D.Tending to relax the mask requirement outside, but continue to exercise caution inside – this is what most of the requests to speak in the current debate about relaxation come down to. Politicians from the Union and the Greens in the Bundestag were skeptical. “Although the incidences are falling, the pandemic situation is easing. However, in view of the more contagious virus mutations, the danger of the coronavirus has not yet been banned, “said the deputy chairman of the Union parliamentary group Stephan Stracke (CSU) of the newspaper Welt. “We should therefore continue to act carefully and prudently.” In addition to vaccination, the mask is an effective tool in the fight against corona. “That is why I warn against a hasty suspension of the mask requirement,” said Stracke.
The Green expert Kordula Schulz-Asche also urged caution. “Keeping your distance and wearing a mask in certain situations are moderate means to protect those who do not yet have complete vaccination protection,” said the rapporteur for infection protection in the Greens parliamentary group in the world. Most likely, the mask requirement could be relaxed responsibly where the incidence values are permanently very low and people come together outdoors, said Schulz-Asche. “Because then the risk of infection is low even for those who are not immunized.”
The discussion got underway after Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) asked the federal states to review the mask requirement on Sunday. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) advocated a waiver of the mask requirement outside as a first step, the FDP chairman Christian Lindner demanded that immediately. The parliamentary group leader of the Left Dietmar Bartsch advocated ending the mask requirement in schools after the summer vacation.
Gastronomy for relaxation, at least outside
The German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga) welcomed the debate. “It is right and consistent that the mask requirement is put to the test, because the incidence numbers are falling and the vaccination rate is increasing,” says Ingrid Hartges, General Manager of the Dehoga Federal Association, the Rheinische Post. Every restriction – including the mask requirement – must be understandable, suitable and proportionate. According to leading aerosol researchers, the risk of infection tends to zero, especially in the fresh air. It is now the task of politicians to decide whether and if so where a mask requirement is still useful and proportionate in the legal sense.
The intensive care physicians consider the debate premature. “The pandemic management is currently going very well. That is why I would say that when we have reached 70 percent in terms of vaccination quota and the incidences remain at a low level – then the right time has come for such discussions, “said the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) , Gernot Marx, the Rheinische Post. “We have learned that the coronavirus is mainly transmitted via aerosols. That’s why we should continue to wear masks indoors, ”he emphasized. The virus could spread very quickly here.
Currently, almost half of the population in Germany has received at least one vaccination dose against the coronavirus, a little more than a quarter are considered fully vaccinated.
Standing in line outdoors can also be risky
“Outside, however, if there is enough space to create a distance between many people, you can take off the mask and regain a bit of normality,” said Marx. “If there are too many people outside who cannot keep enough distance – I am thinking of queuing in front of a garden bar or beer garden, the popular place in the sun on the quarry pond or even the bus stop – it is better to keep wearing your mask when in doubt.”
The intensive care doctor emphasized: “We must and should remain vigilant and not jeopardize what has been achieved lightly. If we observe an increase again, we must also be ready to tighten measures again. Because ultimately we want to prevent many seriously ill people from having to be treated in an intensive care unit. “
According to a survey, a clear majority of German citizens are in favor of lifting the mask requirement outdoors. The proportion is 80.5 percent, reported the “Handelsblatt”, citing a Yougov survey. According to this, 35.2 percent were in favor of lifting the requirements indoors. 553 people were surveyed on Monday.