The obligation to wear a face mask in NRW


In the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), wearing a face mask is currently mandatory in many places. 

  • in enclosed spaces of commercial, cultural and leisure facilities with public and customer traffic;
  • at points of sale or on markets outdoors;
  • at events with more than 25 participants outdoors;
  • in medical practices and similar health care facilities;
  • in gastronomic establishments;
  • during the use of transport services of passenger transport and its facilities.
  • on public places and streets from 10am to 10 pm where, due to the large amount of public traffic, it is not possible to ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 m is maintained throughout.

What does this mean for events?

According to the Stipulations of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), there is also an obligation to wear a mouth and nose cover at trade fairs and congresses as well as cultural events. 


What exceptions exist to the obligation to wear a face mask at trade fairs and specialist congresses?

  • Children until school age;
  • Security authorities, forces of the fire department, rescue services and civil protection services in operational situations;
  • Persons who cannot wear a face mask due to medical reasons;
    • A medical attestation must be provided.
  • The face mask may be removed when communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing requires this;
  • For the necessary consumption of food and beverages;
  • In the event that this is temporarily necessary to provide a service or medical treatment or it is necessary due to other reasons


In addition to the obligation to wear a face mask at congresses and events, there are several other aspects that are part of a hygiene and infection prevention concept. Click here to get more information on such a concept.