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Protection in buses, on trains and when shopping

Non-surgical masks Protection in buses, on trains and when shopping

In some federal states it is already mandatory to wear protective masks in shops and on public transport. Both federal and state government urgently recommend that people wear cloth masks. They can reduce the risk of infection.

A woman wearing a mask gets off a train.

Protective masks are recommended, especially on public transport and when shopping

Photo: Getty Images/Jens Schlueter

Even when far-reaching contact restrictions are in place, people need to get to work and go shopping. What steps can people take when it is difficult to respect a minimum distance of 1.5 metres as required? The Robert Koch Institute recommends the use of a non-surgical cloth or community mask to reduce the risk of infection. In particular, they protect other people, should the wearer be infected with the coronavirus. 

Federal and state governments thus urgently recommend the use of protective masks, especially on public transport and when shopping. (Read the details of the agreement reached between the federal and state governments here.) At the moment it is not mandatory to wear protective masks nationwide. This makes it all the more important to pay even more attention to hygiene and conduct rules.

More and more states and local authorities are making it mandatory for people to cover their nose and mouth in public transport or when shopping. The regional regulations can be found on the websites of the individual federal states.

General hygiene rules

Should you wear a cloth mask or not? The most important thing is always to keep your distance. In public, keep a minimum of 1.5 metres away from the nearest person. The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) recommends that you do not use buses or trains to get to work. If you have no alternative, you should be all the more circumspect in complying with hygiene regulations:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.
  • Cough and sneeze into your bent elbow or use a paper handkerchief.
  • Do not touch your mouth, eyes or nose with your hands.

Rules of personal conduct

Every passenger can also take additional steps independently to protect themselves and others from infection. Here too, the most important thing is to keep your distance: when entering and leaving public transport and when choosing your seat. Travel only if it is absolutely necessary and avoid travelling at rush hour.


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