Starting Next Week, Masks are Officially Mandatory in Bavarian Shops & Public Transport. Here’s What You Need to Know

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In a 50 minute speech on Monday (full version here), Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder officially announced a formal mask obligation (Maskenpflicht), which will begin in Bavaria on April 27.

This Maskenpflicht will make it mandatory to cover one’s nose and mouth in shops of all sizes, and on public transport.

Söder has clarified however that medical grade masks are not required (and should be reserved for use in healthcare settings). Instead, the obligation is to simply cover one’s nose and mouth, whether with a scarf or with a mask. Community masks (AKA DIY masks made with commercially available fabrics) are suitable for this purpose.

With this announcement, Bavaria has become the third federal state to make masks mandatory in Germany, following Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Up until now, masks had only been a strong recommendation with no formal obligation.

In his speech, Söder also announced the following updates:

  • Parents will not need to pay any kindergarten or daycare fees in the next three months if these facilities have been closed due to COVID-19 related precautions
  • The state of Bavaria plans to ease the financial burden for artists in the state by providing them with 1000 euros a month
  • While no concrete dates have been given, the state is actively working towards the gradual re-opening of religious services, starting as early as May. They will discuss these measures in the coming days
  • Gastronomy businesses will not yet be permitted to re-open, however a reduction in VAT is planned to help ease the financial burden for these businesses

For more information on masks in Munich and where to buy them, read our full FAQ here.

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