A specific legal framework for COVID-19 protection measures had been in place from 1 October 2022 until 7 April. These measures were regulated by §28b of the Infection Protection Act. A number of nationwide protection measures were discontinued early due to the attenuating infection situation:
- The requirement to wear a face mask on public transport expired on 2 February.
- The requirement for employees and residents of healthcare and nursing facilities to take tests and wear masks was dropped on 1 March. Only visitors to places such as doctor’s offices, hospitals and care homes still had to wear a face mask.
The original plan had been for all COVID-19 protection measures to remain in place until 7 April. The Federal Government carefully considered the decision to cancel several rules before this date. To this end, it had conducted a scientific analysis of the development of the pandemic in autumn and winter. One finding of this study was that the nationwide protection measures that had been introduced in October had helped to prevent an overload of the health system.
Measures taken by the Länder
Until 7 April, the Länder were able to prescribe further rules in addition to the nationwide measures, such as the requirement to wear face masks on public transport. The goal was to ensure the health system and other critical infrastructure could continue to function. This rule was also stipulated in §28b of the Infection Protection Act. Upon expiry of the legal framework for these measures, this arrangement has also come to an end along with the nationwide rule.