Does the Federal President approve an exception to the mask requirement for train travel? The office explains him a photo taken during a trip Tuesday.
Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is currently visiting the city of Neustrelitz in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as part of his travels under the name “Local Time Germany”. A photo of his arrival causes a sensation: the federal president can be seen on the train, but without a mask, which would be mandatory in local and long-distance traffic in the federal states concerned. A special rule for the head of state?
Not at all, a spokesperson for the Federal President’s Office explains on t-online. Steinmeier wore an FFP2 mask on the regional express for Neustrelitz, but took it off for a 40-second video statement. This appeared as an Instagram story on the president’s profile. These types of videos are only available for 24 hours. He was also asked to “take off his mask for a moment” for a photo, the spokesman said. “Then he put his mask back on.”
According to the Office of the Federal President, Neustrelitz is the fourth station in the Federal President’s “Local Time Germany” series since the beginning of his second term in February 2022. Stays outside Berlin are bound to be “open and interested, controversial, with citizens about current challenges, wishes and concerns and “respectfully” to start the conversation.
On Wednesday, for example, Steinmeier spoke with fisherwoman Sabine Reimer. He drew the Federal President’s attention to fishermen’s problems with what he considered excessive nature conservation in the Lake District. The businesswoman from Rödlin had to give up 70 of her 700 hectares of water because the Müritz National Park no longer allows fishing there. Reimer’s family business has been working in the region for 100 years.
“We survived the browns and the reds, now we have to argue with the greens,” Reimer said at the market stall where he sells fresh fish. He fails to understand that ancient fishermen can no longer work where there has always been fishing. The Müritz National Park was founded in 1990. Steinmeier expressed her respect for the work of the fisherwoman.
Other traders and citizens have also repeatedly stressed the high costs of energy and fuel to Steinmeier. The federal president had previously spoken to potential federal police officers. A “controversial table” was planned for the afternoon, where Steinmeier wanted to exchange views with citizens on issues such as the culture of protest, the consequences of the energy crisis and civic engagement.
Steinmeier visited Altenburg in Thuringia in March, Quedlinburg in Saxony-Anhalt in May and Rottweil in Baden-Württemberg in June.