Deutsche Bahn supports fines for mask refusers
Several German states have implemented higher fines or are planning to do this for those who refuse to wear masks in public places including buses and trains. Deutsche Bahn (DB), as the national railway operator, supports this initiative. It also distributes masks at the train stations across Germany.
Two German states, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, increased fines for mask refusers up to 150 euros. Some other regions such as Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein are also planning to do the same. “We agree with politicians that we have to act consistently against the small minority who refuse to wear masks on buses and trains and thus endanger the vast majority of those who wear masks. Fines are the way to go with unteachable people,” said Berthold Huber, DB Board Member for Passenger Transport.
Some German states including Berlin and Baden-Württemberg have the graded fine systems. If a mask refuser in Berlin is caught at a public place for the first time, he or she can be fined for 50 euros. If he or she do this again, the fine can be increased to up to 500 euros. The same system functions in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The fines vary from 75 to 250 euros in this region. It is worth to note that several states such as Rhineland-Palatinate, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia have the lowest fines in Germany: 10, 25 and 50 euros respectively. At the same time, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Hamburg and other states did not impose any fines for mask refusers.
In order to provide more safety when travelling by train, Deutsche Bahn launched a nationwide prevention campaign in mid-June. The railway operator constantly reminds the passengers to cover their mouth and nose in the trains and at the stations in accordance with the federal mask requirement. For those who forget or do not have the masks, DB distributed for free around 300,000 masks during July. Meanwhile, the railway company also encourages those passengers who wear masks. They received special two-euro vouchers that could be changed for masks or some presents such as colouring books and card games for children.