In some federal states, the mask is no longer mandatory in local public transport. Now five countries are following suit. The FDP is calling for the mask requirement to be abolished in long-distance transport as well.
The mask requirement in local public transport is now also to be abolished in Berlin, Brandenburg, Thuringia, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony.
In Saxony, January 16 is the day. Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will follow on February 2nd, Thuringia on February 3rd. The state governments announced this on Tuesday. This means that the obligation to wear a mask on buses and trains is now also being lifted in federal states that are not managed by the Union. In Thuringia, the corona isolation obligation will then no longer apply.
In three federal states, the mask is no longer mandatory in local public transport: in Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt and also in Schleswig-Holstein since New Year’s Day.
“Thuringia has again been the federal state with the lowest seven-day incidence for a few days. The number of hospitalizations and the situation in the intensive care units has been stable in the low range for weeks,” explained Health Minister Heike Werner (left). Today the seven-day incidence in Thuringia was 74.3 – nationwide the value was 136.6. According to the information, the obligation to isolate should also be dropped at the same time.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, this is to be canceled about four weeks after the end of the mask requirement in local transport. An exact date was not set in the cabinet meeting because coordination with other federal states was still ongoing, said a spokesman for Health Minister Stefanie Drese (SPD). The mask requirement in medical practices and hospitals therefore continues to apply. This is regulated by the federal government. The Federal Infection Protection Act initially applies until April 7th.
According to Health Minister Petra Köpping (SPD), the cabinet in Saxony also agreed to end the obligation to wear masks on buses and trains, but the obligation to isolate remains. In Berlin, the Senate, in consultation with Brandenburg, decided to bring the end of the mask requirement forward – and not to keep it until at least mid-February.
FDP calls for masks to be off on long-distance trains by February
The FDP is now calling for the regulation to be lifted quickly, including in long-distance transport. “The mask requirement in long-distance transport must fall by the beginning of February at the latest,” said FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai of the “Bild” newspaper. The corona pandemic is over. It is high time to withdraw fundamental rights encroachments such as the obligation to wear masks.
The debate had only been held shortly before the turn of the year, after the prominent virologist Christian Drosten said that he believed the pandemic was over. At the time, the SPD and the Greens in the government rejected calls by the FDP for a quick end to the remaining corona measures. Now the discussion is likely to flare up again.
The federal government is responsible for long-distance buses and long-distance trains. According to the current Infection Protection Act, FFP2 masks are still mandatory here until April 7th. The federal government could change this with a simple ordinance. “This option must now be used, the mask requirement in long-distance transport should be abolished,” said Djir-Sarai.
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