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23 Apr 2020 | 02:54 AM UTC

Germany: Face mask use compulsory in public from April 27 amid COVID-19 pandemic /update 24

Germany News Alert

German authorities announce face mask use to be compulsory in public amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from April 27; abide by all government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/22/2020, 3:00 PM until 5/7/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Berlin). COUNTRY/REGION Germany

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Event

German authorities announced on Wednesday, April 22, that face mask use in public will be compulsory as of Monday, April 27, in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The use of face masks will become compulsory on public transport across the country and while shopping in the majority of states.

Social-distancing and hygiene ordinances will remain in place until at least Sunday, May 3. Authorities have stated that schools are scheduled to begin reopening from Monday, May 4. Restaurants, cafés, bars, cinemas, and music venues are expected to remain closed, while religious gatherings and large public events are suspended until Monday, August 31. Grocery stores, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, post offices, and delivery services are excluded from these measures.

Additionally, a ban on gatherings of more than two people remains in place. German citizens are advised to keep contact with people outside of their household to a minimum and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m (5 ft), preferably 2 m (6.5 ft), between themselves and others in public.

As of Wednesday, April 22, authorities have confirmed 150,062 COVID-19 cases nationwide, with 5,250 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease. 

 

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