Stricter mask requirement on trains: New Corona regulation in the cabinet

A new Corona Protection Ordinance is required from October.

Stricter mask requirement on trains: New Corona regulation in the cabinet

A new Corona Protection Ordinance is required from October. The federal government is launching its draft. This means that FFP2 masks will again be mandatory on trains and in air traffic. The Union and hospitals are also pushing for uniform regulations.

The federal cabinet wants to approve stricter corona protection requirements with new mask requirements in Germany in the morning. To protect against an autumn wave of corona, it should again be possible for the federal states from October to impose a mask requirement in shops, for example. FFP2 masks should be mandatory on long-distance trains and planes. The planned innovations are based on a draft by Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann at the beginning of August. Both then present the regulation. Parliamentary deliberations follow the cabinet decision.

Against the background of the trip to Canada by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, the debate about the obligation to wear masks on planes continued. Scholz and Habeck flew on to the last stop of their three-day trip to Canada - on the way from Toronto to Newfoundland there was again no obligation to wear a mask on board the government plane. There was only one recommendation. The mandatory PCR tests before the start of the journey in Berlin on Sunday were at least 50 hours ago at the time of departure. In view of the criticism, Scholz referred to "clear rules" for government flights.

The FDP now wants to negotiate again about easing protective measures on airplanes. "As soon as the cabinet has passed the final version of the Infection Protection Act, we will consult with our coalition partners and examine where there is a need for improvement," said FDP parliamentary group leader Christian Dürr in several interviews. So he asked whether there shouldn't be test exceptions for commercial flights as well. "And what about European uniformity?"

The Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry, on the other hand, considers a tightening of the mask requirement to be "not proportionate and incomprehensible". Since it exists in hardly any other European country, it is "difficult to convey today," said a top representative of "Bild".

So far, according to the Infection Protection Act, air transport can only be used with a mask - in addition to an FFP2 mask, a medical mask is also permitted. Another change to the original draft relates to exceptions to the obligation to wear a mask, for example in restaurants, which the countries should be able to impose in the future. Planned exceptions for newly vaccinated and recovered people were initially planned as mandatory. According to the editorial network Germany, the exemptions for vaccinated and recovered people compared to the original plans are to be converted into an optional regulation for the federal states. A mandatory exception to the mask requirement should therefore only exist if the person has just been tested. Many federal states had criticized the planned exceptions. According to the draft by Lauterbach and Buschmann, there should also be a mask and test requirement in hospitals and care facilities.

The fuss surrounding the government flight by Scholz and Habeck is heating up the debates about state protection requirements as a whole. Union faction leader Jens Spahn said on “RTL Direkt” that the rules should be the same: “Either a mask for everyone or no mask for everyone.”

The CEO of the German Hospital Society, Gerald Gaß, generally called for clear regulations on the obligation to wear masks: "In the event of high incidences, politicians must decide either to make masks mandatory for everyone indoors and on public transport or to fundamentally replace this protective measure To leave personal responsibility to the people, as is now common in many European countries," he told the "Rheinische Post". "From the point of view of the hospitals, there should be a general obligation to wear masks in the event of high incidences. We need comprehensible threshold values ​​for the regulations to come into force."

The new corona measures are to apply from October 1st. The previous corona provisions in the Infection Protection Act expire before then. By then, the legislative process for the new rules must have been completed.

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