence value is below the threshold of 350 for five consecutive days.

The ordinance comes into force on December 16. This means that the first day on which the new hotspot rules can take effect in a hotspot municipality is December 19th.

Current Numbers and Infections

As reported by the Government

“The number of new infections with the SARS-CoV2 virus as well as the number of severe disease are still at a very high level in Hesse. As of December 14, 2021, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days is 247.6 nationwide. The same applies to the incidence of hospitalizations and the occupancy rates in intensive care units with COVID-19 patients. As of December 14, 2021, 310 COVID-19 patients are receiving intensive care. The incidence of hospitalization in Hesse is currently 4.56 per 100,000 inhabitants. The incidence of hospitalization is particularly high among unvaccinated people. The death rate in connection with a corona infection has recently increased.”

3G and 2G Explained

So no, 3G and 2G have nothing to do with your mobile signal.  In the most simplest of terms 3G refers to

  1. Geimpft (vaccinated)
  2. Genesen (recovered)
  3. Getestet (tested)

Whilst 2G refers to:

  1. Geimpft (vaccinated)
  2. Genesen

In other words, where 3G protocol is required for access you must prove that either you are vaccinated (geimpf), recovered (genesen) from Covid-19 in the past 6 months or have a negative test (getestet).  For example a PCR no older than than 48 hours or Rapid Antigen test within the last 24 hours.  And, where 2G protocol is required you must either vaccinated (geimpf) or recovered (genesen)

7 day incidence rate no longer determines current restrictions

The government has recently replaced previously used 7 day incidence rate with two new nationwide criteria.   Going forward, this measure will be replaced by:

  1.  Hospitalisation incidence**: Number of people newly admitted to hospital due to Corona within 7 days and
  2. With Corona Patients occupied intensive care beds in Hessen. If the threshold values are exceeded, the state government immediately takes additional protective measures.

Further to this it will be divided into level 1, level 2 and level 3

Level 1: Hospitalisation incidence> 8

  • 2G

Level 2: Incidence of hospitalisation> 6

  • 2G + meaning vaccinated and recovered will further need to provide a negative test

Level 3: Incidence of hospitalisation> 9

  • Further restrictions and potentially contact restrictions

** Hospitalisation Incidence:  the number of people admitted to hospital for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days

Also, the vaccination strategy continues to forge ahead and continues to give us all hope!  Furthermore find a list of local Frankfurt Covid-19 test centres


The government have updated the restrictions applying to the type of masks that are now required.  Medical masks (ie. FFP2, KN95 or general medical/surgical masks) are required.

Where are you required to wear a mask:

  • Inside all public places and spaces ALSO, they are required at your seat with the exception of gastronomy

Where are masks not required:

  • Outdoors, with the exception of crowded situations (queues, crowds and where distance cannot be maintained)

Citizens arriving from COVID-19 variant areas

  • Anyone arriving from  areas and countries with widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants must immediately enter in 14-day quarantine
  • It is not possible to end quarantine by having a negative test
  • A corona vaccination or illness does not exempt one from entering quarantine

To find a list of countries affected check out RKI website (English version available in PDF)

Free COVID-19 testing Continues

All citizens – regardless of their occupational group – can have themselves tested again on a regular basis. Regardless of the vaccination or convalescence status, the federal government has assumed the cost of rapid antigen tests since November 13th. However, please be aware if you are unvaccinated, as of December 5th, these tests will no longer provide you the access you previously experienced to many public places and services.

Previously the Hessen government had advised free weekly tests for citizens would phase out as of the 11th October.  However, the government has once again made a u-turn and as of the 13th of November citizens are entitled to free tests each week.  

Schools and day cares/kitas are of particular focus as the country drives toward maintaining students in the classrooms!  Schools will continue to test students 2/3 times per week in the hopes of keeping schools open and education a priority.

Importantly you can find your closest test centre here.  Input your postcode or area and it will give you a list of centres.

