German teachers’ union begs for return of mask mandates, wants to avoid school closures ‘at all costs’ — RT World News

Germany’s teachers’ union chief has urged a return to mask requirements for elementary schools as the country is seeing a rise in Covid-19 infections among young children.

“Our infection numbers for the school-age group are already significantly higher than a year ago, when, as you know, we had to close schools from mid-December,” Heinz-Peter Meidinger, the president of the German Teachers’ Union, told RND on Wednesday. 

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Meidinger claimed that another school closing must not be allowed “at all costs.”He called on the removal of mask requirements in elementary schools and stated that regular testing was also necessary.

The teachers’ union chief expressed hope that a vaccine will be approved for children aged five to 11, as did the lobby group German Child Protection League (DKSB).

Recently, many German states lifted or relaxed mask requirements at schools. Daniel Gunther was the minister-president in Schleswig-Holstein. He announced this Tuesday. “another step towards normality,”Starting in November, students won’t have to wear masks during class.

The easing of quarantine rules comes as Germany’s pandemic-related state of emergency, which has been in place since March 2020, is set to expire on November 25.

Given the rising Covid-19 seven day incidence rate, experts and politicians have voiced concern about school mask mandates being dropped. “Masks are of great importance during the fourth wave [of infections], including in schools,”Karl Lauterbach (a Social Democratic Party health specialist) spoke out to German media. 

On Tuesday, Robert Koch Institute said that seven day incidence rates among children aged 5-14 years have increased to 207.4 (and continues to increase). The same information is available for those aged between 15 and 34, which is 150.7. 

According to statistics from the government, more than 66% had been fully immunized as of Tuesday.

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