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Bavaria introduces workplace Covid status ‘3G’ rule

Out-Law News | 09 Nov 2021 | 5:25 pm | 1 min. read

The majority of employers in the German state of Bavaria must now ensure that all employees are vaccinated against, have recovered from or can show a negative test result for Covid-19 following a change to the local rules.

The Bavarian state government introduced new rules to contain the virus, due to rising case numbers and the increased use of intensive care units.

Among other things, 3G was introduced in workplaces in regions with high infection numbers. As of 6 November, employers in Bavarian regions with particularly high coronavirus case numbers were required to check whether their employees have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative. As of 9 November, the hospital traffic light level is set to ‘red’ for all of Bavaria, meaning that the workplace regulations generally apply to all employers.

The workplace 3G rule can be triggered by local Covid case numbers or hospital occupation levels. as shown by the traffic light system. The red level means region-wide occupancy of 600 intensive care beds with Covid-19 patients. So-called ‘hotspots’ are also captured by the system: in areas where there is a seven-day incidence of more than 300 cases and intensive care bed utilisation of more than 80 percent, the same rules apply as for regions that have reached the red level.

Willems Lara-Christina July_2019

Lara-Christina Willems

Rechtsanwältin, Fachanwältin für Arbeitsrecht, Certified Lawyer for Employment Law

While the new rules mean additional bureaucracy for employers, they also provide greater legal clarity

The rules apply to all employers with more than 10 employees, including the owner, who have contact with other persons during their work, whether customers, other employees, or other persons. The only exceptions to this rule are retail and public transport.

Those who have not been vaccinated or who have had the virus and recovered will now have to take a Covid-19 test in Bavaria. A simple quick test carried out under supervision is sufficient; alternatively, employees can bring an official test certificate. The test is not required daily, but twice a week.

From an employer perspective, the regulation has predominantly been welcomed. Manfred Gößl, managing director of the Bavarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Day, had already demanded the 3G rule at all workplaces, as reported by the Munich Merkur. He criticized the fact that companies are aware of the vaccination status of customers and visitors but not of their own employees and argued for 3G-verification to better protect employees and customers in the future.

"While the new rules mean additional bureaucracy for employers, they also provide greater legal clarity," said Lara-Christina Willems, a labour law expert at Pinsent Masons. “In the past few weeks and months, employers have repeatedly expressed a desire to better protect employees and customers, but this was hardly possible with the previous regulations. This is changing now, at least in Bavaria."