End of Corona rules: Lauterbach advises wearing a mask voluntarily

Status: 02/01/2023 11:17 a.m

The mask falls on the bus and train – and domestic isolation is no longer mandatory in many federal states. Health Minister Lauterbach nevertheless advises caution. The Society for Pneumology welcomes the end of the mask requirement.

No more masks on public transport and no obligation to isolate in many federal states – central corona protection measures end this week. Anyone who becomes infected with the corona virus no longer has to isolate themselves at home in Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Bremen and Saxony-Anhalt.

Thuringia and Saxony will follow suit in the coming days. Several federal states had already ended the isolation requirement.

In Berlin, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, on the other hand, those infected with corona must continue to isolate themselves for several days.

Masks are not compulsory in public transport nationwide

Users of local public transport in North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg can now travel without a mask. In all other federal states in which the obligation to wear mouth and nose protection still applies, this will be the case from tomorrow.

Then the nationwide mask requirement in long-distance trains and buses will expire after almost three years. In airplanes it has been passé since autumn.

Another federal requirement also expires tomorrow: the Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance. Companies no longer have to set up hygiene concepts and check, for example, whether they offer their employees home office and test offers.

Lauterbach advises wearing a mask voluntarily

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach nevertheless advises caution – and the voluntary wearing of masks. “I do it too, so as not to risk Long Covid and to protect others,” wrote the SPD politician on Twitter.

The FDP had pushed for an end to the measure in the traffic light. The omission is a logical step, said the health policy spokesman for the FDP parliamentary group, Andrew Ullmann. Even if corona infections continue to occur, the pandemic in Germany is over.

The health policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group, Tino Sorge, also called the end of the mask requirement on buses and trains overdue. “Even without government guidelines, people know exactly where and how to best protect themselves.” It was a “major mistake” by the Minister of Health to discredit the debate about the end of the mask requirement as careless for weeks. “All of Minister Lauterbach’s horror forecasts have turned out to be wrong,” said Sorge.

Society for Pneumology: Pandemic situation is over

The President of the Society for Pneumology, Torsten Bauer, believes that masks should not be worn on buses and trains. Although there will be more infections, he does not expect this to become a health problem, Bauer said RBB info radio. However, Bauer advised particularly vulnerable groups to continue to wear a mask on public transport.

“This is another respiratory disease, we will still see corona infections in ten years. However, the pandemic situation is over,” Bauer continued. Almost everyone on this earth should now have antibodies against the corona virus. The disease is therefore taking a completely different course than was seen in 2020.

Read more:  corona mainly spreads by aerosols (+ UPDATE) - The Daily Standard

Masks in practices and homes until the beginning of April

However, some corona rules remain in place: nationwide, visitors to hospitals, care facilities, medical and dental practices must continue to wear an FFP2 mask until April 7, and a negative test is also required to enter clinics and care homes. In medical practices, however, some federal states have now lifted the obligation for staff to wear them.

The chairwoman of the AOK federal association, Carola Reimann, considers this to be dangerous. She calls for an extension of the mask requirement for visitors to clinics and nursing homes until early summer. “We also have to protect the vulnerable groups in Germany in the long term,” said the head of the Funke media group. Those in need of care and the sick required special protection.

Criticism of the AOK proposal comes from the health expert of the FDP parliamentary group. “Rather, all medical groups should regain their decision-making authority and decide individually whether to implement a mask requirement for their area to protect vulnerable groups,” said Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus.

No longer compulsory to wear masks – Lauterbach voluntarily recommends mouth and nose protection

Karl Dietrich Mäurer, ARD Berlin, February 1, 2023 11:36 a.m

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