Masks Forever: Germany Plotting to Mandate Masks Annually From ‘October to Easter’

17 March 2021, Berlin: "Maskenpflicht - Mask requirement" is written on a sign in front of the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz. Photo: Annette Riedl/dpa (Photo by Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images

Lawmakers in Germany are reportedly considering instituting mask mandates every year during the winter months, likening the move to requirements for winter tyres on automobiles.

A report from the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag has claimed that the Social Democrat-led ‘traffic light’ coalition government is making preparations to pass legislation requiring German citizens to wear masks in public from October to Easter annually to supposedly stem the spread of respiratory diseases such as the Chinese coronavirus.

Responding to the report, Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach said that while there was no reason to panic, due to the milder effects of current variants of the virus, he warned that Germany will “have another autumn where we do not return to normality.”

Addressing the idea of implementing an annual mask mandate, Lauterbach said: “We are currently preparing the rules for autumn. These rules can also be summarized that these will be our winter tires,” adding: “We need more than what we have put on summer tires. The winter tires are being prepared.”

The Health Minister was referencing the so-called “O to O” law in Germany that requires motorists to fit their cars with special winter tyres every year from October to Easter.

While Germany has removed most of its lockdown restrictions, mask requirements remain in some places, including hospitals, care homes, and public transport.

The lockdown powers granted to the federal government under the Infection Protection Act are set to expire on the 23rd of September, meaning that lawmakers in the Bundestag will need to replace or amend the legislation to implement such a move.

Before making a final decision on annual mask mandates, politicians are said to be waiting on the conclusions of a report, expected by the end of the month, from a multi-disciplinary committee of health experts that will make judgements on each lockdown measure imposed by the state.

Meanwhile, Lauterbach also said this week that while the government will not try to impose a vaccine mandate again — after failing to do so earlier this year — he called for more people to come forward to take their second booster shot prior.

The Health Minister said that currently 80 per cent of those over the age of 60 had not received their fourth jab, and argued that anyone who wants to protect themselves or others should get the booster, regardless of age. In total, over three-quarters of the population have received either one or two jabs of a coronavirus vaccine, while 59.8 per cent have had at least one booster shot.

The latest figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control on Friday showed that the rate of infection over the past week was 427.8 per 100,000 people, up from 318.7 last week.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.