According to a report by “Spiegel,” most federal states refuse to instruct their carriers to collect fines for violating the mask requirement. That was the result of a changing conference of the Transport Ministers on Wednesday.
Originally, Chancellor Angela Merkel had agreed with the Prime Minister in August to regulate the imposition of fines on transport companies in addition to uniform minimum sentences. A statement, including from the federal states and the federal Department of Transportation, now says: “Imposing fines for mask requirement violations remains the responsibility of the responsible authorities.”
This consensus could lead to discussions next Tuesday, when the country leaders meet again with Merkel. According to Spiegel, the chancellor is becoming increasingly frustrated because some federal states oppose stricter measures to combat pandemics.
The person who signed the statement on Wednesday is the Minister of Transport in Lower Saxony, Bernd Althusmann. He justifies his rejection with the safety of employees in local public transport. “Sadly, the small but notorious minority of mask refusers repeatedly assaults workers rudely and sometimes violently,” he says, “which is why I don’t think much of them collecting the fine.”
According to Althusmann, it is not the transport companies that are responsible for this, but the regulators or the police. It is sometimes risky if bus drivers or train attendants gruffly prohibit the mask from boarding or continuing their journey. In the past, there have been several voices calling for regulators and police to check those who don’t wear masks, even on long-distance trains. (Teaspoon)