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Germany's COVID state of emergency may end in November

October 18, 2021

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has reportedly said the COVID-19 state of emergency from March 2020 could soon expire.

A sign Bavaria shows mask requirements in Munich
Some hygiene measures would still need to remain in placeImage: Sachelle Babbar/ZUMA/picture alliance

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has said that special rules relating to the coronavirus pandemic could end on November 25, the Bild newspaper reported on Monday. 

But many indoor rules requiring proof of negative test, vaccination and other hygiene measures would need to remain in place, the report added.

What did Spahn reportedly say?

"This means the state of emergency that has been in place for almost 19 months since March 28, 2020 will end," Spahn said on Monday, according to Bild. "We are moving from a state of emergency to a state of special caution," he added.

Germany's health minister cited the country's public health authority, the Robert Koch Institute, and its assessment that vaccinated people posed a "moderate" risk, in addition to the current vaccination rates, as reasons for the state of emergency to expire on November 25, Bild reported.

"So we are moving from a state of emergency to a state of special caution," Spahn said, adding that today's rules and regulations would not be held through spring of next year.

What is a state of emergency?

Germany's state of emergency allows the government to act in a crisis, by expanding executive powers and restricting the powers of the parliament.

Earlier this year, the federal government took steps to unilaterally impose restrictions on regions with high rates of infection, without having to seek approval from the states. These restrictions include curfews and limited the number of people in public spaces. 

The COVID-19 state of emergency was approved by parliament on March 2020.

jcg/wd (Reuters, dpa)