Deutsche Bahn security staff: Soon passengers will be able to travel again without a mask
Sven Hoppe / picture alliance / dpa
The intensive care physician Christian Karagiannidis welcomed the foreseeable end of the mask requirement in long-distance transport with a view to the now robust corona immunity of the population.
At the same time, in an interview with the "Rheinische Post", he called for the mask requirement in hospitals to be adhered to until the end of February: It is about "limiting the entry from outside, especially around carnival," said the President of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine (DGIIN).
Top representatives of the German Hospital Society (DKG) and the German General Practitioners Association had already described the federal government’s decision to lift the mask requirement as an obvious step on Friday.
However, DKG boss Gaß Gerald Gaß appealed to citizens to wear a mask if they had symptoms of illness and to stay at home.
As Vice President of the Association of General Practitioners, Nicola Buhlinger-Göpfarth said that she recommends “vulnerable patients” indoors, where many people are crowded together, to continue to wear a mask voluntarily in the future.
Initially, the mask requirement should apply until April
The German medical officers also agree with the approaching end of the mask requirement in long-distance transport.
"The number of infections is manageable because many people in Germany have been sufficiently vaccinated and/or have recovered," says Johannes Nießen, chairman of the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service.
It therefore makes sense to leave the wearing of masks on trains to the responsibility of the individual, Nießen told the editorial network Germany.
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) announced the end of the mask requirement on long-distance trains and buses on Friday, with February 2 as the deadline.
In local transport, for which the federal states are responsible, wearing a mask should also no longer be compulsory at the beginning of February.
Several federal states have already abolished the obligation to wear masks in local transport, and all others will soon follow suit.
According to the current Infection Protection Act, FFP2 masks should have been mandatory on long-distance buses and trains until April 7th.