Finally, you may also find the following helpful:

  • Robert Kock Institute Incidence Rate by region
  • Robert Koch institute COVID-19 risk areas (a PDF of the latest information can be found there)
  • For General information call the Corona hotline of the Ministry of Social Affairs: 0800/5554666

Previous Frankfurt COVID-19 Restrictions:

Frankfurt COVID-19 restrictions can at times be difficult to come by in English.  With this in mind, we breakdown what we know about the latest restrictions.  Unfortunately for the foreseeable future it is likely to be a seesaw of events, up and down up and down!  The Hessen government has implemented a traffic light system of sorts which is very much dependent on the 7 day incidence rate.  In other words, restrictions will be implemented based on the following intervals:

  1. under 35
  2. over 35 and under 50
  3. over 50 but under 100
  4. over 100

Also, the vaccination strategy continues to forge ahead and continues to give us all hope!  Furthermore find a list of local Frankfurt Covid-19 test centres

Events (from 25 people):

  • Events can once again take place with more participants without approval.
  • For events held inside, the limit will be raised from 250 to 750 participants.
  • And in the future, events held outside will be allowed 1,500 participants instead of the previous 500. Important to note, vaccinated and convalescents individuals are not counted in this number.
  • Larger events still require approval.
  • Also indoor events, will no longer require a compulsory test if there are no more than 100 participants (this number includes vaccinated and recovered people).
  • At folk festivals and similar events, the contact details only need to be recorded for gastronomic offers.

Hotels and overnight stays:

A valid negative test (vaccinated / recovered / tested) must still be presented on arrival for tourist overnight stays. However, the previous compulsory weekly test is no longer required for longer stays.


The obligation to test for indoor catering is lifted. However, it is mandatory to wear a mask up to the seat.

Libraries and Archives:

It is only necessary to wear a mask up to the seat.

Major events:

Hessen adopts the regulations for major events that have been agreed by the heads of the state chancelleries. According to this, 50 percent occupancy is permitted for audiences of 5,000 up to a maximum of 25,000 people.

Clubs / discos:

Furthermore, dance events in clubs and discos are only permitted outdoors. However, the access regulation will be relaxed. In the future, one person per 5 square meters will be possible. Currently it is one person per 10 square meters of event space.

If the 7-day incidence in a district or an urban district rises above 35, these relaxations no longer apply and the previous measures apply.

  • Large sports and cultural events for up to a maximum of 5,000 people (including those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered) will need to be and can only be approved by the health authorities.
  • Participation limits for events, cultural offers and larger gatherings are limited to 500 people outdoors and 250 people indoors (plus those who have been vaccinated / recovered);
  • Admission to closed rooms at get-togethers, trade fairs, events and cultural offers is only possible with negative proof regardless of the number of participants (ie also for more than 25 up to and including 100 people).
  • Admission to the indoor catering only for guests with negative proof
  • Admission to casinos, gambling halls and similar facilities as well as to stay in betting agencies only for guests with negative proof.
  • In accommodation establishments with communal facilities, proof of negative evidence is required and, for longer stays, once a week.
  • General contact rule for public spaces: a maximum of 10 people from different households or two households, children up to and including 14 years, recovered and fully vaccinated persons do not count (corresponding recommendation for private apartments).
  • Prohibition of alcohol consumption in large public places and in corresponding facilities.
  • General obligation to wear medical masks in the interiors of publicly accessible buildings (including schools also at the seat) as well as in areas in which the minimum distances cannot be observed (especially on highly frequented traffic routes and places such as pedestrian zones).
  • General recommendation for home office.
  • Regular operation under pandemic conditions in the day-care centers.
  • Admission to events, cultural and leisure activities as well as larger outdoor gatherings and outdoor catering only with negative proof.
  • Participation limit for events, cultural offers and larger gatherings to 200 people outdoors and 100 people indoors (plus vaccinated / convalescent people); the competent authority can exceptionally permit a higher number of participants while ensuring continuous monitoring of compliance with the other requirements.
  • The above event rules apply to private celebrations in public or specially rented rooms.
  • Access restriction in retail: on the first 800 square meters of sales area a maximum of one customer per 10 square meters or part thereof and on the sales area exceeding 800 square meters a maximum of one customer per 20 square meters or part thereof; for shopping centers the respective total sales area is decisive. Up-to-date negative evidence is recommended in sales outlets that are not part of the basic supply shops.
  • Admission to the interiors of cultural and leisure facilities as well as fitness studios only with negative proof.
  • Further spacing and hygiene rules in gastronomy: only 10 people or two households plus fully vaccinated or recovered people as well as children up to and including 14 years at one table with appropriate table spacing, negative evidence also in outdoor catering.
  • In accommodation establishments with communal facilities: compulsory test twice a week as well as limitation of overnight capacities to 75 percent; exceeding the occupancy limit is permissible in establishments in which only overnight stays take place for necessary purposes.
  • Opening of dance halls, clubs, discos and similar facilities, also in the outdoor area, only as bars / restaurants.
  • Provision of body-friendly services only for customers with negative evidence.

