The German federal government declared on Wednesday that it would extend the requirement for face masks for all long-distance public transportation, including flights, through at least April 2023.
The Bundesgesundheitsministerium, or BMG, of Germany stated that mask regulations remained required because it anticipated a seasonal uptick in COVID-19 infections throughout the fall and winter.
The Infection Protection Act, which is slated to expire on September 23, 2022, contains the provision permitting the mask mandate. The legal authority has been extended by the BMG in agreement with the Ministry of Justice and Chancellery to April 7, 2023.
Germany has established a seven-point plan to tackle the pandemic over the winter, according to Federal Minister of Justice Dr. Marco Buschmann, although lockdowns and curfews have been ruled out.
The requirement for face masks will still be in place for all commercial passenger flights, long-distance trains, and coaches. The 16 federal states of Germany will have the authority to impose mask regulations in other public places, such as train stations and airports.
Face masks had not been necessary in German airports recently, but they are now needed as soon as passengers board the plane.
Following the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) recommendation, the majority of governments abandoned their airport masking regulations in May 2022. Following the ECDC’s advice, the majority of European nations similarly repealed in-flight mask regulations, while other states—including Germany, Portugal, and Spain—did not.
Germany is not anticipated to implement the so-called 3G standards for air travel, which require passengers to show they are either immunized, have recently recovered from COVID-19, or have tested negative, as part of its winter pandemic preparation.
“We continue to take the pandemic seriously,” commented Dr Buschmann. “Our protection concept is the right answer to the current pandemic situation. I am glad that we agreed on this so quickly within the federal government,” Buschmann continued.