For members


Everything that changes in Germany in June 2022

From the €9 ticket and fuel cut to public holidays, festivals and rail cards, we look at the changes to know about in Germany this June.

A clock in Germany's Triberg.
A clock in the German city of Triberg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Patrick Seeger

€9 monthly ticket 

From June 1st, the hotly-anticipated €9 ticket comes into force in Germany. For three months, riding local and regional transport will be much cheaper. 

People will be able to use the ticket on buses, trains and trams throughout Germany’s public transport network. The ticket is not valid on long-distance transport, such as ICE, IC or EC and Flix services, however, it can be used on regional trains. 

The offer runs until the end of August. Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines, counters or online from local transport companies as well as Deutsche Bahn. 

The deal is aimed at providing relief during the energy and cost of living crisis, while also serving as a trial for climate-friendly mobility options. 


A passenger holds the €9 ticket in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria.

A passenger holds the €9 ticket in front of a train and the Wetterstein mountains in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Angelika Warmuth

Fuel prices to drop

At the same time as the €9 ticket, gas should also become cheaper. From June until the end of August, the energy tax on fuels is to be reduced to the minimum permitted in the EU.

For petrol, the tax rate is to drop by almost 30 cents, for diesel by 14 cents. And VAT will no longer be due on the portion of the energy tax that’s being dropped. This will further reduce the tax burden.

As the Finance Ministry has said, the overall tax relief is 35.2 cents per litre of petrol and 16.7 euros per litre of diesel. Critics warn, however, that oil companies are not obliged to pass on the tax savings to their customers, and could keep prices up and make more profit. Then consumers would not benefit from the change.

READ ALSO: When will Germany’s fuel tax cut come into force?

Heating cost allowance on the way

Financial relief for low-income households to deal with heating costs will also arrive in June.

About 2.1 million people will receive a one-time subsidy for their heating costs under the law from the government. They include students who receive the BAföG allowance who no longer live with their parents, recipients of housing allowance and people who get a vocational training allowance. No application is needed to receive the grant – it is transferred directly to the person’s account.

Eased travel restrictions

From June 1st, people travelling into Germany will not have to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test – known as the 3G rule. Up until then people over the age of 12 have had to upload or show this proof before entering Germany.

This restriction is being eased until the end of August because of the falling Covid rates, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said. 

Passengers wait in at Hamburg airport.

Passengers wait in at Hamburg airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Markus Scholz

The stricter rules for entry from ‘virus variant areas’ remain in place – but there are no variant areas at the moment.

Another change is that Germany will recognise any vaccine approved by WHO from June, rather than only European Medical Agency (EMA) approved vaccines which has been the case up until now. 

EXPLAINED:Germany relaxes travel restrictions for summer

No more sick leave by phone

On May 31st, the special regulation that made it possible to get a sick note by telephone from the doctor in the case of a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as a common cold, is set to end.

People in Germany have to visit a doctor’s office in person to get a sick note that they can then submit to their employers if they need time off due to illness. However, due to the pandemic, the regulation was changed so that people could get an Incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung through a phone call to their GP. 

Summer timetable

The summer timetable for Deutsche Bahn and other transport companies will come into effect on June 12th Some of the changes include Deutsche Bahn again offering a direct connection between Berlin and the North Sea island of Sylt.

Furthermore, Chemnitz will be connected to the long-distance network after a decade and a half – and will get connections to Berlin and on to the Baltic Sea without the need for changing trains.

READ ALSO: What is Sylt and why is it terrified of the €9 holidaymakers?

Aldi raises minimum wage

While the statutory minimum wage is set to rise to €10.45 on July 1st 2022 and reach €12 this year, supermarket giant Aldi is raising the minimum wage for its workers in June. It means employees of the chain will earn at least €14 an hour instead of €12.50. This applies to both Aldi Süd and Aldi Nord.

Public holidays 

June 6th – Whit Monday – is a national public holiday in Germany so many employees will get the day off and shops will be closed. Meanwhile, residents in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland are lucky enough to get another public holiday in the same month – on Thursday June 16th – for Corpus Christi or Fronleichnam.

READ ALSO: How to make the most of public holidays in Germany in 2022

Schools out 

Keep in mind that some states have school holidays around this time of year too. The school year is also coming to end for young people in North Rhine-Westphalia, who are the first in Germany to kick off their summer holidays. Their last day of school is June 24th. Bavaria is the last state to start the summer hols – on July 29th.

Unemployment benefits for Ukrainian refugees

Refugees from Ukraine will be entitled to Germany’s unemployment II benefit – known as Hartz IV – as of June 1st. These can then be granted for a maximum of six months. Until now, this group has received lower benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act. The changes mean that people who have fled Russia’s war on Ukraine and arrived in Germany will in future be able to receive counselling and support for job applications. 

