NRW: 150-euro fine for people not wearing face masks on public transport
North Rhine-Westphalia gets tough on face masks
“There will no longer be any discussion with mask-naysayers”: Germany’s most populous federal state is tightening the rules on public transportation in a bid to better control the spread of coronavirus. Passengers in buses, S-Bahn trains or trams who neglect to wear mouth and nose coverings will from now on face a fine of 150 euros - and have their ride cut short.
And the high fine is not the only way North Rhine-Westphalia is toughening its stance. According to State Transport Minister Hendrik Wüst, there will no longer be warnings. Instead, the fine will be payable upon the first violation. Anyone caught without a face mask “has to get out at the next stop and pay,” he said.
Until now, fines have only been imposed in North Rhine-Westphalia if passengers refuse to put on their masks, despite being asked to do so. From now on, Wüst warned, “there will be no discussion.” The new regulation is effective immediately.
Face masks also compulsory in schools in NRW
The move comes just after the decision to introduce compulsory masks in schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. Primary school children in grades one to four will have to wear face coverings in school buildings - but not if they are sitting in their fixed places in the classroom. Masks will be compulsory everywhere onsite at secondary and vocational schools.
School is due to resume normal operation on August 12 in the state, after the end of the school holidays. The regulation initially runs until August 31, when authorities will decide on whether to extend it.