BERLIN – Debate on masks in shops

In the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the requirement to wear masks in shops could soon come to an end, after the state’s economy minister, Harry Glawe (CDU), came out in favour of scrapping the requirement before 4 August. While officials in Brandenburg and Lower Saxony voiced their support, the idea has drawn opposition from other states and from federal politicians, including from his own party.

On Monday (6 July), Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) came out against the idea. “Whether on the bus, in the subway or in retail stores, it should remain obligatory to wear masks,” government speaker Steffen Seibert said.

Both party colleagues, Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) and CDU party leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, also oppose the idea. 

The Social Democrats (SPD) are in agreement with their grand coalition partners. Party co-chair Norbert Walter-Borjans voiced his support in an interview with tabloid Bild published on Monday (6 July).

“At the store, I’ll wear a mask. And if everyone does, we’ve contained a large percentage of possible infection,” he told Bild.

Despite the widespread criticism, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or any other state that wants to do away with the mask requirement can still move forward with the plan due to Germany’s federal structure. (Sarah Lawton |


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