As of May 17th Hessen has announced a two step implementation plan

Step 1:  Daily incident rate <100 for 5 consecutive days

  • Grades 1-6 will return to campus on a daily basis with strict hygiene measures to be observed by the schools
  • Along with full time professional students Grades 7 and up will return to campus on an alternating basis
  • However, graduating classes will return full time to face to face teaching
  • There is a compulsory COVID-19 tests twice a week for all students

Step 2:  Daily incident rate <100 for an additional 14 days or <50 for 5 consecutive days

  • Grade 7 and up will return to full time to face to face teaching
  • There is a compulsory COVID-19 tests twice a week for all students

The Daily incident rate will continue to be monitored and should they increase the following still applies

  • Daily incident rate <165 = continued hybrid learning continues (homeschooling and on campus learning)
  • Daily incident rate >165 = all face to face teaching to cease

** Please however, confirm with your individual school as they will receive direct instructions from the authorities

Restaurants will return to indoor dining, a reservation along with one of the following is required:

  • Negative test result within the last 24 hours
  • Vaccination pass showing the second jab was at least 14 days prior
  • Proof from the department of health stating you had COVID-19 within the last 6 months and are considered immune.
  • outdoor seating will no longer require Covid test however, it is still recommended

Coffee shops the following is required:

  • Registration inside cafe
  • Negative test result within the last 24 hours
  • Vaccination pass showing the second jab was at least 14 days prior
  • Masks
  • Social distancing
  • Proof from the department of health stating you had COVID-19 within the last 6 months and are considered immune.
  • outdoor seating will no longer require Covid test however, it is still recommended

Open again

  • gyms (strict adherence to hygiene rules)
  • fitness centres (strict adherence to hygiene rules)
  • pools (with limited numbers in place)
Click and Meet (incidence rate <100)
  • Negative test result within the last 24 hours
  • Vaccination pass showing the second jab was at least 14 days prior
  • Proof from the department of health stating you had COVID-19 within the last 6 months and are considered immune.
Click and Collect (incidence rate >150)
  • Retail (click and collect is permitted)
  • Negetive Covid test is no longer required

As it stands health ministers agreed on June 16th that travel restrictions/rules will remain in effect until September 2021.  What this means:

  • The obligation to register (digital entry registration) and the general obligation to test air travellers before departure are adhered to.
  • Proof of recovery or vaccination are also sufficient as proof, provided that the entry does not come from a virus variant area.
  • RKI website provides the data on the classifications on risk areas (a pdf is provided in English at the top of the page)

Entry from a virus variant area:

  • a quarantine of 14 days applies without the possibility of free testing.

Entry from risk areas:

  • Anyone returning from risk areas has to be in quarantine for ten days, unless one actively proves a negative test result.
  • Anyone entering from high-incidence areas must be in quarantine for ten days, and free testing is possible at the earliest five days after entry.
  • As a general rule, travellers returning to Germany must go home immediately – or to some other accommodation at their destination. And isolate themselves immediately after their arrival.
  • Religious services are strongly recommended to be online.
  • Singing is not allowed


  • in effect in Frankfurt since 17th May 2021
  • incidence rate <100 for 5 consecutive days (Sundays and Public Holidays are not counted)


Level 2

  • Incidence rate <100 for 14 consecutive days or <50 for 5 consecutive days (Sundays and Public Holidays are not counted)

To conclude Frankfurt COVID-19 restrictions are open to change at any time.  So please continue to stay informed and always double check details!