Face masks become mandatory in all shops and on public transport in Germany

Face masks become mandatory in all shops and on public transport in Germany
A man wearing a mask while shopping in Dresden. Photo: DPA
Everyone in Germany has to wear a face mask while travelling on public transport. And from Wednesday, masks must be worn in all retail outlets, too.

Berlin became the last state to extend the obligation to wear a mask in shops. Previously, the order was only for public transport, and masks were strongly recommended for shoppers.

State interior minister Andreas Geisel said it was for the “protection of workers in supermarkets and shops”.

It means that from Wednesday April 29th, onwards, everyone in Germany – around 83 million people – will have to wear a covering over their mouth and nose when shopping as well as while travelling on public transport in a bid to control the coronavirus spread.

READ ALSO: From schools to face masks: What's changing in Germany from Monday?

The World Health Organization initially said masks should only be worn by medical workers and carers but the face coverings are now widely seen as key to gradually reopening societies as the world learns to live with  the pandemic.

With its new rules, Germany follows in the footsteps of a string of European countries where mask-wearing is now compulsory, including Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

People in Germany are free to choose which type of mask to wear, from disposable ones to self-made cloth versions, and many states have said they will also accept scarves and bandanas.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel had previously “strongly recommended” wearing masks in public.

However, federal states decided to make the rules stricter. There are some regional differences, with some regions having an expanded list of requirements for wearing a mask.

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  1. All well and good making this happen in the Supermarkets, but in my area of the NRW, just go to any corner shop, Pizza or Kebab place, and people are in and out, hanging, no masks, eating within 50 meters…
    Until the authorities start enforcing & fineing people in places like that, it’s all going to kick off again starting from these places

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