49-euro ticket, mandatory masking and income tax This changes for consumers in April
Bonn · In April of 2023, masks will no longer be mandatory in medical practices. Nuclear power plants in Germany will be shut down, and the 49-euro-ticket goes on sale. These and other changes are coming in April.
No more mandatory masks in medical practices
On April 7, the mask requirement for people visiting medical practices, nursing homes and hospitals ends. In March already, employees and residents of these facilities were no longer required to wear masks. The mask requirement also falls away in dialysis centers along with the last of the Covid rules. Individual states are no longer allowed to enact Covid regulations. But according to the Infection Protection Act, cases should still be reported. Covid vaccines remain free for those with health insurance. From April 8, the state will no longer pay for the vaccinations, but the statutory and private health insurance companies will step in. Covid vaccines will become standard care and will be paid for in the same way as other recommended vaccinations.
Until the end of April 2023, people who get Covid can still send warnings via the Corona warning app for those who have it on their phone.
49-euro ticket sales begins
The 49-euro tickets will officially go on sale beginning April 3. However, it is not expected that customers will be able to use the nationwide local transport ticket on buses and trains until May 1. The Bundesrat still has to give its approval at its next meeting at the end of March.
The remaining nuclear power plants in Germany will be shut down in mid-April. The Neckarwestheim 2, Isar 2 and Emsland power plants were originally scheduled to go offline at the end of 2022. After Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) put his foot down, last year's governing coalition decided to keep the nuclear power plants running beyond the end of the year to ensure security of supply during the energy crisis. No nuclear power is produced in NRW. According to a recent survey by the state statistics office, NRW utilities generated 7,893 gigawatt hours of electricity in January 2023 - 77.8 percent of it from coal - according to preliminary figures.
More net income, less income tax
The employee tax deduction has actually already risen to 1,230 euros since January 1. The relief amount for single parents has also been raised to 4,260 euros. As of April 1, this will also show up on pay stubs, because the Federal Ministry of Finance has made modified program schedules for payroll tax deductions mandatory as of April.
Arlberg tunnel closed in Austria
Vacationers traveling by car in Austria may have to prepare for major detours: The Arlberg Tunnel, Austria's longest road tunnel, will be closed for around six months from April 24 for refurbishment. For the summer half-year, it is recommended to plan more time and - if possible to take one of the alternative routes.
Warmer offices and brighter cities
The federal energy conservation ordinance ends on April 15. In public workplaces, a maximum room temperature of 19 degrees Celsius will apply until then, but after that, offices will be allowed to be warmer again. City nights might also become brighter again. Buildings, monuments and advertising spaces may be illuminated around the clock again starting on April 20. Despite the attempts, many municipalities failed to achieve the desired savings targets.
Gay men and older people still prohibited from donating blood
According to the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service, the current rules for donating blood will remain in place for the time being. People over 68 who want to give blood and men who have sex with men are still excluded from donating blood. An amendment to the hemotherapy guideline by the medical association is still pending. Donation services will then have to adapt the questionnaires. After the Bundestag amended the Transfusion Act, more people will soon be allowed to donate blood - but not yet in April, according to a spokesman for the DRK blood donation service.
Orig. text: Anja Wollschlaeger; Translation: ck