After almost two years of standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Germany's trade fair industry now has a nationwide opening perspective. A large part of the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by March 20. The state premiers and the chancellor agreed on this on February 16. What does this mean for the trade fair industry?
The resolution adopted by the state premiers with the chancellor does not mention trade fairs explicitly. As a result several German states have already begun to eliminate the restrictions on trade fairs.
End of Trade Fair Bans
As important trade fair states, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg have lifted their trade fair bans: Baden-Württemberg reverted from alert to warning level on February 23. There, trade fairs are now possible under 3G conditions (vaccinated, recovered or negative test necessary). In Lower Saxony, the so-called winter hibernation was also ended on February 23, so that trade fairs under 3G access rules are possible again. The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia lifted the ban on larger consumer trade shows on February 19. In Saxony, the ban on trade fairs was already lifted before the state chancellor resolution.
A constantly updated overview of state regulations on trade fairs from AUMA is available
here (in German).
Access and Capacity Restrictions
Admission restrictions for visitors and exhibitors as well as capacity limits for exhibition halls may be lifted with immediate effect by the federal states. The resolution only explicitly mentions restrictions for mass events, which do not include trade fairs.
After March 19, only basic protective measures will be possible, according to the resolution. These include mask and general distance requirements.
Relaxation of travel restrictions
Entry to Germany will be made easier. High risk areas will be eliminated, according to the resolution. 20 countries have already been removed from the risk list in recent days. Consequently many foreign trade fair participants who have been vaccinated with vaccines not recognized in Germany may enter the countrygastr without a 5-day-limit. An up to date overview of the high risk areas worldwide and entry regulations applicable to trade fair participants is available at auma.de here.
Hotels and Restaurants
As of March 4, access to restaurants and accommodation will be made possible for those who have been vaccinated, those who have recovered and those who have been tested on a daily basis. This will allow trade show attendees from abroad who are considered unvaccinated to stay in hotels and visit restaurants in all German states again.