The Health Ministers in Germany’s sixteen federal states have decided to require FFP2 masks in public transport this fall and winter. On Friday, the Bundesrat is supposed to approve the law that gives them the authority to take this decision.
Berlin, September 13th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — The amended version of Germany’s Infection Protection Act has passed the Bundestag. But, before it can be put in place on October 1st, 2022, it still needs the Bundesrat’s approval. This legislative body which represents the sixteen federal states is expected to confirm it on Friday. A few days before, the Health Ministers already used the authority they will be getting, according to the new law, and decided to keep the compulsory mask rule in place in public transport.
This decision was confirmed by a spokeslady at the Health Ministry in Saxony-Anhalt who was quoted by several German-language media. According to her, the states want to make sure the Corona regulations are uniform. They do not want them to change at every state border within the Federal Republic.
If approved by the Bundesrat, Germany’s new Infection Protection Act is supposed to take the country through the cold season. In fall and winter, the COVID-19 situation is expected to deteriorate. Still, the mandatory mask rule on passenger aircraft will be dumped. At the same time, it does apply on long-distance trains and coaches. FFP2 standard masks will also have to be worn in hospitals and doctor’s offices. The new regulations will apply until April 7th, 2023.
New BA.5 Vaccine
Protective masks, especially FFP2 standard products, protect the persons who wear them, but especially everyone around them. When everyone wears those masks, on a train, in a crowded building or wherever, the risk of becoming infected with the dangerous Coronavirus decreases substantially. At this stage, the Corona subtype known as Omicron is spreading in Germany. Its variant BA.5, the dominant one right now, is very contagious.
Vaccinations decrease the risk of a severe disease progression or death. At this stage, ‘adjusted vaccines’ are available. Two weeks ago, new ones were approved. They mainly cover older Omicron variants. But, just now, on Monday, the European Commission approved another vaccine of this kind, by the German company Biontech and its American partner Pfizer. It specifically protects people from BA.4 and BA.5 and should be available soon.
In the meantime, the Corona infection numbers in Germany are not changing much right now. There are about 25,000 to 50,000 new cases per day, at this stage. Today, the number is 54,930, but it includes this past weekend’s numbers. The statistics released by the Robert Koch Institute only cover infections identified in PCR tests, meaning the actual number of new Corona cases might be a lot higher. Since yesterday, 90 Corona patients died.