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DARMSTADT

Bus driver in Germany attacked after asking passenger to wear face mask

A woman in Darmstadt, near Frankfurt, assaulted a bus driver repeatedly after being asked to stick to coronavirus rules and wear a face mask, according to police.

Bus driver in Germany attacked after asking passenger to wear face mask
A sign urging people to wear masks on buses in Frankfurt in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Everyone in Germany is required by law to wear a covering over their face and mouth while on public transport as well as in shops.

On Wednesday police in the city of Darmstadt in Hesse said a bus driver was struck by a passenger and injured after she pointed out the rules.

The female passenger, said to be between 20 and 30-years-old entered the bus with three men and child. No members of the group were covering their mouths and noses.

The bus driver warned the group repeatedly to comply with this regulation. However, police said the group insulted the driver.

At the end of the journey, the suspect then entered the area next to the driver and struck her several times.

The group then fled the scene.

Police are searching for the suspect and have asked witnesses to come forward.

It's the latest in a series of violent attacks on bus drivers. In England last week a driver was attacked for not allowing someone on the bus because they were not wearing a mask.

Earlier this month, a bus driver in France died after being beaten up by passengers who refused to wear face masks.

Meanwhile, several teenagers attacked police and bus drivers recently during a mask check in Friborg, Switzerland, leaving two officers injured.

Bavaria sets up test centres in railway stations and on motorways

Coronavirus test stations for motorists at the Bavarian border as well as for rail travellers at Munich and Nuremberg main stations are scheduled to go into operation on Thursday.

According to the health ministry in Munich, interim test centres are planned near the border crossings Kiefersfelden, Walserberg and Pocking at the rest stops Inntal-Ost and Heuberg, Hochfelln-Nord and Donautal-Ost. The Bavarian state government had decided on Tuesday to set up the test centres.

READ ALSO: Bavaria to offer free coronavirus tests at train stations and motorways

Police break up parties in Berlin

And in Berlin, hundreds of people flouted coronavirus rules by partying in city parks. Up to 1,200 people gathered in the Hasenheide park in Neukölln on Tuesday, according to police.

Police said music was played loudly and people were not following the required 1.5 metre distance rule.

In Volkspark Friedrichshain, about 250 young people gathered on Tuesday night to drink alcohol. Police said bottles were thrown at officers when they tried to break up the gathering.

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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

Due to high Covid infection numbers throughout the summer, it’s now possible to get a sick note from a doctor over the phone again for some illnesses. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules around getting a sick note over the phone in Germany

What’s happened?

In spring 2020, German authorities changed the law so that people with a mild upper respiratory tract illness, such as the common cold, were able to get an incapacity to work certificate or AU-Bescheinigung by simply calling and speaking to their GP.

The rule was extended several times and finally reversed on June 1st this year due to falling infection figures. Since then people have had to go back to the practice – or do a video call if the doctor’s office has that system in place – to get a sick note.

Now, due to a decision by the Joint Federal Committee, the regulation has been reintroduced and patients can call their GP again for a sick note.

Can I get a sick note over the phone for any illness?

No. As before, the regulation only applies to patients suffering from a mild upper respiratory tract illness. Though Covid has not explicitly been named in the announcement, it seems that it is intended to be covered by the regulation.

If the doctor is convinced that the patient is unfit for work after a telephone consultation, then they can issue a sick note for up to seven days.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The changes around doctor’s notes in Germany you should know

If the symptoms persist after seven days, the certificate can be extended once more for another week.

Why now?

According to the Chairman of the G-BA, Josef Hecken, the regulation has been introduced now as a response to rising Covid numbers and in anticipation of the cold and flu season in the coming months: “We want to avoid full waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and the emergence of new infection chains,” he said.

The telephone sick leave rule is a simple, proven and uniform nationwide solution for that, he said. The rule is also necessary because video consultation hours are not yet available everywhere.

What else should I know?

The health insurer DAK is calling for telephone sick leave in the case of light respiratory diseases to be made possible on a permanent basis in Germany. DAK’s CEO Andreas Storm said that this should “not always be up for debate, because it has proven itself.” 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about making a doctor’s appointment in Germany

The social association VdK also welcomed the reintroduction of the rule. The VdK’s President Verena Bentele said that the regulation would help to protect high-risk groups in particular from potential infections.

What are the rules to know about sick notes in Germany?

Germany has a strict system in place. If you are sick, you need to give your employer a Krankmeldung (notification of sickness) before the start of work on the first day (of your illness).

However, you also need to hand in a Krankschreibung (doctor’s note) on the fourth day of your illness. Some employments contracts, however, require you to submit a sick not earlier than the fourth day so check with your boss or HR on that point. 

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