Germany’s health minister urges voluntary use of face masks

Jun 16, 2022, 3:10 PM | Updated: Jun 17, 2022, 3:14 am
Karl Lauterbach, Federal Minister of Health, shows an FFP2 mask during a press conference on the Co...

Karl Lauterbach, Federal Minister of Health, shows an FFP2 mask during a press conference on the Corona situation in the summer at the Federal Press Conference in Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 17, 2022. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

(Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s health minister urged residents and visitors to wear face masks indoors to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus, but he acknowledged that current data doesn’t justify making mask use a legal requirement.

An indoor mask mandate largely lapsed across Germany this spring, with the requirement remaining for places such as hospitals and care homes. The libertarian Free Democratic Party, which is part of the country’s governing coalition, has been particularly vocal in pressing for an end to COVID-19 measures.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, an epidemiologist by training, said Germany was experiencing an expected increase in cases that amounted to a “summer wave.” The country has recently reported between 50 and 130 coronavirus-related deaths a day, according to official figures.

“I ask those who want to protect themselves or others to wear masks indoors,” Lauterbach, a member of the Social Democrats, told reporters in Berlin, noting that cases could continue rising over the coming months. “Voluntarily wearing masks needs to be a normality indoors.”

The dominant variant circulating in Germany is comparatively mild, and many residents are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, meaning they are less at risk of serious illness, the health minister said.

“There is no need to to panic,” he said.

Lauterbach said the government was working on obtaining a broad supply of vaccines for the fall that would respond to all the main variants.

Citizens who are at risk, or who want to avoid endangering others, should consider getting a second booster shot, he added.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/covid-19-pandemic

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

US economy slipped 1.6% to start year; return to growth eyed

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a 1.6% annual pace in the first three months of the year even though consumers and businesses kept spending at a decent pace, the government reported Wednesday in a slight downgrade from its previous estimate for January-March quarter. It was the first drop in gross domestic product […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Lawsuit filed by family of woman killed while parasailing

MIAMI (AP) — The family of a 33-year-old Illinois woman who was killed while parasailing in the Florida Keys last month has filed a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit against the boat company, attorneys said. Supraja Alaparthi was killed, her 9-year-old nephew was seriously injured and her 10-year-old son suffered minor injuries when the […]
1 day ago
Ilya Yashin, Russian opposition activist and a municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district of Mos...
Associated Press

Russian court lets opposition figure’s jail term stand

MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow on Wednesday rejected a prominent Russian opposition figure’s appeal of the 15-day jail sentence he received on charges of failing to obey police. The decision by the Moscow City Court, the capital’s highest municipal judicial body, came one day after Ilya Yashin was sentenced. Yashin, who has publicly […]
1 day ago
Workers clear debris at a shopping center that was damaged in a Russian rocket attack in Kremenchuk...
Associated Press

Ukrainians search for 20 missing after Russia strikes mall

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces battled Wednesday to surround the Ukrainian military’s last stronghold in a long-contested eastern province as shock reverberated from a Russian airstrike on a shopping mall that killed at least 18 people in the center of the country a day earlier. Moscow’s battle to wrest the entire Donbas region from […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

African Union urges calm in Ethiopia-Sudan border dispute

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The African Union says it is deeply concerned by “the escalating military tension” between Ethiopia and Sudan after seven Sudanese soldiers and a civilian were killed in a border dispute. The statement Wednesday by the chairman of the continent-wide organization urged both countries to cease armed hostilities and hold talks. The […]
1 day ago
FILE - A worker collects Egyptian traditional 'baladi' flatbread, at a bakery, in el-Sharabia, Shub...
Associated Press

World Bank agrees $500m to help Egypt fund wheat purchases

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt will receive a $500 million loan from the World Bank to help finance its wheat purchases as prices skyrocket because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the bank said Wednesday. The funds, approved Tuesday by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, aim at supporting Egypt’s efforts to provide subsidized bread […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Germany’s health minister urges voluntary use of face masks