Health – masks are no longer compulsory on all buses and trains – health

Berlin (dpa) – All over Germany, buses and trains can again be used without a mask. After almost three years of Corona, it is no longer mandatory to carry long-distance transport from today. At the same time, the regulation will be repealed in the nine other federal states in which it previously applied to regional transport. More recently, transport companies have also come out in favor of abolishing the obligation in local public transport.

“From an industry perspective, in view of the pandemic situation, an obligation is no longer necessary for a long time,” said a spokesperson for the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV) when asked by the German press agency. “And it was also getting harder and harder to enforce that with passengers and explain to them why you didn’t have to wear a mask on a fully occupied plane or in the sold-out concert hall, but you did. did on the bus and train on the way to the airport or the concert.”

Even Deutsche Bahn has called for an end to the mask requirement

Even Deutsche Bahn, which is otherwise rather reluctant to make public demands of the federal government, had already spoken out a few weeks ago in favor of an early end to masks on long-distance trains. “In this way, we avoid a patchwork with different rules in Germany and between the different modes of transport,” long-distance transport board member Michael Peterson wrote on the LinkedIn job platform in mid-January.

Finally, the federal cabinet decided to phase out the mask requirement in long-distance transport on February 2. Originally, the obligation to carry ICEs, ICs, ECs and Flixbus-type long-distance buses should remain in place until the beginning of April. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) advises to continue wearing masks voluntarily.

Regional transport, on the other hand, falls under the competence of the Länder. More recently, there were nine federal states in which masks were still mandatory on buses and trains. Since Thursday, they too have opted for volunteering. In North Rhine-Westphalia and Hamburg, the mask requirement fell on Wednesday.

The obligation to wear a mask was gradually introduced in public transport during the corona pandemic in spring 2020. At first, towels or scarves were enough, also because masks were in short supply. At the start of 2021, Bavaria was the first federal state to introduce an FFP2 mask requirement, which ultimately prevailed.

No separate areas with mandatory masks planned

Not all passengers should be comfortable with the end of the requirement to wear a mask on trains. Shortly after Lauterbach announced the end of the measure, some users of the short message platform Twitter called for the establishment of separate areas on Deutsche Bahn long-distance trains for those who still do not want to s sit next to passengers without masks.

But there will be no such designated areas on long-distance trains, a spokesman for the railways told On Demand. The regulations of the federal states do not provide for their own areas a mask requirement on buses and trains. “Passengers with a special need for protection may continue to wear a mask for their own protection,” the railway spokesperson said.

In the health and care sector, certain corona rules still apply: nationwide, visitors to hospitals, care facilities, medical and dental practices must continue to wear an FFP2 mask until 7 April, and a negative test is also required for access to clinics and care. houses.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:230202-99-444814/2


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