Update: While Germany was originally set to require N95s on flights as of tomorrow, they have now done an about-face and will completely remove their mask mandate on flights as of tomorrow.
Lufthansa confirms that they will remove their mask requirement on all flights, except flights to and from China and India, where local laws still require masking on flights:
*Kindly note the obligation to wear masks still remains on flights to and from China, and to India.
— Lufthansa (@lufthansa) September 30, 2022
Originally posted on 8/26:
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Cabinet approved legislation requiring N95 level masks on public transportation, including flights to or from Germany.
While most countries allowed cloth masks when they had mask mandates, Germany currently requires surgical masks on flights. And starting on October 1st through at least April 7th, Germany will require N95 type masks on flights, trains, and buses.
This comes after Chancellor Scholz and his entourage of 80 passengers have faced heavy criticism for flying from Germany to Canada without masking.
„Die Maskenpflicht im Flugzeug gilt laut dem Bundesinfektionsschutzgesetz weiterhin auf allen innerdeutschen Strecken sowie auf Flügen, die in Deutschland starten oder landen.“ pic.twitter.com/D34y9c1wds
— Argo Nerd (@argonerd) August 22, 2022
The German government initially said that everyone on the flight tested negative for COVID which meant that there were no risks taken, however there are countries that still require such tests and German law still requires masks on flights to those countries.
The German government then said that there is no requirement for masking on Luftwaffe (German Air Force) flights, which is why the government and media officials were not masked on the Luftwaffe flight to Canada.
While that may technically be true, it’s yet another example of politicians making COVID rules that don’t apply to them.
Earlier this year Lufthansa kicked 130 Jews off of a flight and banned them from flying Lufthansa for 24 hours due to a small number of Jews on the flight that didn’t properly mask for the duration of their flight. While a Lufthansa employee was caught on video saying that all of the Jews on the flight were made to pay for the sins of the few, the airline denied that anti-Semitism played any role in the incident.
The new German N95 requirement will create an even harder burden as many people find it very difficult to wear those masks for an extended period of time. You may want to think twice before flying to or from Germany on your next flight.