Masks

Masken Englisch

Why am I supposed to cover my mouth and nose?


(Stand:  27 April 2020 16:00  o' clock)

To cover your nose and mouth in public is supposed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the population and to protect risk groups from an infection. These non-medical masks are supposed to retain droplets that are emitted when you cough, sneeze or speak. The purpose is to reduce the risk of contagion for the people around you (protection of the others). Studies have shown that people suffering from COVID-19 already start emitting the contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus one to three days before they even develop symptoms or become aware of symptoms during the disease.

Do children also have to wear a medical mask?


(Stand:  18 June 2021 00:00  o' clock)

At all places where many people gather without keeping distance, you should generally wear a mask, whether this is mandatory or not. When worn correctly, a FFP2 mask has the best protective effects. Medical masks are also very strongly protective and it is mandatory to wear them in many areas of public life in Hamburg.

It is mandatory to wear a medical mask in the following situations:

  • in public transport (or masks of comparable standard KN95),
  • at the hairdresser‘s,
  • when shopping (in retail shops) or at farmers‘ markets,
  • Obligation to wear a mask for all persons present in gastronomic facilities and in retail shops; this includes the staff members. It is only allowed to take off the mask while remaining at your seat when further hygiene measures are taken (e.g. plexiglass screens as spit protection),
  • Obligation to wear a mask indoor: during religious services, in hotels, educational and training facilities, at work, service or operational premises and other locations serving the purpose of professional practice. It is only allowed to take off the mask while remaining at your seat when additional hygiene measures are taken. 
  • Attention: It is mandatory to wear a mask in offices as soon as there are more than two persons in one office. This obligation to wear a mask also applies when the two persons are sitting far away from each other. Only when additional hygiene measures are taken (e.g. spit protection and regular airing), it is not mandatory to wear a mask.
  • It is not mandatory to wear a mask if this is necessary for the exercise of the profession or during the provision of a service.
  • Obligation to wear a mask in public buildings in Hamburg that are open to the public (offices, other institutions). It is only allowed to take off the mask while remaining at your seat or workplace.
  • On public ways, streets and places as well as in public parks and any other public locations where it is not possible to keep a minimum distance of 1,5 meters from other persons,
  • Obligation to wear a mask when entering open cultural facilities such as libraries and memorials.

You can find notes on medical masks in our  overview of medical masks (https://www.hamburg.de/corona-maske/14847194/medizinische-masken/). It is generally recommended to use FFP2 masks.

Simple everyday masks and masks (face coverings) made of fabric are not permitted anymore at the places mentioned above. It is not permitted anymore to pull a scarf any other clothes over your nose and mouth.

In the event that it is not mandatory to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth or a medical face mask indoor, it is still strongly recommended to wear a medical mask.

Persons who are exempt from wearing a face covering or a medical mask due to health reasons must proove this exemption (original of a medical certificate or severely disabled person’s card) upon request.

Rules applying for children: Children under the age of 7 years are exempt from the obligation to wear a mask. At places where it is mandatory to wear a medical mask, children older than 14 years must wear a medical mask instead of a simple face covering. This means that children under and including the age of 14 years are allowed to wear simple everyday face coverings.

Notes on everyday masks:

In the event that it is not mandatory to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth or a medical face mask, it is still strongly recommended to wear a mask.

The following rules continue to apply:

  • It is still permitted to use everyday masks at special public places where it is often narrow and people gather regularly, as long as there is no defined obligation to wear a mask (in this case, it is mandatory to wear at least medical masks).
  • Parents, persons having the right of custody or supervising persons elder than 14 years must wear a mask on playgrounds.
  • It is mandatory to wear a mask at all public ways, streets and places and in public parks if it is not possible to keep the mandatory distance of 1,5 meters from other persons.
  • Furthermore, it is mandatory to wear a mask during weekends and on public holidays at certain hours and highly frequented parks and public places. Please see also the graphique illustrating the question „At which public places is it mandatory to wear a mask?" (https://hamburg.de//coronavirus/aktuelles/14435302/2020-10-10-maskenpflicht-an-oeffentlichen-plaetzen)

Do I have to wear a mask when I go to a doctor’s practice?


(Stand:  02 November 2020 14:00  o' clock)

When going to your general practitioner, it is mandatory to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth as long as it is not possible to keep the minimum distance. Of course it is allowed to take off the mask when this is necessary for the treatment.

Do I have to adhere to the distance rules when I am wearing a mask covering my nose and mouth?


(Stand:  18 January 2021 12:00  o' clock)

Yes, absolutely! Because wearing a fabric mask covering your nose and mouth is only an additional measure to reduce the risk of an infection. Even when wearing these non-medical masks, the most important and efficient protection measures continue to apply in order to protect yourself and others: wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, do not touch your face with your hands, sneeze and cough correctly (use a handkerchief only once, cover your mouth with your arm bend when sneezing or coughing, etc.).