Rock on!

Gig-goers can look forward to an extensive summer of festivals. After two years off due to the pandemic, many rock and pop festivals are planned to take place once more. The twin festivals Rock im Park in Nuremberg and Rock am Ring in Rhineland-Palatinate will kick things off from June 3rd to 5th. Headliners are Volbeat, Green Day and Muse. Both festivals – like most in the country – were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions. Those rules have now been significantly eased. 

Fans attend the Rock am Ring festival in June 2019.

Fans attend the Rock am Ring festival in June 2019. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

Vaccination certificates may expire

Those who have not yet received their third Covid vaccination – booster shot – should keep an eye on June 14th: on this date, some digital coronavirus vaccination certificates expire. That’s because the digital versions of the vaccination certificate issued in pharmacies on June 14th 2021 are only valid for a year. Users of the Corona Warning app or CoV Pass app will receive a notification 28 days before the certificate expires.

But vaccinations are still valid – it’s just a matter of the technical expiry date. “In order to continue to be able to prove your vaccination status, the corresponding certificates must be updated,” writes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Updates for the Corona Warning app and the CovPass app are planned, according to the RKI, and should be available soon.

However – keep in mind that you generally need a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated when entering Germany from abroad under the latest EU certificate rules (although you may not need to show proof of vaccination under the changes to travel rules we mentioned above). That’s because the EU vaccination certificates expire after nine months if no third jab has been received. You might also need a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated to visit other countries, so double check before you travel.

READ ALSO: The new rules for entering Germany with an EU Covid pass

BahnComfort bonus programme to be ditched

Regular train customers in Germany will have to prepare for changes in June. Operator Deutsche Bahn is ditching the BahnComfort bonus programme on June 13th. From then, the operator will only run the BahnBonus programme, but this will also change a bit. 

From mid-June, there will be three different status levels. “The higher the status level, the more attractive the benefits,” says Deutsche Bahn. “In the different levels – from 1,500, from 2,500 and from 6,000 status points – you can look forward to many benefits, such as admission to the DB Lounge, exclusive seating, preferential service in the travel centre as well as some new status benefits.” 

Full details of the new bonus programme are to be available on the DB website from June.

Goodbye Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser was considered the first browser suitable for the masses and, for many, the entry point to the Internet. After 27 years, however, it is considered outdated. For this reason, it has no longer been supported by a number of different programmes since last year. And in June 15th, Internet Explorer will be discontinued completely. The firm has replaced the browser with Microsoft Edge.

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For members


Everything that changes in Germany in April 2023

From the €49 ticket pre-sale to higher tax allowances for employees and single parents, here's everything that's set to change in Germany in the coming month.

Everything that changes in Germany in April 2023

End of the (last few) Covid rules

“Rules – what rules?” is likely to be the question on everybody’s lips when the Infection Protection Act quietly expires on April 7th – and it’s true that, unless you work in a clinic or care home, the end of this bill probably won’t change much in your day-to-day life. With the end of masks on public transport in large swathes of Germany back in February, Germany toppled one of the last few Covid rules it had – and since then people have generally only needed an FFP2 mask for the odd doctor visit.

That said, the end of the bill is pretty significant in another way. It signals the end of a three-year pandemic that shook the world and the official recognition that a virus that was once so deadly has now become endemic. Just like the winter flu and common cold, Covid is here to stay, but nobody will be feeling too sentimental about leaving the days of lockdowns, tests, and vaccine passes behind us. 

No more sick notes by telephone

On March 31st, special regulations allowing people to get a sick note from their doctor over the phone will expire. This was initially intended to avoid unnecessary Covid infections but, given the much less risky situation at present, officials don’t think there’s a need for it anymore.

However, there could still be a way to avoid lengthy stays in the doctor’s waiting room in future. If your GP offers the service, you can always get your sick note (or Krankschreibung) after a video appointment instead – provided your illness doesn’t require a physical inspection. 

Higher tax allowances

In the days of grim financial news, there’s a bit of light on the horizon for taxpayers as higher tax-free allowances for both employees and single parents will apply from April. 

Starting next month, the so-called Arbeitnehmerpauschale (employee lump sum) will be hiked up to €1,230 per year. This is the amount of expenses the tax office assumes you’ll have in relation to your work and deducts from your taxable salary (without needing proof) each year.

The tax-free allowance for single parents will also be increased to at least €4,260 (plus €240 for additional children), meaning single mums and dads get to keep a little bit more of their salaries. 

