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Germany mulls making masks mandatory ‘from October to Easter’

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Germany mulls making masks mandatory ‘from October to Easter’
A shop in Berlin reminds customers to put on an FFP2 mask in February 2022. Photo: dpa-Zentralbild | Monika Skolimowska

The German government is currently drawing up plans to tackle the spread of Covid in the winter. One idea is to make mask wearing mandatory indoors for six months of the year, according to a newspaper report.

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Plans being intensively discussed by the German Chancellery could see people being told to wear masks in all indoor public spaces during the colder half of the year in a so-called “O-bis-O” (Oktober bis Ostern) scheme, Die Welt newspaper reported on Friday.

The idea is to make masks compulsory during the winter months when Covid cases have been higher since the beginning of the pandemic. Advocates of the plan reportedly hope that it will not only slow the spread of Covid but also hinder other lung infections from spreading at a time of year when flu infections are typically high.

The wording would copy the vocabulary of road rules, which require Germans to put on winter tires between October and Easter.

The rules would likely apply in restaurants, bars and shops. It is unclear whether they would be imposed again in schools and kindergartens.

Currently mask wearing is only obligatory on public transport and in medical and care institutions.

The reported plan could be put into a new version of the Infection Protection Act which is set to expire in September.

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However, the government is likely to wait on the findings of a scientific commission before it decides which rules to put into the next version of the act, with the commission tasked with telling the government by the end of the month which restrictions have been effective.

The government has so far refused to officially comment on the Die Welt report.

7-point plan for autumn

Speaking on Friday, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented his seven-point plan for the autumn when Covid cases are expected to rise, but he made no mention of a possible six-month mask wearing rule.

Lauterbach's announcement remained thin on detail but included a pledge to use three different types of vaccine to make sure that people received doses that would best protect them.

Other points included developing hygiene concepts for care homes to try and prevent outbreaks among vulnerable residents and a pledge to do everything possible to try and avoid school closures.

“This won’t be a normal autumn,” Lauterbach said, but he stated that ​​”we want to go into it better than we were able to last year and the year before that."

He added that the key points of a new Infection Protection Act would be published before the Bundestag goes into its summer recess next month.

READ ALSO: German cities call for ‘quick decisions’ on Covid measures for summer

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lyssa77 2022/06/21 10:58
Why doesn't the government make choices for themselves.
Homepage 2022/06/20 13:56
<strong>... [Trackback]</strong> [...] Read More here: thelocal.de/20220617/germany-mulls-making-masks-mandatory-from-october-to-easter/ [...]
peachrt 2022/06/18 15:31
Comments not showing up again.
bzirzow 2022/06/18 08:55
Complete insanity!!!
cflynn2388 2022/06/17 17:05
I honestly do not think I could wear a face muzzle again.
peachrt 2022/06/17 15:57
What utter BS as an idea. So people have to go to Discos &amp; Concerts indoors &amp; wear masks constantly, but if you eat a meal you naturally can take your mask off for the whole time! And of course the Great God Football, being open air, will be fine because people crushed together &amp; shouting into each other's faces is TOTALLY DIFFERENT! I give up with these Government types, they all have no clue.

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