Penultimate relaxation: the obligation to wear a mask is almost completely eliminated

Status: 03/01/2023 06:52 a.m

Today, further of the previously mandatory corona protection measures end. In the penultimate relaxation step, the mask requirement for healthcare workers falls, among other things. The last editions expire in April.

Nationwide, further of the state-specified corona protection measures are falling. As of today, there is no longer an obligation to test for access to healthcare facilities. The mask requirement for employees in medical practices, clinics and care facilities has also been lifted. This is determined by a regulation of the Federal Ministry of Health, which comes into force today.

For residents in nursing homes, the mask requirement has now also ended. However, the mask requirement for visitors to medical practices, nursing homes and clinics nationwide will continue to apply until April 7th. This should continue to protect risk groups in particular.

All testing obligations end

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach justified the early easing on March 1 with the stable infection situation. On the one hand, all test obligations are now eliminated. They recently prescribed a current quick test if you wanted to go to clinics or nursing homes – for visits and at certain intervals also for employees.

The end of the test obligations follows the financing schedule: the reduced offer of free “citizen tests” for everyone expired on Tuesday. On the other hand, the mask requirement for employees and residents in health care facilities – i.e. for doctors and nurses in clinics, staff in practices and nursing homes and for people who live in nursing homes – is no longer applicable. But she should stay for visits to practices, clinics and nursing homes.

Nursing council supports elimination

“Anyone who visits patients or residents, who makes doctor’s appointments, must continue to wear a mask,” explained Lauterbach. “The protection of vulnerable groups should be worth it to us.” This also includes dialysis facilities, day clinics and emergency services.

“We support the elimination of the measures in Germany,” said Christine Vogler, President of the German Nursing Council, to the newspapers of the Funke media group. “The people who work in the healthcare system in Germany are competent enough to deal with the situation.”

No extensions

On April 7th, the last nationwide corona regulations will expire – including the obligation to wear a mask for visits to practices, clinics and homes. The date was already in the Infection Protection Act, which was supplemented with more instruments in October for a possibly more critical situation in winter. But then they weren’t needed.

Lauterbach has already made it clear that there are no plans to extend such requirements beyond April 7th. Other corona rules, such as those for entering Germany, also end on April 7th. The countries had already given up an obligation to isolate infected people.

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