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Germany: Mandatory Mask Rule to Remain in Place

In Germany, the debate about dropping the mandatory mask rule during the ongoing Corona crisis has ended, at least for now. The Health Ministers in the sixteen federal states decided to stick with the rule.

When a debate about getting rid of the mandatory mask rule in shops was triggered by a statement Harry Glawe, the Commerce Minister of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania made, the federal government reacted quickly. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert stated, masks were important and indispensable wherever the minimum distance between people could not be guaranteed.

Distance, Hygiene and Masks

Wearing masks was necessary in order to keep the infection numbers low, Seibert said at a press conference in Berlin. The mask rule needed to be kept in both retail and public transport. Seibert said the freedom people had, including mobility, was positive. But it needed to be combined with the rules that had helped during the past few months, namely distance, hygiene and masks wherever wearing those was necessary.

On Monday, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn and his colleagues from the federal states had an online conference during which they decided to stick to the mandatory mask rule. It was important not to give people the impression the Corona pandemic was over, a statement read. Apart from Merkel’s conservative party CDU, its Bavarian sister party CSU and the SPD, the junior partner in the government coalition, agreed.

More Infections in Austria

While the numbers in Germany still look promising, especially compared to the situation in March and April, the situation in other countries might be deteriorating. In Austria, the number of people acutely infected with the Coronavirus exceeded 1,000 again, for the first time since May. According to the government in Vienna, this is connected to a regional Corona outbreak around the city of Linz.

Further north, the authorities in Bavaria’s Allgäu region are trying to prevent a local Corona outbreak from spreading further. At a holiday resort, three individuals tested positive. Those in charge are hopeful because 117 out of 120 persons on site tested negative. More tests will be conducted.

Corona App Successful

In Germany, 198,064 Corona cases have been reported since the crisis began in January. Among the infected persons, an estimated 182,000 persons are cured by now. A total of 9,022 people have died from COVID-19.

In the meantime, the Corona Warning App released by the German government has been downloaded by 15 million people so far, according to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. The application is supposed to warn people who were in contact with an infected person and contribute to the efforts to interrupt infection chains.

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