With the beginning of spring, the clocks are turned again: At the end of March, people in Europe will be faced with the time change. What else can be expected in March - an overview:
energy price brakes
The energy price brakes for millions of gas, electricity and district heating customers will take effect from March 1st and will also be calculated retrospectively for January and February. Consumers do not have to do anything - relief comes automatically through the billing or through lower advance payments. However, the industry association BDEW asks for patience because of the complex rules.
Mask and testing obligations end
The mask requirement for employees and residents of clinics, nursing homes and medical practices will fall on March 1st - exceptions apply to visitors who have to wear a mask until April 7th. The remaining test obligations, for example for visits to hospitals and nursing homes, will generally no longer apply as of March 1st. The guidelines are thus following the financing schedule: The offer of free “citizen tests” for everyone, even without symptoms, which has already been greatly reduced, will only run up to and including February 28th.
Applications for a flat rate of 200 euros
Students and technical students should be able to apply for the long-awaited energy price flat rate of 200 euros from March 15th. The approximately 3.5 million beneficiaries need a BundID account to identify themselves for the application. It is still unclear when the money will actually arrive in the applicant's account.
In Germany, the clocks are being turned again, on Sunday, March 26th. At 2:00 a.m., the hands are advanced one hour to 3:00 a.m. The last Sunday in March is therefore an hour shorter, but from this point on it is noticeably longer in the evening. Daylight saving time ends again on the last Sunday in October.
Deutsche Post customers must (as of February 25) continue to adjust to disabilities: Union members have until March 8 to decide whether there is an open-ended industrial dispute. The result of the ballot is to be announced on March 9th. The dispatch of letters or parcels is likely to be even more affected if consent is given.
From March 1st, mopeds, mopeds and e-scooters can only be driven with a black number plate. They are available from insurers. The color of the license plate changes annually between black, green and blue to quickly see whether the insurance cover is up to date.
Deutsche Bahn is restricting access to its special waiting areas at major train stations. If you want to use the lounges from March 1st, you need a long-distance ticket. So far, rail bonus status customers have also been able to use the areas.
The Governing Council of the European Central Bank meets on March 16 for its regular interest rate meeting. It is taken for granted that the monetary watchdogs will raise key interest rates again in view of the inflation. For consumers, rising interest rates usually mean more expensive loans and higher interest rates on savings.