Masks off as lawmakers approve new Covid measures
Wearing face masks and displaying Covid passes have been scrapped in most places in Luxembourg after lawmakers approved the removal of the majority of pandemic-related restrictions on Friday.
People no longer have to wear a face mask or show their CovidCheck pass to prove they have been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or tested negative to enter bars, cafés and restaurants.
However, business owners can choose to leave the measures in place if they wish.
Those entering hospitals or care homes must continue wearing a mask and show a health pass and the requirement for passengers on public transport to wear a mask will also stay in force.
The new measures were unanimously passed in parliament on Friday afternoon - the first time all deputies have backed a Covid law. The rules will be in place until 30 June.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and Health Minister Paulette Lenert put forward the proposed changes last week and Bettel said he hoped these would be the last amendments parliament has to approve.
The State Council – the highest advisory body to the government – backed the new law on Thursday but warned the legislation could cause confusion with another separate, non-Covid law which prohibits people from covering their faces in some public places such as schools. Those who continue to voluntarily wear a mask could be in breach of that law, the State Council said, for which people can be fined up to €250. On Wednesday, lawmakers staged a walk-out after a man invited to speak to parliament about a Covid petition to scrap masks and the CovidCheck system in public buildings such as hospitals compared the system to the Holocaust.
Luxembourg recorded the unwanted milestone of 1,000 Covid-19 related deaths this week, data from the Health Ministry showed on Wednesday. There are now 32 people in hospital with Covid-19, five of whom in intensive care. Of the six patients treated in intensive care over the past week, five were unvaccinated, the government data showed.