The FDP is continuing to put pressure on all corona restrictions to be lifted. The Secretary General of the Liberals, Bijan Djir-Sarai, called on the federal states to immediately abolish the obligation to wear masks on buses and trains. “There is no longer any basis for restrictions on fundamental rights. The federal states must also act and react to the changed situation,” Djir-Sarai told the “Bild” newspaper.

A change in the Infection Protection Act is therefore also a constitutionally necessary step that must be taken now, demanded the FDP politician in the direction of Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD).

Nationwide obligation until April 7, 2023

The federal states themselves decide whether masks are compulsory in buses and trains in local transport. FFP2 masks are compulsory for long-distance trains and long-distance buses nationwide until April 7, 2023. The mask requirement in local transport in Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt has already been abolished, in Schleswig-Holstein it will expire at the end of the year. In a “Bild” survey of the other federal states as to whether they would immediately abolish the obligation to wear masks in public transport, none of them answered “yes”.

The debate about the abolition of all corona restrictions flared up again after the virologist Christian Drosten said in an interview with the “Tagesspiegel”, among other things, that he believed the pandemic was over. In response, Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) called for “the last corona protection measures” to be ended.

FDP Vice Wolfgang Kubicki also called on Lauterbach to change the Infection Protection Act “quickly”. “Christian Drosten is one of the last experts to speak of a transition to endemics. Karl Lauterbach must now realize that there can no longer be any justification for restrictions on fundamental rights,” said the Bundestag Vice President of the “Rheinische Post”.

Lauterbach is reminiscent of full clinics

Lauterbach rejected calls for a quick end to the existing corona measures. The situation has defused somewhat and the virus is going into an endemic phase, said the SPD politician yesterday on ZDF’s “heute journal”.

However, with a view to full clinics, overworked staff and excess mortality, not all measures should be dropped immediately. “We mustn’t step on the slippery slope here,” warned Lauterbach. After the winter you can expect a much more relaxed situation. “After three years of the pandemic, a few weeks doesn’t matter,” Lauterbach asked for patience.

Bavaria’s Health Minister Klaus Holetschek called on the federal government to convert the mask requirement in long-distance transport introduced because of Corona into a recommendation. Of course, for example, the recommendation to continue to wear protective masks voluntarily in public transport would also make sense in the future – also with a view to other respiratory diseases, the CSU politician told the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. It is time to move from a phase of obligations to a phase of recommendations and ownership.

Economy: “Sick leave above average”

The head of economics, Monika Schnitzer, is uneasy about the debate about lifting the remaining corona measures. The restrictions that still exist, such as the obligation to wear masks in local and long-distance public transport, do not restrict economic activity, but reduce corona infections and other respiratory diseases, Schnitzer told the newspapers of the Funke media group.

“Sick leave is currently above average. Lifting these restrictions could further increase sick leave, which would have a negative impact on the economy,” Schnitzer pointed out.