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In and around Hamburg


the 3G rule - geimpft, genesen, gestestet (vaccinated, recovered or tested) on hvv services

The 3G rule is mandatory from 24 November 2021 on all hvv services.  

As of 24.11.2021, when the Federal German Infection Protection Law comes into effect,  hvv services may only be used if the passenger complies with the 3G rule - geimpft, genesen, getestet (vaccinated, recovered or tested) - and can show proof of their 3G health status.  

Children under the age of 6 (6th birthday) as well as school children are exempted from the 3G rule and therefore do not have to show proof of their status. Children aged six are on principle considered as being of school age for this purpose and are thus exempted from the need to show their 3G status from their first school day on.
The exemption from having to show proof of Corona status does not apply in the school holidays. That means that children over the age of 6 need to have some proof of their 3G status with them when they travel on our services during the school holidays

The term “schoolchildren” includes all groups of persons in regular primary or secondary education. A regular school is any primary, special needs or secondary school, neighbourhood schools, as well as grammar schools (Grund-, Sonder- und Realschulen, Stadtteilschulen sowie Gymnasien). School children who are older than compulsory school age (c. from about 15) are recommended to have proof of their status as a school student with them. This can be an entitlement form issued by the school they attend or a school student ID card.

Students at vocational schools or students as well as persons attending adult education and training courses do not fall under this exemption from the 3G rule and must therefore have appropriate proof of their 3G status with them.

Your personal Covid health status can be verified by showing a European COVID certificate (DEU, GBR, FRA, ITA, ESP) either as a paper pass or digitally stored (or in a plastic cheque card format - Immunkarte), an official recovery certificate in an app or on paper or a certified negative rapid antigen test which is not older than 24 hours. The 24 hour rule also applies to PCR tests.

A test administered by you yourself is not sufficient.

School children are exempt from the 3G rule. As proof of their status as a school student they can  show, e.g., a current school pupil card, a written confirmation from their school or a schoolchild’s ticket together with an official ID card.

Yes, since the transport operator is legally required to check compliance with the 3G rule, it follows that passengers are also required to show their certificate when asked by the inspector.  

The proof of your 3G status must be shown at the moment the inspectors ask you for it. This is necessary to ensure that infection is prevented. For this reason, the possibility of submitting it later is not provided for.  

Yes, if a person refuses or is unable to show a certificate after being asked to do so by the inspectors, they can be refused permission to travel. In addition, the breach of the obligation to show proof of their health status counts as a misdemeanour, and may be prosecuted by state institutions. 

You can only use hvv services with proof of your 3G status. If you realize in the bus or train that you have forgotten your certificate, then you must get off at the next stop.

Yes. As of 13.12.2021 a contractual penalty of 80 euros is payable if you are unable to show proof of your 3G status to the inspectors of the transport companies when they ask you for it.

Compliance with the 3G rule will subject to random checks as part of the normal ticket inspections. More than 750 members of the security service are underway on hvv services to do this every day.

Yes, the staff of the transport companies are also required to comply with the 3G rule.  

No, travel on hvv services is only allowed with proof of your 3G status.

Mandatory face masks

The current version of the Hamburg Ordinance on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases stipulates that on public transport in Hamburg – as it already applies in the hvv area in Lower Saxony – it is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask (a medical mask of FFP2/FFP3 or also N95/N95 grade) or masks of an equivalent standard to FFP2 as of 15.01.2022. 
The mandatory requirement to wear an FFP2 mask applies for persons aged 14 or older. For passengers between the ages of 6 and 13, a surgical mask is considered to be an equivalent medical mask.
In Schleswig-Holstein it is recommended to wear an FFP2 mask on public transport; medical (surgical) masks are still permitted there, however. 
Children under 6 are exempt from the requirement to wear an FFP2 mask.

Persons who can provide proof that they cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempt from the requirement to wear a an FFP2 mask.
The mandatory requirement to wear an FFP2 mask on public transport does not apply to children under the age of 6.

Persons who can provide proof that they cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition are exempt from the requirement to wear a mask.

The mandatory requirement to wear a protective mask or a covering for mouth and nose does not apply to children under the age of 6.

The reason why someone is unable to wear an FFP2 mask should be credibly documented by some suitable form of proof; for example, an official pass certifying that someone suffers from an allergy or some similar doctor’s certificate.

Face shields do not give enough protection against infection. Wearing a face shield is therefore not accepted as complying with the rules and is subject to a penalty. 

The transport operators in the hvv check compliance with the obligation to wear a mask daily. This will be done by the members of our security service.

This can also lead to having to pay the penalty. Not wearing the mask correctly (e.g. leaving the nose free) also counts as a violation of the directive to wear an FFP2 (or equivalent) mask.
People wearing a surgical mask correctly will also be liable to pay the penalty.

Yes. When you buy a ticket you accept the hvv Conditions of Carriage.


The basic rule is: the FFP2 (or equivalent) mask may not be taken off. The only exemptions from the requirement to wear a mask on hvv services are those envisaged in the Hamburg SARS-CoV-2 E Ordinance on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases or the equivalent Ordinance of the Federal State concerned. These do not include eating and drinking.

Without an FFP2 (or equivalent) mask you are not permitted to use hvv services.

In principle, all hvv staff with customer contact who are not protected by other means, e.g. a transparent plexiglass partition, are required to wear a mask. According to the Ordinance on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, hvv staff can also wear surgical masks as well as FFP2/FFP3 or KN95/N95 masks. 

In communication with and by people who are hard of hearing or deaf and rely on lip-reading, the obligation to wear a particulate respirator mask (FFP2 or equivalent) covering the nose and mouth is not cancelled but, providing the rules on social distancing are kept to (at least 1.5 metres), they can take the mask off if the person opposite them signals that they need to read their lips to understand them because they are hard of hearing or deaf.

Organisational and Safety issues

Although passenger numbers are reduced, the hvv is still maintaining its full range of services without any cuts. At peak travelling times all our capacity is used. That means that there is much more space available for passengers. At the same time, the mandatory wearing of masks means that it is safe to travel even when it is not possible to keep your distance from others.

Our tip: especially in the rush hour, buses and trains running late are very full. You often only have to wait a few minutes for the next bus or train, which has far more empty seats.

All the S-Bahn trains which are technically equipped for it have doors which will continue to open automatically. (Please note: it may take up to 2 seconds before a door automatically opens after stopping in a station.)

The doors in the U-Bahn meanwhile no longer open automatically, but can now be opened individually again. The Hamburg Hochbahn has made this change in order to exclude technically the possibility of the train personnel opening the doors on the side facing away from the platform by mistake. Hochbahn is working to find a solution to this problem as soon as possible.

No. Passengers must still indicate their wish to get off as before by pressing the “stop” button inside the vehicle. Stopping automatically at every stop without anyone getting on or off would cause unnecessary delays for other passengers. Every time the bus stops at a stop the doors will be opened so that fresh air can enter the bus.

No, under the present circumstances we are particularly focused on giving everyone as much space as possible.