The Obligation to Wear a Face Mask in NRW

[Valid since October 19, 2021]

Every person is obliged to behave in a way in which they do not expose themselves or others to any unreasonable risk of infection. To this end, the general rules of conduct on distance, hygiene and masks (the so-called AHA rules) must be observed as comprehensively as possible in all areas of life.

The obligation to wear a medical face mask is mandatory (regardless of seating and the minimum distance):

  • during the use of transport services of passenger transport and its facilities;
  • indoors when people from different households meet, for instance at cultural and leisure facilities as well as general facilities with public and customer traffic;

Deviations from the obligation to wear a face mask inside are possible:

  • when meetings between different households are entirely private.
  • at workplaces indoors as well as in cars, if
    • a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is kept at all times;
    • meetings take place only between immunized employees;
    • if employees work at the same desk or in the same team and are immunized or tested.
  • in sales and consultation meetings in the course of providing a service, or in commercial transactions, when all persons involved are immunized or tested and maintain a distance of 1.5 meters,
  • in restaurants or other gastronomic facilities with fixed seats or standing places - except on walkways
  • at night clubs, pubs and bars as well as at (private) events and festivals with a dance floor in case access is limited to immunized or tested visitors. In this case, either a PCR-test or a ree Corona rapid antigen test, which has been carried out no longer than six hours prior to the event, is necessary-
  • at education or cultural facilities as well as at business events, congresses, fairs and meetings on fixed seats or standing places, if all participants are immunized or tested. 
  • for groups who sing together, in which case the same requirements hold as for visiting night clubs, pubs and bars.
  • if necessary for the consumption of food and drinks.
  • if necessary for the provision of a service or medical treatment.
  • if necessary to communicate with deaf or hearing-impaired people.

Note: Anyone who disregards the obligation to wear a face mask may not use the corresponding offers or enter facilities. Violation of the obligation on public transportation is a misdemeanor and will be punished.