€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.
- How to explore Germany by train with the €9 ticket
- €9 for 90: Everything you need to know about Germany’s cheap travel deal
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.