After three years, the mask requirement now also falls on buses and trains. However, the mask will remain in some areas of public life. FOCUS online says what is changing now.
Half of the federal states had already dropped the mask requirement in regional transport, resulting in a nationwide patchwork quilt. As of February 1st, the mask requirement in all local and long-distance traffic will no longer apply.
This applies to all public transport in Germany, all train routes with regional trains, regional express, Interregio, Interregioexpress, InterCityExpress, InterCity, EuroCity and all long-distance buses.
However, the following applies: If you want, you can still wear a mask on the bus and train. There is no longer an obligation.
Nationwide, visitors to hospitals, care facilities, medical and dental practices must continue to wear an FFP2 mask until April 7th, and a negative test is also required to enter clinics and care homes.
In medical practices, some federal states have lifted the obligation to wear at least the staff.
The obligation to isolate yourself in the event of a corona infection will no longer apply in seven federal states by the end of the week.
It has already been abolished in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein.
Now the obligation to isolate ends on February 1st in Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt.
In Thuringia it will cease to apply on February 2nd. A day later, on February 3, the isolation also ends in Saxony.
Brandenburg and Berlin will follow on February 13th.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is still sticking to the rule.
On February 2nd, another federal requirement will also be canceled earlier than planned: the Corona Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance.
Companies will then no longer have to set up hygiene concepts and check, for example, whether they are offering their employees home office and test offers.
In the past, extensive protective measures had prevented infections in the companies. Loss of work and production could thus be avoided. With the abolition of the Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance, companies can continue to offer test offers and home offices, but they no longer have an obligation.
“If you want to put it down to a simple common denominator, then the answer is ‘yes’,” legal scholar Prof. André Niedostadek had already assessed the situation in July 2021. At that time, too, the home office obligation, which was anchored in the federal emergency brake, was converted into a recommendation.
“It’s a bit like the Monopoly board game: there’s also the card ‘Go back to go’. And so it says ‘Go back to the office’ when companies draw this card,” the employment law expert from Harz University explained the legal situation.
However, this does not apply without restrictions. Companies can continue to enable working from home on a voluntary basis. Where there was a home office agreement before Corona, this is still effective.
The legal scholar points out that employees should not simply stay away from the office without reason and continue to work from home. “You risk a warning or even dismissal.”
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