German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet approved legislation this week that will continue basic COVID-19 protective restrictions during the fall and winter seasons, when more infections are expected to strike the public.
The new rules, which will be in force from 1st October to 7th April and include the requirement to wear N95-type face masks during all long-distance travel by planes, trains and buses, coincided with the publication of photos showing Scholz and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck not wearing masks while flying to Canada earlier this week.
The pictures attracted public criticism, as medical face masks are currently mandatory on planes and public transport.
The new measures will also include the requirement to wear masks, and be tested, before entering hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions with vulnerable patients.
However, depending on the local severity of COVID-19, the 16 German states will have the authority to implement their own rules.
Regardless of how the pandemic develops during the cold-weather seasons, there will be no more lockdowns or school closures, Buschmann stressed.
“Students were certainly the group that suffered the most in the pandemic, especially in terms of exercising their right to education, especially in terms of school closures,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
The new regulations must still be approved by Germany’s lower and upper house of parliament, but they are expected to pass.