German Chancellor Mocks Regular People – Extends Mask Mandate, Then Flies Maskless Himself

This month the German government extended its mask mandate for travel through April 2023. But this week German Chancellor Olaf Scholz flew to Canada and went maskless. The government response? His plane was exempt because it was operated by the German Air Force.

[M]ore than 80 passengers were accompanying Scholz and Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, who was photographed talking to journalists while unmasked on their flight to Montreal.

Masks for thee, but not for me. To be sure they’re German and can read the rules literally, they didn’t impose the mask mandate on themselves so didn’t violate the mandate. Or so they say: “Germany’s Infection Protection Act does not specifically mention such an exemption.”

To the extent that masks remain protective against current variants that spread more easily than earlier iterations of the virus that causes Covid-19, only the best quality masks are likely to do so. Germany requires at least FFP2 masks, so cloth masks aren’t acceptable as they were in the U.S. However they’re also less helpful in aircraft (given HEPA air filtration, rapid air refresh, and downward air flow) than in most indoor congregant settings.

At this point in the pandemic, where vaccines which reduce the severity of infection at a minimum are broadly available, a mask requirement no longer makes sense. Vaccination plus prior Omicron infection is highly protective, even against reinfection by BA.4 and BA.5. But in Germany the requirement continues for ordinary citizens and not the privileged elite whose revealed preference is against wearing them. Europe’s CDC no longer advises inflight mask requirements.

Of course Chancellor Scholz’s timid policies towards Russia, and unwillingness to develop energy independence, are far more deplorable than his refusal to wear a mask. And none of this compares to former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s actually lobbying on behalf of Russia since the Putin government invaded Ukraine. So Germany has far bigger fish to fry than masks.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Just another Radical Left-wing Clown on the rampage. All the little people MUST do as I say, not as I do.

  2. Have you actually looked at the Twitter account of the group posting this? While I do think it’s time for Germany to release any mask ruling, promoting twitter feeds like this one is probably not the best route forward.

  3. There is a small subgroup of the political spectrum (just as there’s one in the general public) who seem so enamored with the concept of wearing a mask everywhere that they can’t stand to be without one. Worse yet, they can’t stand for YOU to be without one either. In spite of the fact that they do no good whatsoever. As for the politicians, they know this is BS but they love to control you. It’s like rubbing your nose in poop.

    Germany is the worst with this absurdity: I was in an ICE train from Cologne – Amsterdam and they were being absolute mask nazis (was that wrong?) upon boarding and for the first hour. Then we hit the NL border and the conductor came through announcing no masks were needed. EVERYONE whipped them off right there and then. What a freakin joke.

  4. Just don’t fly LH. I travelled to Germany last month on another airline and they did not mention or enforce the German mask mandate. Made for a pleasanter trip and, surprise, my fully vaccinated self did not get Covid. BTW the majority of pax on the flights were not masked, and 90% of those wearing a mask were actually unprotected as they were not correctly worn.

  5. But…but…but it’s about the science and when you dare question Saint Fauci you are attacking science. When are people going to wake the hell up.

  6. “At this point in the pandemic, where vaccines which reduce the severity of infection at a minimum…”

    No, they do not. Why does he insist on parroting this obvious falsehood? The experimental gene therapies are an abject failure and he knows it, but is too weak to admit it. The fact that we still have people left who haven’t figured out the scam is amazing and frightening for the future of society.

  7. Should let Putin deal with the germans again.
    How come western europe has all these coward losers in charge while eastern europe has people like Orban and PiS in poland doing the heavy lifting?

  8. “Timid” policies towards Russia??? What do you expect Germany to do? Start another World War? I thought the chosen people were opposed to Germany’s rise. What happened? Germany now loves Israel, therefore it is ok for them to war?

  9. Hesitant to wade into the unfortunate swarm of trolls here, but just making an observation after three LH flights in the last week. Mask wearing is vigorously enforced at the gate and upon boarding – there are warnings that you will be denied boarding and the flight attendants will stop the line to ensure that you are wearing it or put one on as you enter the plane. After that, compliance and enforcement are spotty at best, particularly on long haul. The FAs don’t seem to be enforcing once you’re in your seat.

  10. @Stuart came here to say the same thing. Not the sort of thing I think this blog wants to be affiliated with.

  11. @James N
    Of course you’re here to show everyone that you’re smarter. Yeah, Jimmy boy we’re really frightened of what you have to troll.

  12. I can’t understand why germans are so trustful of their government. There are still literal nazis from germany still alive. Seems like it would take more than a generation or 2 for the government to regain trust amongst its population.

  13. “Your comment above shows your not doing the heavy lifting.”

    It also appears “you’re” not doing it.

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