For the time being, the federal government has no plans to abolish the obligation to wear corona masks on public transport.
On buses and trains where distances cannot be kept and where people sit together in tight spaces, it has been issued so far for good reason, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit in Berlin said. He could not report that there were plans to abolish the mask requirement. Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) called on them to end their journeys by buses, trains and planes. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has rejected the initiative in the current situation. The co-ruling Greens also objected.
Lauterbach tweeted that with up to 150 corona deaths each day and the incidence still very high, “there is no way to do without masks on public transport.”
Greenery expert Janosch Dahmen told a German news agency that it would be unwise to lift this obligation now. “We need protective masks on trains and buses to ensure a safe summer.” Crowding in vehicles creates ideal conditions for the virus. “The pandemic may elude some people, but it has not disappeared from our lives.”
The obligation of nationwide masks on airplanes and long-distance trains is set out in the Infection Protection Act until September 23. Masks are also mandatory for local bus and train transport, which are required by the respective federal states. Wissing noted that the EU authorities had relaxed their recommendations. The EASA aviation security agency and the EU’s health authority ECDC are withdrawing from this Monday the general recommendation on the mandatory wearing of masks at airports and airplanes. If masks are compulsory in road traffic at the place of departure or destination, this should continue to apply to machines as well.
Wissing: “There is no German corona virus”
Wissing reiterated that it was about a unified approach in Europe. It’s hard on airplanes when people are confused: “In some countries you don’t have to wear a mask. If you are getting into Germany, you should wear a mask, ”he told ARD. “There is no German corona virus, this is a uniform problem in Europe.” The Ministry of Transport announced that it would turn to the Ministry of Health – in connection with the possibility provided for by the law, to suspend the obligation to wear masks in airplanes and long-distance trains by way of an ordinance with the consent of the Federal Council.
The German Tourism Association warned of “a mosaic of rules when traveling in Europe that no traveler can understand or understand.” The mask obligation for flights should also end in Germany, so as not to quell the growing urge to travel again. The pilots’ association “Vereinigung Cockpit” also called for its abolition as soon as possible. “Our passengers are just as international as the industry as a whole, single solutions are not feasible,” said CEO Stefan Herth. He warned against conflicts with guests and expected delays before the travel season. The Ufo flight attendants’ association drew attention to the health protection needs of the crews. In addition, the possible psychological stress caused by the escalation of the situation should be taken into account.
Lauterbach: The pandemic is not over yet
Lauterbach tweeted: “Harmonization makes sense once the pandemic is over. It’s not like that now. The ministry confirmed that the requirement for masks on aircraft landing or taking off in Germany is still in line with the EU recommendation.
Green expert Dahmen said he saw no contradiction between European and national requirements. “The European recommendations clearly include the requirement of a national mask.” The current pandemic situation does not give rise to premature amendments to the law on protection against infections.
Kubicki: “Unproven sowing panic”
The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Doctors (KBV), Andreas Gassen, spoke in favor of lifting the obligation to transport. “It is not medically necessary to require a mask on airplanes. In the airplanes cabins, the air is changed every four minutes, “said the Rheinische Post. FDP vice president Wolfgang Kubicki accused Lauterbach and Dahmen of “largely unproven panic attacks.” After the requirement to use masks in public places was lifted, the number of infections decreased.
General requirements for masks for events or when shopping have been eliminated in much of Germany since the beginning of April. Regardless of government regulations, there are many places, e.g. in cultural institutions, but there are still protective regulations with mask requirements. (dpa)