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Germany: Government Rescinds COVID-19 Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated People

(May 12, 2021) On May 9, 2021, the Ordinance to Regulate the Easing of and Exceptions to Restrictions on Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 (COVID-19 Restrictions Exceptions Ordinance) entered into force in Germany. The ordinance restores some rights regarding private gatherings, curfews, and sporting activities of people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are […]

Germany: Uniform Federal COVID-19 “Emergency Brake” Introduced

(Apr. 27, 2021) On April 23, 2021, the Fourth Act to Protect the Public in the Event of an Epidemic Situation of National Significance (Fourth Act) entered into force in Germany. The Fourth Act amends the Infectious Diseases Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG) and introduces a federal “emergency brake” that provides for uniform restrictions in all […]

Germany: Laptop Retailer Heavily Fined for Violating General Data Protection Regulation

(Mar. 22, 2021) On January 8, 2021, the data protection commissioner for the German state of Lower Saxony (Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen, LfD Niedersachen) issued a press release announcing that the laptop retailer notebooksbilliger.de AG had been fined 10.4 million euros (about US$12.55 million) for violating the data protection rules of the General Data […]

Germany: All Residents Entitled to at Least One Free COVID-19 Rapid Test per Week

(Mar. 16, 2021) On March 8, 2021, a new Coronavirus Test Regulation (Coronavirus-Testverordnung, TestV) entered into force in Germany. The regulation introduces the right to “resident testing” (Bürgertestung), which entitles all asymptomatic people to at least one free COVID-19 rapid PoC antigen test per week. The number of free tests is subject to local availability. […]

Germany: Amendments to Adoption Law Enacted

(Mar. 16, 2021) On February 18, 2021, the Act to Improve Support to Families That Are Adopting (Adoption Support Act) was published in the German Federal Law Gazette. The Adoption Support Act aims to modernize adoption law and improve adoption placement procedures to safeguard the best interests of the child. In particular, questions of open […]

Germany: Bavarian High Administrative Court Rules on COVID-19 Testing Requirement in Nursing Homes

(Mar. 10, 2021) On March 2, 2021, the High Administrative Court of Bavaria (Bayerischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof, BayVGH), the supreme court for administrative jurisdiction in Bavaria, published its rulings in two preliminary injunction cases challenging the COVID-19 testing guidelines in nursing homes. It struck down the requirement that nursing home staff be tested three times a week […]

Germany: Higher Regional Court Rules Agreement between Google and German Ministry of Health on “Knowledge Panels” Violates Competition Law

(Mar. 4, 2021) On February 10, the Higher Regional Court Munich I (Landgericht München I, LG München I) granted two applications for preliminary injunctions against the German Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, BMG) and Google Ireland, Ltd. (Google) requested by NetDoktor.de GmbH (NetDoktor). The court held that the agreement between the BMG and Google […]

Germany: Lightweight Plastic Bag Ban to Take Effect January 1, 2022

(Feb. 25, 2021) On February 9, 2021, the First Act to Amend the Packaging Act entered into force in Germany. The amendment bans the distribution of lightweight plastic bags at the point of sale of goods or products starting January 1, 2022. Lightweight plastic bags are those with a wall thickness below 50 microns. Very […]

United States: Supreme Court Holds Germany Not Liable for Forced Sale of Artifacts by German Jewish Art Dealers during 1930s

(Feb. 16, 2021) On February 3, 2021, the United States Supreme Court delivered a unanimous opinion in Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, holding that heirs to Jewish art dealers whose relics were acquired by the German government during Nazi rule are barred from recovery in United States courts under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). […]