German Chancellor Airplane Face Mask Controversy – One Mile at a Time

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is getting some bad press over a flight he took yesterday, and I think it’s warranted.

In this post:

Germany still requires masks on planes

While masks were required on most airlines around the globe for the better part of two years, at this point we’ve seen many countries make mask wearing optional. In Europe, one of the only remaining countries to continue requiring masks on planes is Germany.

The German government’s current face mask requirement applies through September 2022, though there have been proposals for it to be extended through April 2023, in anticipation of an increase of coronavirus cases in the fall and winter. So it’s entirely possible that masks will continue to be required on flights to & from Germany for a long time.

We all have our own opinions when it comes to masking on planes — personally I appreciate the ability to make my own choice, given that nowadays we have quality masks that provide a high level of protection to the person wearing them as well, and we also have treatments that can minimize the serious risk of coronavirus.

I know many aren’t happy about Germany having extended its mask requirement, and a recent flight by Chancellor Scholz isn’t helping with that sentiment.

Germany still requires masks on planes

German Chancellor Scholz flies maskless

On Monday, Chancellor Scholz flew from Germany to Canada with quite an entourage on a German government Airbus A340-300. In addition to being accompanies by Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, he was also accompanied by more than 80 other passengers, mostly journalists.

Based on the videos and pictures from the flight, virtually no one was wearing a mask, which seems to contradict the government’s stance. A government spokesperson has tried to justify this in two ways, both of which I find to be rather ridiculous:

  • It’s claimed that “there is no mask requirement on Air Force flights,” though Germany’s Infection Protection Act doesn’t mention this exemption; for that matter, it would be ridiculous and a very bad look if Germany just excluded government jets from this requirement
  • It’s claimed that “all participants on the trip must present a current negative PCR test prior to departure,” which is also true for some travel destinations out of Germany, yet masks are still required on those flights

Bottom line

German Chancellor Scholz is being criticized for not masking on a transatlantic flight on a German government jet, even though Germany continues to have a mask mandate for aviation.

It’s disappointing to see the lack of leadership here. If the German government thinks that it’s important for people to wear masks on planes, then the German Chancellor should be leading by example, especially in front of media, to show that he’s not above the rules.

Instead a government spokesperson is coming up with lame excuses, about how everyone was tested (which is also the case to many destinations that Germans fly to, yet masks are still required), and that the law doesn’t apply on government planes (which also isn’t a good look).

What do you make of this German government face mask controversy?

(Featured image courtesy of BriYYZ)

body.adhesion .pbs[data-pbs-position=”sticky”] .pbs__player { bottom: 125px !important; } @media (max-width: 767px) { body.adhesion .pbs[data-pbs-position=”sticky”] .pbs__player { bottom: 120px !important; } }

Leave a Reply