Masks are finally coming off in Berlin, Source: Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash

Better late than never - Berliners can take off their masks on public transport

Better late than never - Berliners can take off their masks on public transport

Some Covid regulations, such as mandatory testing, will remain in place for certain professions

Today, the Berlin Senate agreed to finally lift the mask requirement for public transport. The regulation, a staple of Covid-19 measures, is scheduled to end on 2 February. Furthermore, authorities have said that they will relax the quarantine measures.

Starting 16 January, anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus will be able to leave after just five days in quarantine even without a negative test. The only prerequisite is that the person does not present symptoms for 48 hours prior to the release.

According to the Federal Infection Protection Act, however, the mask mandate in long-distance public transport and for visitors to hospitals and nursing homes, as well as in medical practices will remain in place.

Some pandemic regulations are staying

Many countries in the EU have accepted that COVID-19 is now endemic, rather than a pandemic. In terms of protecting society from an unexpected spike in cases, national authorities have started to use a mix of herd immunity and vaccination, which has made millions of people more resilient to the most dangerous effects of the virus.

In Berlin and surrounding Brandenburg, however, authorities have opted to keep some health measures in place, mainly mandatory testing in certain cases, especially around vulnerable people, as well as masks and mandatory quarantine.

According to the DPA, authorities originally planned to keep the mask regulation for Berlin until mid-February.

Meanwhile, the state of Brandenburg, which also had a vote on Covid-measures today, actually opted to extend some regulations into the future according to an official statement. Particularly, this would mandate masks in communal accommodations for the homeless and refugees, as well as the daily test requirement for employees of these facilities.



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