North Rhine-Westphalia is letting the Corona Protection Ordinance expire at the end of February without being renewed - this means that the last protective measures against the pandemic prescribed by the state are no longer applicable. This was announced by the NRW Ministry of Health on Saturday in Düsseldorf. From March 1st, only a few protective measures according to the Federal Infection Protection Act will have to be observed.
"The Corona Protection Ordinance has reliably accompanied us through the pandemic for almost three years. It has often restricted our lives and our freedom of action - if this was necessary to keep the infection process under control," summarized Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU).
Specifically, the step means, for example, that the country will waive mask requirements for employees in medical practices, the ministry explained. A similar decision had already been made at the federal level. The state regulations for people who tested positive, which remained in a few areas, were also dropped, the message said. The special regulations that were regulated in NRW for nursing homes and integration assistance facilities in a special general decree should not be extended either.
The Ministry of Health explained that from March 1st, visitors in hospitals, nursing homes, medical practices and similar facilities would only be required to wear a mask. This then results from the Federal Infection Protection Act.
According to the ministry, the Corona Protection Ordinance - which had decisively determined the lives of people in the state for a long time - will come to an end after exactly 1073 days. Laumann combined the farewell with a thank you to all the people who had implemented and observed them. "It was real solidarity that helped us get through the pandemic together," he said. "We should preserve this solidarity and continue to take good care of each other with our experience in dealing with the virus and also respect if someone wants to continue to protect themselves and others with a mask and more distance."
Three years ago - on February 25, 2020 - the first corona infection was confirmed in NRW. The Corona Protection Ordinance soon became one of the central documents in the fight against the pandemic - much discussed, often adapted, sometimes controversial. A document of contemporary history.
Around two weeks ago, however, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also stated that in his view the pandemic was not over yet - but it had lost its terror. "The virus can be controlled in everyday life," he said.
Corona Protection Ordinance since February 1st