Germany: In the past, protective masks in public places

Coronavirus protection turns into a private affair amid rising Omicron variant

ap22090689152784 Germany, Coronavirus, world, vaccination certificate, mask use

As Deutche Welle reports in its report, the protection from coronavirus becomes a private affair amid an escalation of the Omicron variant. While politicians and experts in the field of Health had taken measures to stop it pandemic by consensus, so much openness decided by the federal government is now controversial.

"Damn freedom" - or not?

The ruling coalition covers the whole spectrum: on the one hand the Liberals, who insist on the absolute relaxation of the measures. On the other hand, the Social Democrat Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach and the Greens, who do not hide that they would prefer to maintain a denser safety net.

"There can be no talk of 'Freedom Day' - quite the opposite," warns Karl Lauterbach. And at the same time he defends the compromise solution.

According to the new framework of regulations, which will apply to the whole of Germany, sanitary measures will be largely lifted: Masks should be used only in nursing homes, hospitals, means of transport, while tests are provided in special cases in school structures. Masks on trains across Germany and on the plane, however, remain mandatory.

What will happen to her use a mask and all those restrictions and certificates for entry into places, which were valid until today? Under federal law, restrictions are allowed in the event of a decision by the local parliament in each state, if this is considered hotspot, which for the time being concerns only Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the state of Hamburg - the other states considered such a decision legally unsafe.

There has often been tension between federal and local governments in making such decisions - for example when agreements were redefined and responsibility shifted from one side to the other.

Now the federal government has proposed a new framework for health measures, leaving the states to protest that unpopular decisions are now being shifted entirely to them.

Lauterbach, however, is pushing for the hotspot to be regulated, insisting it is "legally clear" after a compromise with Liberal Justice Minister Marco Bushman - and can therefore be implemented.

The situation remains fragile

Ironically, under Dr. Karl Lauterbach as Minister of Health, Germany is in the middle of a wave with often more than 200.000 new infections and often more than 200 deaths a day. However, the requirement for mandatory mask use at national level is not legally feasible, as there is no longer a risk of overloading the health system.

The chancellor Olaf Solts spoke of a "new phase" in which, as in neighboring countries, most safeguards were lifted. But the pandemic has not, of course, disappeared.

Everyone is advised to continue to follow the usual precautions, such as keeping a distance and voluntary use of a mask, while the debate on the obligation to vaccinate also remains open.

In addition, the measures may be redefined by the autumn at the latest. Besides, the amended law is valid until September 23.