Please note: Keeping a distance of at least 1,5 meters from other persons remains mandatory in public places, whether there is an obligation to wear a mask or not.

What kind of mask should I wear?


(Stand:  18 June 2021 00:00  o' clock)

In several public places, simple everyday masks and masks (face coverings) made of fabric are not permitted. In public transport or when shopping or visiting farmer’s markets, for example, it is mandatory to wear a medical mask (surgery mask). It is not permitted to pull a scarf or any other clothes over your nose and mouth.

According to the legal decree, face shields are not considered as being a sufficient covering for your mouth and nose anymore. Face shields are no longer admitted in places where it is mandatory to wear a mask. They only remain admitted in exceptional cases and under special conditions (e.g. for disabled persons). Please see also § 8 of the legal decree.

You can find further information in our overview of "medical masks"

Can I also use a scarf?


(Stand:  22 January 2021 00:00  o' clock)

No. It is not allowed anymore to use a scarf as a mask or face covering. As from January 22nd, it is not permitted anymore to pull a scarf, a neckerchief or any other clothes over your nose and mouth.

Which persons do not need to cover their nose and mouth?


(Stand:  27 April 2020 16:00  o' clock)

Children under the age of 7 as well as people who cannot wear a face covering due to a health impairment or a disability are exempt from the obligation to wear a protective mask covering their nose and mouth.

How can I proove that I cannot wear a medical mask?


(Stand:  12 February 2021 00:00  o' clock)

Persons who are exempt from wearing a face covering or a medical mask due to health reasons must be able to proove this exemption by presenting a medical certificate (original) or severely disabled person’s card upon request.

How should I take off, store and clean my cloth face covering (corona protective mask) correctly?


(Stand:  04 May 2020 15:00  o' clock)

Please note the following instructions on how to handle your cloth face covering:

  • How to take it off:  To take it off, make sure you only touch the elastic / cloth straps or the ear loops of the cloth face covering. Do not touch the front side of the mask, because it might potentially carry the virus after you used it. After taking off the cloth face covering, you should wash your hands thoroughly in accordance with the general hygiene rules (wash hands for at least 20-30 seconds, use soap).
  • How to store it: After taking off your cloth face covering, you can either store it in a closed container or in a plastic bag, or wash it immediately. You should only store it unwashed for the shortest possible period of time in order to avoid odour or mildew formation.
  • How to clean it: You should wash your cloth face covering every time after using it at 60°C (or even better at 95°C). It is perfect to wash it in a washing machine using a heavy-duty detergent. After washing, you should dry the mask completely and store it in a dry and clean place before using it again. Please note any eventual manufacturer information about the maximum number of applications and washes, so that the functionality and stability of the mask can be guaranteed

Do sales assistants in retail shops or at farmers‘ markets have to wear a mask?


(Stand:  18 June 2021 00:00  o' clock)

It is mandatory to implement the general health and safety regulations and standards for the employees in conjunction with the sector-specific specification of the accident insurance company. In all sales points, retail shops and salesrooms of service and craft companies, pharmacies, medical supply stores, banks and savings banks, in wholesale facilities and at farmers‘ markets, it is mandatory for all persons present to  wear a mask according to § 8. This means that sales assistants also have to wear masks.

This applies also for farmer’s markets where it is usually not possible to keep a distance of 1,5 meters from other persons.

Do I have to wear a mask when I shop at a farmers‘ market?


(Stand:  01 September 2020 00:00  o' clock)

Yes. Customers shopping at farmers’ markets must wear a mask while they are at the market. In addition, the general hygiene rules apply.

Do I have to wear a mask when I go to a doctor’s practice?


(Stand:  02 November 2020 14:00  o' clock)

When going to your general practitioner, it is mandatory to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth as long as it is not possible to keep the minimum distance. Of course it is allowed to take off the mask when this is necessary for the treatment.

At which public places is it mandatory to wear a mask?


(Stand:  18 June 2021 00:00  o' clock)

There is no general obligation anymore to wear a mask in several streets and public places since June 18th, 2021. However, it remains mandatory to wear a mask everywhere where it is not possible to keep a minimum distance of 1,5 meters from other persons. Only persons for whom the distance rule according to § 3 paragraph 2 sentence 2 does not apply are exempt from this rule.

In individual cases, the police can mandate a geographically limited obligation to wear a mask at certain public ways, streets or places according to § 8 if this is necessary due to infection protection reasons; this is especially the case when the distance rule is not adhered to or cannot be adhered to due to the local conditions.

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