The end of the nationwide obligation to work from home and masks only if the employer deems it necessary: ​​With the beginning of spring on March 20th, most of the state corona requirements will also no longer apply in companies.

This is what the draft of the amended Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance envisages, which the Federal Cabinet will decide on Wednesday.

Corinna Budras

Business correspondent in Berlin.

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The planned regulations of the Federal Ministry of Labor provide that employers should in future assess the risk of the virus themselves and define appropriate measures in a company hygiene concept.

This includes the provision of weekly corona tests or masks, according to the draft available to the FAZ.

In the future, companies should also decide for themselves on protective measures such as distance and hygiene rules.

A ministry spokesman made it clear that companies can continue to oblige their employees to wear masks in the future.

Working from home is still recommended

However, something different applies to the corona tests: the companies can decide to make them available free of charge once a week.

However, you cannot oblige your employees to use them.

So far, employers have had to offer tests at least twice a week.

This also eliminates the company 3-G regulation, according to which employees must carry proof of vaccination, convalescence or test certificates.

This provision was only introduced last autumn after long resistance from the trade unions.

It is one of the reasons why the willingness to vaccinate in Germany has increased again after a lull in the summer.

The Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) warns against neglecting protection against corona infections in the workplace.

"Occupational safety must not become a private matter for employees from the end of March," said DGB board member Anja Piel to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

"The pandemic is not over yet, which is why home office - where possible - remains a useful tool to limit contacts and thus the risk of infection."

While the regulation can be passed by the cabinet, the planned amendment to the Infection Protection Act is a matter for parliament.

It is also due for the first consultation in the Bundestag on Wednesday.

It is about the question of how to proceed after the planned elimination of most of the Corona measures on March 20th.

The changes provide for a transitional period until April 2nd for the federal states.

During this period, you can continue to enforce some restrictions such as the 3-G rule in the catering trade as before.

After that, their radius of action is further restricted.

Additional measures such as 3 G or even a more extensive mask requirement are then only possible in "hotspots" with a "dynamically spreading infection situation", in which a new virus variant occurs or high incidences threaten the care in the hospitals.

The new Infection Protection Act also takes precautions for the fall: From October 1, people are generally only considered fully vaccinated if they have had three vaccinations.

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