Germany looks to pass proposals for autumn COVID measures

Germany looks to pass proposals for autumn COVID measures

Proposals for autumn COVID rules have been approved by the German cabinet. The draft, which includes mandatory mask rules and provisions for states to enact further measures, still needs to be approved by the Bundestag and Bundesrat.

COVID proposal draft to go to German parliament

Germany’s cabinet has approved a set of draft proposals for COVID measures set to come into effect in the autumn. The plans include mandatory mask rules and provisions for Germany’s 16 federal states to enact tougher regulations in order to protect the healthcare system should infections continue to rise.

The draft now has to be passed in the Bundestag, which is expected to happen on September 8. Following this, the Bundesrat must also give its approval. If passed, the proposed COVID regulations will be in place from October until April next year.

New coronavirus measures included in draft proposal

The following measures are included in the draft proposal:

Mandatory mask rule

The new COVID measures will see a return of mandatory FFP2 face masks on long-distance trains and planes. Mandatory masks and testing will also return for people visiting hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This will also apply to employees working in the care industry. Children between the age of six and 14 can continue to wear medical masks.

Exceptions to the mandatory mask rule

The draft also explains instances in which exceptions can be made to the mandatory mask rule, for example if a negative test is shown on entering recreational and sporting events, as well as at restaurants and shops. Exceptions may also be made for recently recovered or vaccinated people.

State powers

Individual states will also be given the power to introduce stricter regulations should rising infections start to threaten the healthcare system or other critical infrastructure. They will also have the power to make face masks mandatory on all public transport, as well as in public outdoor areas. The states can choose whether to enact exceptions to the mask rule, with the exceptions being made “optional” in the draft.

The states can also choose to make masks mandatory at any outdoor events where people cannot maintain a distance of 1,5 metres from each other. They will also be able to introduce limits on the number of people allowed to attend events.

No lockdowns planned

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) explained that no lockdowns are currently being planned, and schools are not expected to close in the autumn. However, if COVID infections continue to rise then masks will be made mandatory for children in year five and above.

Payments for care home workers

Last but not least, the draft includes plans for special payments to nursing homes that elect staff representatives concerning the vaccination, hygiene and medication of infected patients. 1.000 euros a month is being made available to this end, with 250 euros made available for the facilities. The remaining 750 euros will be made available to employees who undertake these duties.

Lauterbach looks to avoid long-term consequences of coronavirus

Lauterbach (SPD) explained that the goal of the proposals is to avoid high COVID death numbers, as well as minimise the number of people taking sick leave and avoid any long-term consequences of coronavirus. “With this set of tools, we can deal with the foreseeable corona wave in autumn,” Lauterbach said during a press conference on Wednesday.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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