Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) has justified the planned temporary lifting of the corona mask requirement in airplanes, but is sticking to it for buses and trains. "At the moment, wearing masks on buses and trains makes sense and is necessary," he said in Berlin on Tuesday. The risk of becoming infected is much higher there than in air travel. The situation is somewhat different with aircraft, because there is more air circulation on board thanks to filter systems.
Lauterbach also pointed out how few people fly on buses and trains compared to the many users. The two areas are therefore not comparable. “Unfortunately, masks are hardly ever worn on international flights. The measures have been relaxed there,” he explained. Lufthansa has repeatedly stated that it can no longer implement the mask requirement on airplanes. "We have therefore refrained from doing so and are reducing ourselves to domestic areas where this is possible."
Lauterbach emphasized that "it was made clear from the outset that we would not negotiate about the obligation to wear masks on buses and trains". At the urging of the FDP, the coalition factions want to remove the originally planned nationwide mask requirement on airplanes from the Infection Protection Act in the fall. With a view to the changed plans, the minister explained that if the number of cases rose sharply in autumn, the government could also reintroduce the obligation to wear masks on airplanes by ordinance.
Lauterbach spoke before the Health Committee deliberations on the legislative plans for the Corona rules for the fall, which are to be decided in the Bundestag this Thursday. Overall, this is a very good, relatively complete package. "I actually believe that with this preparation we will have the pandemic under control in the fall."
In addition to intervention options with masks and upper limits for participants indoors, this also includes adapted vaccines, greater use of medication for sick people and better current data, for example on hospital occupancy.