Changes in Germany December 2021: Here are the changes you should be looking forward to come the Festive season in Germany. From vaccination, to a post Merkel-era and changes to the train timetable.
Christmas celebration with no public holidays
Christmas day and Boxing day will fall on a Saturday and Sunday this year which means that residents in Germany will not receive public holidays. Germany does not transfer holidays to weekdays when they fall on the weekend.
The 24th, 25th and New year are also not holidays in Germany bit many companies give their employees the day off as a kind gesture.
You will have to ask your boss to confirm.
New Chancellor and Government coming in
Germany is transitioning into a post Merkel era with Olaf Scholz as the new head. This also means that the SPD, Greens and FDP coalition will be voting on their flagship policies in the coalition agreement in the days to come.
Termination of mobile phone or internet contract will become easier
The amendment to the Telecommunications Act (TKG) is to come to force in December and will being a myriad of improvements to customer rights.
The local.de wrote that, under the changes, phone and internet contracts won’t be automatically extended for long periods of time after the contract term ends (usually 12 or 24 months).’
December 1st will have consumers be able to get off their contract by giving a month’s notice after the expiry of the initial contract term.
This regulation will apply to both new and existing contracts.
In the past these contracts would lead to an extension for another year or two with more conditions that lead subscribers to pay more should you not terminate it in time.
Changes Germany December 2021: Internet speeds
Internet subscribers will have some relief because they will not have to pay more for less speed received. For example, if it can be proven that only 50 Mbit/s have been provided to you instead of the promised 100 Mbit/s, you will have the right to reduce the price by 50 percent.
Alternatively, customers can terminate the contract without notice. In the event of a complete internet failure, the consumer is also entitled to compensation if the fault is not repaired within two working days.
On net privacy
December 1st will bring about a law that aims to simplify the handling of data request on the internet and to safeguard your digital footprint. Users will have to specify if and when they want to surrender their information at a central point in their device.
Changes to Deutsche Bahn timetable
Deutsche Bahn’s winter timetable will be enforced on the 12th of December with the most change involving the inclusion of more ICE Sprinter trains that connect major cities faster.
There will also be new connections for travelling abroad including night trains.
There’s also some news that might not be received as well such as fares increasing for long-distance traffic by an average of 1.9 percent.
In local transport, prices will rise by an average of 1.7 percent, monthly and other season tickets as well as single tickets will increase by 1.9 per cent, according to the Association of Regional Railways (TBNE).
Changes in Germany in December 2021: Calls to 0180 numbers will become cheaper
Calls to numbers starting with 0180 in Germany are very expensive. Until now, customers had to pay 42 cents per call or minute. From December 1, this will change. The Federal Network Agency announced the change back in August.
Here is how much we will be paying from December (prices depend on the digit after the numbers 0180):
- 0180-1: 3.9 cents a call
- 0180-2: 6 cents a call
- 0180-3: 9 cents a minute
- 0180-4: 20 cents per call
- 0180-5: 14 cents a minute
- 0180-6: 20 cents per call
- 0180-7: 30 seconds free, then 14 cents a minute.
Vaccinating children between 5 and 11 years of age
The Standing Immunisation Committee (Stiko) is expected to issue coronavirus vaccination recommendations for children aged 5-11 in December.
There is no doubt that a recommendation will be issued, it is more about “when”. The European Medicines Agency EMA has already approved the Biontech Pfizer vaccine for children from 5 years of age. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) has already announced that an initial supply of 2.4 million doses of vaccines will be made available from December 20.
This will allow around 4.5 million children to be pre-vaccinated. To date, vaccinations have only been approved and recommended for children from 12 years of age.
Ban on Fireworks
Fireworks were banned last year and it could be so this year too. Environmentalists, animal rights activists, the police union (GDP) and some doctors are demanding a ban.
Changes Germany December 2021: Compulsory vaccination of children against measles
Children who are to attend Kindergarten, school or other educational institution must be vaccinated against measles in Germany. The law that regards this came into effect in March 2020 to make sure children were kept safe from measles infection.
Children who attended one of the above-mentioned facilities before March 2020, must present a measles vaccination certificate by December 31, 2021.
The regulation also applies to the personnel of the above-mentioned outlets. Parents who have not vaccinated their children may be fined up to € 2,500. Children who have not been vaccinated may also be excluded from kindergarten.