In retrospect, Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) admits that there were mistakes in corona policy.

In retrospect, it was wrong to keep schools and daycare centers closed for so long, Lauterbach said on Monday in ARD's "Morgenmagazin".

On the other hand, the advising scientists of the federal government would have advised it.

"The level of knowledge was often not really good enough," said the minister.

A distinction must be made between irregularities such as illegal mask shops or corona tests that are far too expensive.

"These are things that should never have happened," admitted the doctor Lauterbach, who was a health politician in the SPD parliamentary group around three years ago at the beginning of the pandemic and was appointed minister in December 2021.

Lauterbach said a few days before the end of basic protective measures such as the obligation to wear masks on public transport that, compared to other countries, Germany had “relatively spared” the companies.

"But we've been very tough on the kids and the schools," he added.

VdK warns: Previously ill people worry

In view of the end of the corona mask requirement on long-distance trains at the beginning of February, the social association VdK insists on continued important protection for risk groups.

President Verena Bentele told the German Press Agency that people with previous illnesses, disabilities or old age are concentrated in health and care facilities and are particularly at risk.

Masks should therefore continue to be worn there.

"Some employees or residents may find this a burden, but our consideration is clearly in favor of a mask requirement."

Bentele explained that many people, especially those with previous illnesses, were still worried about a possible infection on buses and trains.

Everyone can decide for themselves to continue wearing a mask there, but the protection is limited.

Therefore, tailor-made solutions should be considered.

Separate areas for mask wearers

"For example, separate areas that are reserved for people who want a mask would be conceivable," said the VdK President.

"In the ICE there are already comparable divisions with quiet areas or areas for mobile phones.

Then everyone can decide for themselves whether or not to wear a mask and go to the designated area.”

The nationwide obligation to wear masks on long-distance trains and long-distance buses is stipulated in the Infection Protection Act until April 7th, but according to plans by the federal government, it should be abolished on February 2nd.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) justified this with the stabilized pandemic situation.

However, he wants to stick to the existing mask requirements in clinics, practices and nursing homes, while the co-governing FDP calls for an earlier end to further corona measures.