If you’re feeling a slight sense of deja vu, it may be because both of these tax-free amounts actually went up at the start of this year, but April marks the first month they will be factored into your payslips. So if you see a little bit extra in your bank account next month, that could be why. 


Deutschlandticket goes on sale

It was meant to be hitting the ticket offices back in January, but as the saying goes: better late than never. 

From April 3rd, the official pre-sale of the €49 ticket will kick off, allowing early birds to set up their Abo via Deutsche Bahn ahead of the launch of the ticket in May.

Of course, some states have been much quicker off the mark than Germany’s rail operator, so if you live in Frankfurt or Berlin, for instance, you may have already got your subscription sorted. 

It’s worth noting that some states are working on further concessions for students or pensioners, while some people may be able to get the ticket cheaper via their work, so be sure to check with your employer first to see if you’re entitled to a ‘Jobticket’. 

READ ALSO: State by state: Who will get a discount on Germany’s €49 transport ticket?

?An S-Bahn train in Cologne.

An S-Bahn train in Cologne. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

Microsoft hikes its prices

First it was gas, then it was groceries, then it was beer – and now even software products are going up in price. 

Starting in April, tech giant Microsoft has announced price rises across its cloud products, which include Microsoft 365, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 as well as Microsoft Defender and Teams. The price hikes will depend on the product, but some customers could see their subscription go up by as much as 20 percent.

To justify the move, the company pointed to changes in the value of global currencies and said it wanted to make its pricing more consistent for customers around the world. This is also something they’ll look at twice a year going forward – so brace yourself for even more price hikes six months down the line. 

Gay men are allowed to give blood

A rule that banned homosexual men from donating blood will be scrapped in April. From then on, anyone will be allowed to give blood regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, or whether they are cis or trans.

What will continue to remain the case is that people who regularly change their sexual partner – or have multiple sexual partners – will not be permitted to give blood. This is determined via a questionnaire that potential donors fill out beforehand. 

Painters, builders and agency workers get a pay rise 

Life is getting more expensive in Germany, but some workers are also set to get a healthy boost to their wage packets from April.

Under a collective agreement that was signed back in January, painters and varnishers got their basic hourly wage hiked to €18.39 in the western states and Berlin and €17.86 in the eastern states. 

Workers a little lower down the pecking order are now due a pay rise as well, as the industry-specific minimum wage for helpers will rise to €12.50 per hour and the second minimum wage will increase to €14.50.

Painter and decorator

A painter and decorator at work. Low-paid workers in this sector are set to get a pay rise in April. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-tmn | Kirsten Neumann

As well as painters and varnishers, construction workers can also look forward to more money from April 1st. Wages in western Germany will be increased by two percent and in eastern Germany by 2.7 percent, and workers will be given a bonus of €1,000 to compensate for inflation.

The collective agreement also stipulates that workers will receive compensation for travelling to construction sites. These are paid as lump sums and are based on the number of kilometres.

Temp or agency workers will also be taking home a little bit extra next month as the minimum wage in their sector increases to €13 per hour. 

New questions on driving tests

Thinking of biting the bullet and getting a German driving licence? Then make sure you have an up-to-date practice test, as 44 new questions are set to be added to the theory test from April. 

Of these new questions, 23 will only apply to Class B licences – the type that most drivers need in order to get behind the wheel. 

If you’re using one of the popular apps to prepare for your test, you’ll need to ensure this is fully up to date by the time you sit down for the exam. 

READ ALSO: How to get a German driver’s licence as a third-country national

Lights go back on in towns and cities

The clocks are going forward this week, and the evenings are set to get lighter in more ways than one. As well as a precious extra hour of sunshine late in the day, towns and cities will once again be permitted to illuminate their statues, fountains, building sites and public buildings at night. 

Cyclist in Saarbrücken

A cyclist rides past the fountain on St. Johanner Markt in Saarbrücken. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Oliver Dietze

That’s because the emergency energy saving measures introduced last September are due to expire on April 15th – provided they’re not extended. This legislation was initially brought in following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a time when Germany was struggling to reduce its energy usage and its dependence on Russian gas. But with winter behind us and the gas storage facilities still relatively full, this summer will likely see a much more relaxed approach to energy usage.

READ ALSO: What to know about Germany’s energy saving rules

Nuclear power plants to close

Just as Germany looks set to loosen up its energy-saving rules, the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants –  will be powered down for (potentially) the last time. 

As part of the government’s transition away from nuclear power and coal, these three plants – Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland – were originally set to be shut down at the end of 2022. However, due the war in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis, the government kept them in operation – but the Federal Office for Nuclear Waste has announced that these will close in the middle of April.