Hessian supermarkets have been granted permission to deny the unvaccinated the right to buy food and other essentials, the state chancellery confirmed to German magazine BILD on Friday. Under the new policy, stores can decide whether to implement the ‘2G rule’, which means allowing entry only to the vaccinated and recovered (‘geimpft’ and ‘genesen’ in German) or the more lax ‘3G rule’, encompassing those who have tested negative for the virus (getestet).
Minister-President Volker Bouffier somewhat bafflingly told BILD he hoped the new rule wouldn’t be widely implemented, explaining: “We expect that this option will only be used on some days and that businesses which cater to everyday needs will not make use of it.”
“The greatest protection is provided by vaccination. And still it is uncomplicated, unbureaucratic and free to get,” he boasted, noting that masking and social distancing requirements would remain in place for businesses that failed to adopt the more exclusionary 2G Rule. In exchange for admitting only vaccinated or recovered people, 2G businesses are allowed to forgo social distancing and mask mandates – perhaps a tempting tradeoff after 18 months of burdensome face coverings.