One in two Germans will continue wearing masks after mandate is lifted27 February 2022 , By Abi carter
A recent poll has revealed that over 50 percent of people in Germany will continue to wear face masks after coronavirus restrictions are lifted. For now, the ruling coalition is still divided over when to end the mask mandate.
Germans split over face masks
A poll from the political research institute INSA (Institute for New Social Answers) has revealed that 52 percent of Germans would keep wearing their masks after COVID restrictions are lifted. From these respondents, 79 percent said they would continue to wear their masks on public transport, 76 percent said they would still wear them in shops, 66 percent on long-distance trains and around 20 percent said they would keep wearing their masks in restaurants and at the office.
On the other hand, 40 percent of respondents said they would stop wearing face masks as soon as the mandate is lifted. As of yet, no deadline has been given for when the mandate will be lifted as face masks are currently included in Germany’s “basic measures” against coronavirus. These basic measures will stay in place even after the majority of other restrictions are lifted on March 20.
Government also divided over lifting mask mandate
The results of the poll reflect the division between the country’s coalition parties. On one hand, the SPD and the Greens are in favour of extending the mask mandate indefinitely. “We must have measures in place that no longer massively interfere with individual lives. Masks, especially FFP2 masks, seem to be a proven means of preventing contagion in public spaces,” said the chairperson of the SPD parliament group, Rolf Mützenich. Family Minister Anne Spiegel (Greens) echoed this sentiment: “I would welcome it if masks were still worn in schools – and elsewhere.”
On the other hand, members of the FDP, Germany’s third coalition member, are in disagreement over whether wearing a mask should be enforced by law. “Where and to what extent one wears a mask in everyday life should be the personal responsibility of each individual,” said FDP health policy spokeswoman Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus. “It is especially important that children are able to go about their daily lives without masks,” she added. However, Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) recently told reporters that face masks are a highly effective, low-intensity measure and suggested that continuing to enforce the mask mandate is a conceivable option.
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