Germany to scrap mask mandate in long-distance transport

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s health minister says the country will soon drop a mask mandate on long-distance trains and buses. The measures were one of the country’s last remaining COVID-19 restrictions. The minister said on Friday that the mandate will be dropped on Feb. 2. Other European countries already have scrapped mask mandates on public transportation. And the minister faced increasing pressure to follow suit in recent weeks. Masks remain mandatory in doctors’ practices. Masks and negative tests are still required to enter hospitals and nursing homes. Rules for local transportation are a matter for Germany’s 16 state governments. An increasing number have dropped or are dropping their mask mandates. Some also have scrapped rules requiring infected people to isolate at home.