Sixty percent wiped out how long Lord would go on

Wearing masks - how much longer is it necessary?

A year ago, Saxony was the first federal state to introduce a mask requirement. Today it applies almost everywhere in public space. And we won't get rid of them that fast either.

Wearing a mask has become the new normal in the pandemic. Hardly any measure is so widely supported by the population: Nine out of ten Germans consider the mask requirement to be an appropriate means of containing the coronavirus, as a survey by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment shows (Corona Monitor from April 2021).

Probably a means of choice for a long time to come

Hardly anyone doubts that mouth and nose protection will continue to be part of everyday life for the time being. Virologist Christian Drosten had already indicated in September that he expected the mask to accompany us through the entire year 2021.

The health ministries of the federal states say that a temporal prognosis cannot be made at the moment.

First of all, it is and remains to wear a mask within the regulated framework,
Berlin Senate Department for Health

Mask requirement until next year?

Flow physicist Christian Kähler - he researches the formation, spread and mixing of aerosol particles - firmly assumes that we will still be wearing masks for the entire year 2021 and "certainly also over long distances in 2022".

Tested FFP-2 and FFP-3 masks offer "very, very good protection" against infections - for yourself and for others, according to Kähler. The reason: "Because these masks are able to separate the aerosol particles and also have no gap at the edge of the mask through which the aerosol particles can escape."

This protection is still necessary because the pandemic is "far from over," believes Kähler. Even with the vaccine, not all population groups would initially be supplied and at the same time the virus would continue to mutate.

Surgical masks offer less protection against corona

Kähler also warns against a false trust in surgical masks. In many places they are allowed to be worn instead of FFP-2 masks.

Surgical masks are just a spit protection. The main danger, however, comes from the aerosols. "That is why it was negligent to claim that these masks are virtually equivalent," said Kähler.

At least in Bavaria one has not gone this crazy road.
Christian Kähler, flow physicist

After the pandemic: wearing a mask against the flu?

Even after the end of the pandemic, Kähler believes that people will continue to wear masks. A direction in which medical professionals are also thinking.

"A mask not only protects against corona viruses, but also against viruses that cause colds or flu," says Susanne Johna, chairwoman of the Marburger Bund doctors' association.

As soon as you feel a scratchy throat, one wonders, could it be Covid-19? Or is it just a cold? Prof. Martin Scherer explains.

Contribution length:
4 min

The German Society for General and Family Medicine sees it similarly. It was seen last winter "how masks and contact restrictions have reduced the number of flu and other respiratory infections," said specialist society president Martin Scherer.

Even before Corona, public transport, doctor's offices and parties were places for the transmission of respiratory infections.
Martin Scherer, German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine

In the winter months in particular, it could therefore make sense to continue to wear masks there, according to Scherer: "Asian countries have long shown us how to do it." However, doctors do not consider a legal obligation to be necessary after the corona pandemic.

  • From a legal point of view, a continued mask requirement after the end of the pandemic should not be possible without further ado. "According to the current legal situation, a mask requirement can only be ordered to prevent corona infections," says ZDF legal expert Christian Deker. "The Infection Protection Act would probably have to be changed for other diseases.

    The central question is proportionality, in particular whether it is necessary to wear a mask to prevent infections. In addition, there should be no milder means with which the infections can be prevented, according to the legal expert. "That seems doubtful for diseases other than corona - especially if they do not occur in the form of a pandemic and are less dangerous."

  • The federal states are apparently not planning to extend the mask requirement beyond the time of the pandemic. This was the result of a random survey of the health ministries of 12 federal states. There is no discussion about a mask requirement beyond the corona pandemic.

    In many federal states, however, it is considered a good idea to voluntarily wear a mask. "In principle, it is always sensible and considerate in the event of illness to protect one's fellow human beings from being infected," says the Hessian community. Wearing masks is one possibility.

    The Ministry in Baden-Württemberg announced: "It would be conceivable, for example, that in the future patients with flu or cold symptoms would sit in the doctor's waiting room with mouth and nose protection, due to the awareness that they were can thus help protect the other waiting people. "

Background to Covid-19

The most important data on the coronavirus