3G on buses and trains in Berlin - how it should work

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 22nd Nov, 2021

"Transport only with a valid ticket" - that's what it says on the doors of subways, streetcars and buses. But a ticket alone is no longer enough. For a long time now, you can't travel without a mask, and now you can't do without 3G proof. To protect against the coronavirus, passengers in Berlin will soon only be allowed to travel if they can prove by vaccination card, certificate or app that they have been vaccinated, have recovered, or have been tested. It is not yet clear when 3G will be available on buses and trains. The federal government is assuming Wednesday. But it also depends on when German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier signs the amended Infection Protection Act. It is not expected to come into force before the middle of the week.

Children and adolescents attending school and children under the age of six do not need proof of testing, immunization, or convalescence on mass transit. School-age children are assumed to undergo regular testing at school.Daily commutes to work, college or shopping can be a complicated affair for the unvaccinated - especially if it takes a bus or train to get to a testing station. By the time you start your commute, the test must have been taken no more than 24 hours ago. Two tests per week must be provided by employers. One free "citizen test" per week is available at testing stations. Who pays for tests for the other days of the week is open.

Controls in local traffic

The proof must be shown on request. According to the law, the companies are responsible for the checks - despite all the warnings that their employees are not 3G police."The transport companies are therefore already approaching the police and local public order offices so that effective spot checks can be carried out together," the Association of German Transport Companies said. "At the same time, this increases the necessary security for our inspectors in the implementation of this difficult sovereign task."

German Rail

The company, which also operates Berlin's S-Bahn, plans to announce how it will handle the new requirements at the beginning of the week. Deutsche Bahn had shown itself open to 3G at an early stage. It is easier to keep an eye on passengers in an ICE than in a subway. However, it is unlikely that the railroads will be able to carry out comprehensive checks.

With a mask, the risk of contracting covid is no higher on buses and trains than elsewhere, the transport companies stress, pointing to studies. The virologist Christian Drosten recently dampened expectations for 3G in transport.He says that we are in a high-incidence period and have to reckon with the fact that vaccinated people who are present have a substantial risk of being infected without being detected. The goal of protecting the unvaccinated from infection would thus be missed.


There are no access restrictions for passengers in taxis. 3G does not apply here. The industry is relieved that drivers do not have to check Corona tests and vaccination certificates. "However, 3G applies to drivers just like in all other workplaces," said Thomas Oppermann, president of the German Taxi and Hire Car Association. Those who get into cabs, however, must wear a mask.

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