Germany to drop COVID mask requirement on flights

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Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hanau

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will soon drop mask requirements on commercial flights introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Tuesday, after flagship airline Lufthansa complained that the rule was no longer enforceable.

Authorities will focus instead on making sure people wear face-and-mouth coverings on public transport in Germany, Lauterbach said in Berlin, after the coalition government agreed to axe the measure.

Germany is well prepared for a potential rise in cases this autumn, according to the minister, who said mask-wearing rules may return in some indoor or outdoor spaces if infections surge.

Restaurants owners and event organisers could also be asked to limit the number of guests again.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke, Writing by Rachel More; Editing by Madeline Chambers)