Merkel was speaking a a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday when a German journalist asked the question: “It is noticeable that we have never seen you wearing a mask. Why is that?”
True to form, Merkel had a very pragmatic answer.
“If I follow the distancing rules, I don’t need to wear a mask,” she said. “But when I don't follow the rules, like when I go shopping for example, then obviously we’re not running into each other. Otherwise you could have seen me with a mask on.”
And with some extra charm, she added: “But I won’t tell you where I go shopping.”
Merkel has spoken out about how important it is to follow the rules on keeping the spread of coronavirus at bay, such as wearing a mask and keeping the required 1.5 metre distance from other people.
Merkel says she does indeed wear a mask, for example, at the supermarket. “Apparently we don't run into each other when I go shopping.” (Many Berliners beg to differ) https://t.co/PwnazmWFyt
— Deborah Cole (@doberah) June 29, 2020
Her quip generated lots of interest on social media, with some pointing out that locals who live near her in Berlin do bump into Merkel on occasion. In March she was spotted buying toilet roll and wine on a trip to the grocery store.
Across Germany, residents have to wear face masks on public transport and in shops, although the rules can differ from state to state.
A poll last week revealed that she's still the most popular politician in Germany despite holding the post since 2005. She is set to step down as Chancellor in 2021.
'I'll certainly be seen wearing a mask'
The Chancellor said she of course also sticks to the pandemic rules and there will be opportunities in future to see her sporting a covering over her mouth and nose.
She added: “There will be other occasions when I will certainly be seen wearing a mask.”