German Health Minister planning new mask rules for autumn

The Local (
The Local ([email protected]) • 26 May, 2022 Updated Thu 26 May 2022 10:53 CEST
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Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Federal Minister of Health, puts his mask back on after a press conference. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau.

Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is already making plans to combat a potential new wave of Covid infections in the autumn.


Speaking on Germany's ZDF channel on Wednesday, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that he wants to make it possible to reintroduce compulsory indoor mask-wearing in the autumn.


Under the current Infection Protection Act, only so-called ‘basic protection’ applies – with mask-wearing mandatory only on public transport and in stations, on flights to and from Germany, in hospitals and medical practices, and care facilities.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Germany’s current Covid mask rules

But Lauterbach said that the Infection Protection Act, which is due to expire on September 23rd, is now being worked on again.

“The question will have to be discussed again, for example, whether wearing masks indoors will become mandatory…I think it is absolutely necessary that we open up this possibility for the autumn,” he said.

Lauterbach’s comments follow a meeting of state health ministers last week, in which they warned that new Covid-19 variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter and that tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

READ ALSO: Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach also warned that the higher-risk Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the Federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the Covid-19 pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Chairwoman of the conference of health ministers, Petra Grimm-Benne said.

In the ZDF programme on Wednesday, Lauterbach also defended government plans to procure additional Covid vaccines. He said they now have vaccines for three different Covid strains ready for the autumn.

"I don't know what's coming," he said, but, when a dangerous wave comes, he said, everyone wants the best vaccine. "So I'd rather be criticized for throwing it away later." 



The Local ([email protected]) 2022/05/26 10:53

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