German State Orders Mandatory N95 Masks in Public Spaces

Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder has announced that wearing N95 masks in public transportation and in shops will be mandatory, starting on Jan. 18, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder has announced that wearing N95 masks in public transportation and in shops will be mandatory, starting on Jan. 18, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

According to Söder, the new rule was to protect both the wearer and others from the virus since the “normal community masks” only protect others.

Söder also assured that the masks were “clearly in abundance, in part anyway.”

“The availability in trade is sufficiently guaranteed, so there is no shortage of FFP2,” Söder said.

Although health experts agreed that the N95 masks would provide better protection, they also said that those with lower income may not be able to afford the masks.

“In principle, I think it’s a good idea,” Virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the University of Hamburg told German news agency DPA, adding that free access to the masks and instructions on how to properly use them should also be provided.

Politicians also criticized the N95 masks requirement and cited free distribution for those who cannot afford them.

“Anyone who declares a FFP2 mask requirement must also provide this free of charge! – at least for people who have little money,” Federal Parliament Member Sven Lehmann stated in a tweet.

“In practice, making FFP2 masks mandatory without providing them for a free means that poor people will be excluded from public life entirely,” Left Party Chairman Katja Kipping told AFP news agency.


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