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COVID-19: Public travel restrictions in Germany, what is the 3G rule?

COVID-19: Public travel restrictions in Germany, what is the 3G rule?
photo: DB/DB
03 / 12 / 2021

Unvaccinated people in Germany will not be allowed to travel by public transport without a negative coronavirus test. Starting on 24th. November new measures come to effect in all trains and buses of Deutsche Bahn (DB). All passengers and staff members will have to carry a certificate (either a paper or digital copy) confirming they do not represent a risk in terms of Covid-19 transmission. Deutsche Bahn is implementing these rules following the latest decisions of the German federal and state governments which are reacting to the actual pandemic situation in the country.

The new system is known as the “3G“ rule and requires everyone to present one of the following in order to travel:

  • Full vaccination
    • (With last required vaccination dose carried at least 14 days prior to travel)
  • Proof of recovery
    • (No more than 180 days prior)
  • A negative covid test 
    • (Either valid PCR test or rapid antigen test carried out under supervision (no self-test allowed) and no older than 24 hours at the time of departure)

-Only exceptions are children under six years of age and schoolchildren.

Random checks of passengers on the trains will be carried throughout the day by the DB security staff members. This includes around 4200 DB security personnel and close to 5000 service and monitoring staff members that are contracted by DB on S-Bahn, RE, and RB trains.

The authorities expect that the number of frauds with tests, as well as cases of falsification of vaccination documents, will increase due to the tightening of quarantine conditions. The amendment to the law introduces a sentence of up to five years in prison for this.