Germany, affected by another strong outbreak of coronavirus, could re-impose the use of masks as a preventive measure from October, according to a bill presented by the Ministries of Health and Justice.
Face shields will continue to be mandatory on buses, trains and planesunderlines the text of the draft Law for the Protection against Infections made public jointly by the portfolios.
In addition, the obligation to use it will be reinstated, as well as the performance of Covid-19 tests in hospitals and nursing homes.
On the other hand, each of the 16 federal states that make up Germany may decide whether to also prescribe its use in other public areas.
Nevertheless, at cultural and sporting events and in restaurants there will be exceptions for people who have a negative test, are vaccinated or recently recovered.
In early April, Germany had removed not only the obligation to wear face masks but almost all restrictions against the coronavirus, but a sharp increase in infections two months later forced the authorities to rethink.
The project also provides that each state may prescribe tests in schools, nurseries and reception centers for asylum seekers, the German news agency DPA reported.
The mandatory use of masks in schools is contemplated only if it is otherwise not possible to carry out face-to-face teaching, but even then only from the fifth grade.
The text also states that if a federated state fears a possible collapse of its health system or other critical infrastructure, the mandatory use of masks at outdoor events where minimum distances between people cannot be maintained should also be taken into account.
In that case, there should also be no exceptions for people who present a test, are vaccinated or have recovered.
The measures provided for in the bill could be applied from October 1, 2022 to April 7, 2023.
Proposals will first be scrutinized by Cabinet before going to Parliament.
Germany adds 31 million infections and 144,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic in February 2020, according to the latest official data.