New Coronavirus protection regulation These Corona rules apply from December 28 in NRW
Bonn · Starting December 28, contact restrictions also apply to vaccinated and recovered persons in North Rhine-Westphalia. Private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, will only be permitted with a maximum of ten people.
As of December 28, contact restrictions will also apply to vaccinated and recovered people in North Rhine-Westphalia. A maximum of ten persons will be allowed to gather whether indoors or outdoors. There is no limit on the number of households involved. By including this rule in its current Coronavirus Protection Ordinance the state of NRW is implementing the latest decisions made by the federal government and federal states, the state health ministry announced on Thursday - but with some changes.
These rules in NRW go beyond federal government and states’ agreements.
Exceptions in NRW include gyms, swimming pools and wellness facilities and choirs singing together. Because wearing a mask is impractical in these situations, a negative test that is not older than 24 hours will have to be produced. As part of a transitional arrangement for professional sports, unvaccinated professional athletes will be permitted with a negative PCR test.
With regard to contact restrictions, NRW is adopting the regulation of the Conference of Minister Presidents (MPK): as of Tuesday, December 28, these will also apply to persons who have been vaccinated or have recently recovered. For private gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, only a maximum of ten people are allowed to meet up. There is no limitation on the number households involved. The regulation does not apply to children under the age of 14. The regulations get stricter as soon as an unvaccinated person is involved. In this case, someone who chooses not to get vaccinated can only meet up with two people from one other household.
Large events only without spectators
According to the NRW ordinance and as agreed in the Minister Presidents’ Conference, on New Year's Eve, gatherings beyond these limits are "prohibited on public squares and streets to be determined in more detail by the competent authorities by general decree." Large events will only be allowed without spectators as of Tuesday. For other events, the limits for spectators will be lowered to a maximum of 750.
There are also tighter mask and testing requirements for recreational activities. "Because the Omicron variant is significantly more aggressive, there will be fewer exceptions to the obligation to wear a mask," the ministry announced. For example, masks will now have to be worn at outdoor gatherings with more than 750 people that are protected by the German constitution. In addition, masks must be worn at work inside buildings or vehicles, even when people are immunised and keeping a minimum distance of 1.5 metres.
Employees who cannot wear a mask and are not immunized - for example, professional musicians with wind instruments - must provide proof of a negative PCR test. Mandatory mask use also applies from Tuesday to immunized persons in educational and cultural institutions, at trade fairs or family recreational trips - regardless of fixed seating or checkerboard arrangements.
In sports, 2G plus applies from 28 December
Since masks cannot not be worn during indoor sports or at swimming pools and wellness activities, immunized persons will in future have to carry with them an up-to-date negative rapid test certificate that is no older than 24 hours, the Ministry of Health explained (2G-plus). This is not specified as part of the federal government-state decision. In addition, the 2G-plus regulation will apply to many other facilities and services in NRW, including singing in choirs without masks.
The updated protection regulation is initially to apply until January 12. Violations of the Infection Protection Act can be punished with fines of up to 25,000 euros - for example, for violating the ban on firecrackers. The fireworks ban or the closure of clubs and discotheques decided by the federal and state governments had already been implemented in NRW before.
"I am aware that many people who showed solidarity and had themselves vaccinated early are not happy that they are now facing restrictions again at the end of the year," admitted NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU). Contact restrictions alone, however, were not enough to ward off an Omicron wave. "We must continue to push for booster vaccinations and close the vaccination gap, which is still too large," the minister warned. "My appeal is therefore: if you have not already done so, please get vaccinated as soon as possible."
Translation: Jean Lennox