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Digital vaccination certificate, minimum wage, single-use plastic: Here’s what’s changing for consumers from July

Digital vaccination certificate, minimum wage, single-use plastic : Here’s what’s changing for consumers from July

The minimum wage will rise, single-use plastic will be banned. And travel in the EU is to become easier thanks to digital vaccination cards. Find out which new rules and laws will come into force in July 2021 here.

Like every month, there are also some important changes in July 2021 - for example, regarding the minimum wage, the digital Corona vaccination certificate or disposable plastic products. Here is an overview of the rules and laws that come into force on July 1, 2021.

From July 1, 2021, vaccinated people will be able to travel EU-wide with the digital vaccination card

On July 1, the digital vaccination card will launch across the EU. In Germany, the document was already launched in mid-June, and at least some pharmacies can already issue the vaccination card. Other pharmacies, doctors' offices and vaccination centers are to be connected successively. Citizens throughout the European Union will then be able to use the digital vaccination card to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Cross-border travel should thus be made much easier from July 1, 2021.

Ban on single-use plastic: From July 3, 2021, there will be an end to straws, cotton swabs & co.

On July 3, 2021, two new regulations will come into force: one bans the production of numerous plastic products throughout Europe, the other imposes a labeling obligation on some plastic products. The EU has already adopted this directive in 2019. The aim is to reduce plastic waste and thus save the oceans and the environment from a continuing flood of plastic. For example, from July manufacturers will not be allowed to produce cutlery, cosmetic cotton buds, balloon sticks, stirrers, plates, bowls and drinking straws made of plastic. Disposable beverage cups made of paper with plastic coating, wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarettes and tobacco products with filters will continue to be permitted, but will have to be labeled.

Minimum wage to rise on July 1, 2021

From July 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Germany will rise to 9.60 Euro per hour. Currently, the minimum wage is 9.50 Euro per hour. The minimum wage will be raised at regular intervals. By July 1, 2022, it is set to rise to 10.45 Euro per hour.

People with mini-jobs must be careful, as the increased minimum wage changes the maximum number of hours they are allowed to work per month. More information on this can be found here.

In July 2021, the e-prescription will start - at least in some federal states

On July 1, the electronic prescription will start in two federal states: Berlin and Brandenburg. There, doctors' practices and pharmacies are to test and evaluate the e-prescription before it becomes mandatory for all statutorily insured persons and all contract physicians in Germany from January 1, 2022. However, the paper prescription will not disappear completely in the coming year.

Change in online shopping from July 1, 2021: Customs duty-free threshold to be abolished

Online shoppers beware: The duty-free limit for orders from non-EU countries will be abolished from July 1, 2021. Previously, the duty-free limit for importing goods into Germany was 22 Euro. From July 1, 2021, it will be abolished and import duties will then be due for all goods ordered from a non-EU country. The cost of supposedly inexpensive products from China can rise significantly as a result.

New Corona occupational health and safety regulations to apply from July 1, 2021

Starting July 1, Corona rules will be relaxed in the workplace. Companies will still have to offer two tests per week for employees who cannot work from home. However, according to the new Corona Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, this will no longer be required if employers can ensure or demonstrate "equivalent protection of employees through other appropriate protective measures," such as if they are fully vaccinated.

From July 1, 2021: New subsidies for energy-efficient renovations

Good news for property owners: on July 1, the new federal subsidy for energy-efficient buildings will go into full effect. This means that the previous programs of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) and the KfW development bank will be discontinued.

According to the information program Zukunft Altbau (Future of Old Buildings), which is sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, the federal subsidy for efficient buildings (BEG) will take their place. In the future, owners will receive up to 50 percent funding for overall energy measures.

Original text: Sandra Liermann (with material by the dpa)

Translation: Mareike Graepel