The obligation to wear surgical masks or of the FFP2 type or the equivalent NK95 / N95 will be gradually imposed throughout the country starting next week.
The race to obtain surgical and FFP2-type masks has been unleashed in Germany after Chancellor Angela Merkel and the presiding ministers of the Länder agreed on Tuesday to make their use mandatory in all public spaces, which means that all other forms of oral-nasal protection are prohibited. In nursing homes there will be no choice. Residents and staff must use the FFP2.
The date of entry into force of this measure corresponds to the federal states and, as usual, the head of the Bavarian government, Markus Söder , has been ahead of the others by imposing, in addition, the FFP2 in public transport, gas stations, shops , medical consultations and even take-out places. Starting Monday, fines of an amount yet to be determined will be imposed on those who violate the rule.
“FFP2 masks are available on the market, they are the most efficient to combat the spread of Covid-19 and at the moment we face the double challenge of keeping contagions at bay and preventing the spread of their mutations,” explained Söder.
The obligation to wear surgical masks or of the FFP2 type or the equivalent NK95 / N95 will be gradually imposed in the rest of the country starting next week.
Saxony, Berlin or North Rhine Westphalia have announced that, at least for the moment, both will be allowed. Bremen will follow the Bavarian pattern, although before making a firm decision the Senate of this city-state wants to make sure that there is availability for everyone in the market.
The obligation to carry the FFP2 and not another fits into the hard line that Söder has followed in the battle against the pandemic, but it will cost families an additional cost and many will not be able to afford it. Unlike the surgical, around 0.45 euros, the FFP2 costs in pharmacies between 2 and 4 euros. Since they cannot be washed and their use is limited, you just have to multiply.
The prices, however, vary from one pharmacy to another and also from one federal state to another. In Berlin, the price of a surgical mask costs between 0.40 and 2.50 euros and the FFP2 between 2 and 4.99. The market is governed by supply and demand and the ability to import masks, because, despite increasing production in Europe, the main market is still China.
The agreement reached on Tuesday by the federal government and the Länder does not include aid for the purchase of masks, but Chancellor Merkel declared this Thursday at a press conference that “naturally it will be discussed” where and in what way the government should help.
The most needy group will be the unemployed and people dependent on social assistance , with a monthly payment of 17 euros for hygiene.