Bus driver in Germany attacked after asking passenger to wear face mask

A woman in Darmstadt, near Frankfurt, assaulted a bus driver repeatedly after being asked to stick to coronavirus rules and wear a face mask, according to police.

Bus driver in Germany attacked after asking passenger to wear face mask
A sign urging people to wear masks on buses in Frankfurt in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Everyone in Germany is required by law to wear a covering over their face and mouth while on public transport as well as in shops.

On Wednesday police in the city of Darmstadt in Hesse said a bus driver was struck by a passenger and injured after she pointed out the rules.

The female passenger, said to be between 20 and 30-years-old entered the bus with three men and child. No members of the group were covering their mouths and noses.

The bus driver warned the group repeatedly to comply with this regulation. However, police said the group insulted the driver.

At the end of the journey, the suspect then entered the area next to the driver and struck her several times.

The group then fled the scene.

Police are searching for the suspect and have asked witnesses to come forward.

It's the latest in a series of violent attacks on bus drivers. In England last week a driver was attacked for not allowing someone on the bus because they were not wearing a mask.

Earlier this month, a bus driver in France died after being beaten up by passengers who refused to wear face masks.

Meanwhile, several teenagers attacked police and bus drivers recently during a mask check in Friborg, Switzerland, leaving two officers injured.

Bavaria sets up test centres in railway stations and on motorways

Coronavirus test stations for motorists at the Bavarian border as well as for rail travellers at Munich and Nuremberg main stations are scheduled to go into operation on Thursday.

According to the health ministry in Munich, interim test centres are planned near the border crossings Kiefersfelden, Walserberg and Pocking at the rest stops Inntal-Ost and Heuberg, Hochfelln-Nord and Donautal-Ost. The Bavarian state government had decided on Tuesday to set up the test centres.

READ ALSO: Bavaria to offer free coronavirus tests at train stations and motorways

Police break up parties in Berlin

And in Berlin, hundreds of people flouted coronavirus rules by partying in city parks. Up to 1,200 people gathered in the Hasenheide park in Neukölln on Tuesday, according to police.

Police said music was played loudly and people were not following the required 1.5 metre distance rule.

In Volkspark Friedrichshain, about 250 young people gathered on Tuesday night to drink alcohol. Police said bottles were thrown at officers when they tried to break up the gathering.

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Is the pandemic over in Germany?

As much of Germany lifts - or prepares to lift - the last remaining Covid-19 measures, intensive care units say Covid-19 admissions are no longer straining the system.

Is the pandemic over in Germany?

Despite a difficult winter of respiratory illnesses, intensive care units in Germany say Covid-19 admissions have almost halved. The number of cases having to be treated in the ICU has gone down to 800 from 1,500 at the beginning of this month.

“Corona is no longer a problem in intensive care units,” Gernot Marx, Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, told the German Editorial Network. “A the moment, we don’t have to think every day about how to still ensure the care of patients, but how to actually run a service that can help.”

Marx said the drop has allowed them to catch up on many postponed surgeries.

The number of sick employees in hospitals is also falling, helping to relieve the pressure on personnel.

The easing pressure on hospitals correlates with the assessment of prominent virologist and head of the Virology department at Berlin’s Charite – Christian Drosten – who said in December that the pandemic was close to ending, with the winter wave being an endemic one.

German federal and state governments are now in the midst of lifting the last of the country’s pandemic-related restrictions. Free Covid-19 antigen tests for most people, with exceptions for medical personnel, recently ended.

READ ALSO: Free Covid-19 tests end in Germany

Six federal states – Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein – have ended mandatory isolation periods for people who test positive for Covid-19.

Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein have ended the requirement to wear FFP2 masks on public transport, while Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia, and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will follow suit on February 2nd.

At that time, the federal government will also drop its requirement for masks to be worn on long-distance trains. Labour Minister Hubertus Heil says that’s when he also intends to exempt workplaces – apart from medical locations – from a mask requirement.

READ ALSO: Germany to drop mask mandate in trains and buses from February 2nd

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg will also end the requirement for patients to wear a mask in doctor’s offices. That’s a requirement that, so far, will stay in place everywhere else. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has also said that he thinks this requirement should remain. 

But some public health insurers and general practitioners are calling for a nationwide end to the obligation for wearing masks in doctor’s offices.

“The pandemic situation is over,” National Association of Statutory Health Physicians (KBV) Chair Andreas Gassen told the RND network. “High-risk patients aren’t treated in all practices. It should generally be left up to medical colleagues to decide whether they want to require masks in their practices.”