Germany will apply a series of new Covid travel rules for autumn and winter

Germany will impose new COVID-19 rules during the fall and winter seasons, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s office.

The new regulations still need to be approved by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, but are expected to pass.

The announcement of the regulation, which also require N95 face masks to be worn on all long-distance travel on trains and buses, as well as on flightscoincided with the emergence earlier this week of photos showing German Chancellor and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck on a trip to Canada without masks.

The images provoked significant public condemnation of what was perceived as a double standard among politicians and the general public.

Currently, medical face masks are mandatory on planes and public transport, while N95 masks are only advised.

The German Air Force, which operates government flights, is subject to specific pandemic regulations. According to Justice Minister Marco Buschmann and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, all passengers on the flight, which included German business leaders and reporters, underwent PCR tests before boarding the aircraft.

The Justice Minister, however, admitted that “politically, I would recommend that we, as the federal government, apply the same rules everywhere that apply elsewhere.”

“Because otherwise, of course, there’s a feeling that you’re willing to impose something on citizens that you don’t want to impose on yourself,” Buschmann added. “And that’s why I can also understand, to a certain extent, that this is talked about so much.”

germany flag on government building

In addition to the requirement to wear N95 masks, which will be in effect from October 1 to April 7, there will also be a statewide requirement to wear masks before entering hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities where vulnerable individuals are housed.

Additionally, the 16 states can enact their own laws depending on how severely their regions are affected by the virus.

Masks may be required by state governments on public transportation, in schools for fifth graders and above, and at outdoor gatherings.

The number of people attending public events could be restricted and testing could be mandatory if the virus spreads widely again.

There would be no more school lockdowns or closures, regardless of how the pandemic developed during the cold season.

“Students were certainly the group that suffered the most in the pandemic…, especially with regard to exercising their right to education, especially with regard to school closures,” said Buschmann. “And that’s why I’m also glad that we quickly agreed that the school closure instrument is therefore completely disproportionate.”

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