1. GA-English

Checking for masks on public transportation: Bonn steps up enforcement of corona regulations

Checking for masks on public transportation : Bonn steps up enforcement of corona regulations

For those who travel on public transportation, increased controls can be expected when it comes to wearing masks. But ticket inspectors are not allowed to issue fines, only police or public order officers are authorized to do so. A fine of 150 euros can be imposed on violators.

Despite their statements last week, Bonn's municipal transportation authorities and the City of Bonn now want to step up their enforcement of mandatory masks on buses, trams and trains. This comes amidst rising coronavirus rates and the changed Corona Protection Ordinance for North Rhine-Westphalia, which states that violations of the mask requirement on public transport can be punished with a fine of 150 euros as of this week. There had also been an increase in complaints about passengers without masks.

From this Friday on, passengers on tram line 66 between Königswinter, Bonn and Siegburg will experience increased controls, according to SWB spokesman Michael Henseler. André Berbuir, head of department at Rhine-Sieg district, also made clear that only employees of the public order office or the police are authorized to issue a fine. The ticket inspectors of the public transport companies are not allowed to do so.

In the view of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, the increase of coronavirus infections has made it necessary to clamp down on violators. Those who do not wear masks or keep their distance from others must expect the authorities to act decisively, said President Ralph Spiegler. He warned: "Above all: ...we cannot afford a second lockdown." The association believes that law enforcement agencies should act swiftly and decisively if violations occur.

Bavaria's State Premier Markus Söder (CSU) publicly apologized for tens of thousands of corona test results that did not get processed in his state. "A big mistake has been made", Söder said after a crisis meeting in the Munich State Chancellery. "We can only apologize for it." Söder did not accept an offer of resignation from health minister Melanie Huml (CSU). In the view of CSU leader Söder, the real concern is the increasing number of new infections; the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is also concerned. On Wednesday, the health authorities reported more than 1,400 new cases throughout Germany, the highest level since the beginning of May.

In Bavaria, as of Wednesday evening, more than 44,000 test results had not yet been communicated to those who were tested after arriving back from vacation. Some of the tests were carried out days ago. According to Huml, more than 1,000 of them are positive. 908 affected persons have been identified, and have been gradually informed since Thursday morning.

(Orig. text: fa, ca, dpa;Translation: ck)