Germany approves stricter Covid measures

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Berlin, Aug 25 (IANS) The German Cabinet has approved tougher state intervention measures ahead of an expected fresh wave of coronavirus infections this autumn.

These include the mandatory wearing of FFP2 masks on aeroplanes and long-distance trains nationwide, reports dpa news agency.

Children between the ages of 6 and 14, as well as staff, will also be allowed to wear medical masks.

Masks are to be compulsory in clinics and nursing homes throughout Germany, and proof of a negative Covid test will be required before entry.

The federal states will be able to impose further protective requirements from October 1 to April 7, depending on the level of infection.

These include mandatory wearing of masks on local buses and trains and in other publicly accessible indoor areas.

There will be a mandatory exemption from the mask requirement if a person can present a negative test result when attending cultural, recreational or sporting events and in restaurants.

In addition, exceptions to the mask requirement may be allowed with evidence that a person is fully vaccinated and recovered.

The planned rules stem from a concept proposed by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) and Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) earlier this month

Lauterbach said on Wednesday: “With this set of instruments, we can manage the foreseeable corona wave in the fall.”

The states would be given every opportunity to adapt the measures as needed.

He said the goal of the Covid policy remains to avoid high death rates, many lost work days and severe long-term consequences.

The draft approved by the Cabinet now goes to the Bundestag, where it could be passed on September 8.

The Bundesrat or upper house of parliament must then also give its approval.

Covid regulations had been scaled back sharply in the spring.

A general mask requirement in shops and access restrictions at public events were eased then.

–IANS

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