“The more people wear mouth-nose protection in larger crowds, the better their own protection and that of others against a possible coronavirus transmission,” said Jörg Radek, the deputy federal chairman of the police union (GdP), the Handelsblatt. Compared to other conditions, it is “the lesser intervention for the purpose of minimizing the risk of infection”.
The head of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, praised Saxony that it was “consistently the right way”. “It would have been desirable if there had been a nationwide regulation and the mandatory wearing of mouth-nose masks had been introduced both in shops and in public transport,” said Wendt the Handelsblatt.
“And it is also reasonable to achieve the protective effect of a so-called everyday mask with relatively simple means, and Saxony has also provided information on this.”
Saxony had become the first federal state to require a mask for local public transport and retail. The regulation applies from Monday.
A simple shawl or scarf is also sufficient there, said Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU). It does not have to be an expensive FFP2 mask to cover the nose and mouth.
Mecklenburg-West Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) said that anyone using trams, buses or taxis must wear mouth and nose protection in the fight against the corona virus from April 27. Alternatively, a cloth can also be used. For purchases in retail, the only urgent recommendation is to wear a mask.
Federal government rejects mask requirement
In Jena, Thuringia, a mask requirement already applies to local transport, among other things, which has only recently been expanded to work rooms in which more than one person is staying and in which a safety distance of one meter 50 cannot be maintained. The Hessian city of Hanau also ordered a mask requirement.
The Federal Government had only agreed with the Prime Minister on Wednesday to make a mask. Chancellor Angela Merkel said that for better protection, wearing so-called everyday masks is “strongly recommended” when shopping and in public transport. There should not be a general requirement for a mask.
Police unionist Radek emphasized that the measure also helps police officers in their operations. “However, the police are not in a position to carry out general checks on compliance with the compulsory order as in Saxony,” added the GdP vice-president. “Here, too, the public’s insight must be used.” And sufficient protective masks are required.
This is also pointed out by union chief Wendt. “Police officers have the right to have their employer provide enough protective materials to best protect them from infection while they are on duty,” he said.
“It is just as right to expect the population to make a really small, yet effective contribution to protect police, emergency services and other public workers, as well as those around them from being harmed by infections.”
The chairman of the Federation of German Criminal Investigation Officers (BDK), Sebastian Fiedler, also praised Saxony’s move towards a mask requirement. “On the one hand, there is the simple connection that, like all other security agencies, the more masks are worn, the more secure citizen contacts are made for the criminal police,” Fiedler told Handelsblatt.
On the other hand, it is the ultimate opportunity to gradually get social and economic life going again.
Fiedler pointed out that the scenarios that had to do with a recession and, in particular, with high unemployment as a result of the slowdown in the economy, presented “significant challenges for the security authorities”.
“The need to strengthen the police force would slow down as a result of falling tax revenues, and we would have to fear an increase in certain areas of crime,” he said. “So in the long run, homemade masks will also help the security authorities.”
More: Read here why the development of a Corona warning app is delayed.