In Bavaria, the mask requirement in local public transport will be abolished on December 10th. This is no longer appropriate due to the current stable infection situation, according to information from government circles. From December 10th there should only be one recommendation to wear the masks. This makes Bavaria the first federal state in which the obligation falls. The health ministers of the federal and state governments did not find a uniform course for the obligation to wear masks on buses and trains on Monday.
The proposal for abolition in Bavaria is said to have come from Health Minister Klaus Holetschek and is based on an initiative by Prime Minister Markus Söder (both CSU), it said. In Bavaria, the number of corona infections has long been the lowest in all of Germany, and the procedure is based on the example of Austria. Personal responsibility will increase in the future.
To protect against the transmission of infections with the corona virus, Bavaria, like other federal states, decided in April 2020 to wear mouth and nose covers in public. As the number of severe corona diseases subsided, the obligation was gradually withdrawn. Local public transport, where there are often crowds on buses and trains and physical contact among passengers, is still one of the last public situations in which masks are mandatory in Bavaria.
The obligation to wear masks in local public transport has always been a point of contention in the public debate, including in state politics. Most recently, the Free Voters had campaigned vehemently for the rapid abolition and insisted on the voluntariness for the citizens. Doctors, on the other hand, are of the opinion that the mask requirement should remain or even be expanded, since covering the mouth and nose not only protects against the transmission of corona viruses, but also against other viral diseases, such as the influenza viruses currently circulating or the RS virus children.
Weeks ago, Söder had last mentioned mid-December or the beginning of next year as conceivable dates - provided that the corona numbers remain "reasonably stable" and that there are no new mutations by then. Since the current version of the Bavarian Infection Protection Ordinance, which previously also regulated the obligation to wear a mask in local transport, expires on December 9th, a new regulation was necessary.
While the federal states can decide for themselves whether a mask is compulsory in local transport, the federal government is responsible for long-distance transport. According to the current federal infection protection law, masks are compulsory there until April 2023. The Bavarian state government has long criticized the fact that the mask requirement on planes has been abolished, but that it still applies to long-distance transport.