Bremen becomes last German state announcing face mask obligation
Xinhua

BERLIN-- Bremen became the last German federal state on Wednesday to require people to wear face masks in public for coronavirus prevention.

Five others German states including the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, made the wearing of masks mandatory earlier on Wednesday.

Accordingly, as of Wednesday, all federal states in Germany require citizens to wear a face mask when riding public transportation.

However, there are no uniform rules in Germany as some states still allow shopping without a mask, while most states have made a face mask or equivalent mouth-and-nose cover mandatory.

"The return to a responsible normality remains closely linked to a consistently pursued protection of health. We need regulations as similar as possible in all German states," said North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister President Armin Laschet on Wednesday.

The most important thing, however, is to keep distance from other people and to strictly observe hygiene rules, stressed Laschet. Everything must be done "that helps to find the way back to a life in normality."

Saxony, Thuringia, Bavaria and Mecklenburg Western Pomerania were among the first states to announce the obligation to wear a face mask.

Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the minister presidents of the federal states had refrained from issuing a nationwide regulation but merely "strongly recommended" the wearing of face masks on buses and trains as well as in retail stores.

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