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HEALTH

Coronavirus: Battle breaks out as beach visits allowed in northern Germany

A court has overturned a state government ban on visiting the beach in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Coronavirus: Battle breaks out as beach visits allowed in northern Germany
Photo: Picture Alliance

The state government indicated it will not fight the court’s ruling, however State Premier Manuela Schwesig joined other political representatives in urging residents to stay home to continue the state’s battle against the coronavirus.

A court in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania ruled that despite the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions on beach visits violated personal freedoms and therefore could not be allowed. 

Although the ruling only applies to the small northeastern state, there are concerns that similar challenges could be launched against coronavirus lockdown restrictions across the country. 

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania residents only

While residents of the state were allowed to visit the beaches and islands of the north coast due to the ruling, the ban remains in place for residents of other German states or international tourists.

With 600 confirmed cases, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has the second-fewest infections of any German state, however the coast can be accessed in under two hours from the comparatively heavily affected cities of Hamburg and Berlin.

Member comments

  1. A classic case of “Oh, it’s not really a problem here, we are fine, come & visit”.
    They should make a call to Southern Italy, Southern France, both places where people headed out to their second homes to “Escape the Virus Restrictions”
    Stupid pompous judges with no connection to reality

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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