Lauterbach considers the return of the mask requirement to be conceivable

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach wants to create the possibility of making masks compulsory indoors again in the event of a new corona wave in autumn. The Infection Protection Act is currently being worked on again, said the SPD politician on Wednesday evening on the ZDF program “Markus Lanz”. “It’s on September 23rd. out of. And then the question will have to be discussed again, for example whether wearing a mask indoors will become mandatory again. ”That could come again, “I also think it is absolutely necessary that we open up this possibility for the autumn”.

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Lauterbach emphasized: “The Infection Protection Act does not describe what is done or what should be done, but describes what we can use in terms of precautionary measures and restrictions if it were necessary.” He is also working on this topic with Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP).

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Lauterbach had already announced that he would soon be presenting a concept for combating Corona in the fall. The health ministers of the federal states had also asked the federal government to adapt the Infection Protection Act with a view to autumn.

The recently amended law runs until September 23. General mask requirements for events or when shopping as well as 2G and 3G regulations have therefore been eliminated since the beginning of April. For the time being, “basic protection” applies – for example with mask requirements in buses, trains, clinics, practices and nursing homes. Irrespective of state requirements, however, there are also further protection rules with mask requirements in many places, for example in cultural institutions.

Experts disagree about the obligation to wear masks on buses and trains

The chairman of the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (DGPI), Tobias Tenenbaum, considers the abolition of the mask requirement on public transport to be justifiable. “Everyone can be vaccinated and thus protect themselves well against severe courses, and we have falling numbers of cases,” said the chief physician of a Berlin children’s clinic of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (NOZ). An end to the mask requirement on buses, trains or planes is “quite justifiable”.

From an infectiological point of view, there is not much to be said against it – “even if, of course, a risk of infection in narrow and closed rooms cannot be completely ruled out,” said Tenenbaum. In many European countries, the masks have long since ended, including on airplanes. Germany is still extremely cautious.

The chairman of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, on the other hand, still considers the mask requirement on buses and trains to be “a very low-threshold but absolutely sensible measure”. It is not primarily about self-protection, but protecting vulnerable people with previous illnesses and those who have not been vaccinated, Montgomery also told the “NOZ”.

In Austria, for example, the mask requirement to contain the corona pandemic is largely lifted during the summer months. FFP2 masks are currently still required to be worn on public transport and in supermarkets. Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) announced on Tuesday in Vienna that this rule would be temporarily suspended for three months from June 1st. (dpa)

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