Mask obligation: Greens demand sanctions for mask refusers

Draft evasion and fines: This is how the Greens want to make masks mandatory on trains. The Ministry of Transportation sees the railways and the federal police as having a duty to wear masks.

The Greens demand further steps from the Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) and the German Railway (Deutsche Bahn) to enforce the compulsory wearing of masks on long-distance trains. Matthias Gastel, the Green Party\’s spokesman for railway policy in the Bundestag, presented a five-point plan, which was first reported in the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

Gastel calls for a “clear responsibility of the federal police” so that they can control and enforce the wearing of mouth and nose protection on long-distance trains. “In the case of notorious mask refusers, the federal police must be able to determine and enforce the exclusion from further carriage already on the train,” he writes. In addition, a legal basis for the imposition of fines by the federal police at federal level was also needed, Scheuer said.

[“In addition, Gastel is calling for the railway’s reservation system to be changed so that seats are allocated as far apart as possible. Individual cars could be reserved for risk groups. Low-price tickets should only be offered for trains with low capacity in order not to lure more passengers into foreseeable full trains.”]

During his journeys on long-distance trains, he “never” noticed “that railway staff “addressed passengers without masks to their misconduct”, the Green politician criticises. He said that the federal government was referring to the states that were responsible for enforcing the Corona rules.

Meanwhile, the Federal Ministry of Transportation sees the railway as responsible for enforcing the obligation to wear masks on long-distance trains: “DB must ensure that the measures are effective and consistently implemented,” it was said. In a letter, the ministry had called on Deutsche Bahn “to ensure that DB strictly observes the obligation to wear masks. Deutsche Bahn had promised that passengers who did not put on a mouthguard when requested to do so would be excluded from carriage – in other words, they would have to leave the train. This was possible under the current Railway Traffic Regulations.

This Regulation stipulates that “persons who pose a threat to the safety and order of operations or to the safety of fellow passengers or who do not follow the instructions of railway staff” may be excluded from carriage. This could be enforced with the help of the Federal Police, the Ministry of Transport continued. The railway announced that it would enforce compliance: “If a minority disregards applicable rules, this is unacceptable to us. Together with the federal police, the regulations for danger prevention would be consistently implemented.

On the question of fines, the Ministry of Transport referred to the regulations of the Länder which make it compulsory to wear a mouth-nose cover on trains: “The Länder authorities are responsible for conducting administrative offence proceedings”.

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