What you need to know about new FFP2 mask requirement
As of Monday January 18th, an FFP2 protective mask must be worn in the state of Bavaria on all public transport and when shopping. However, this obligation does not apply to staff, only to customers - and it excludes children up to and including 14 years of age.
Children and adolescents from the age of six to 14 must continue to wear mouth and nose coverings as before.
Before the measure went into effect, FFP2 masks were already required when visiting relatives in a nursing home.
How well does the mask protect?
While everyday masks (ie. those made of fabric) protect others, FFP2 masks also protect the wearer - but not 100 percent, so the wearers must also continue to observe distance and hygiene rules.
However, the masks filter 94 percent of airbourne particles.
The masks do not have to and should not be changed daily, but can be used several times. They must not be washed so as not to destroy the filter function.
Who gets free FFP2 masks?
Following criticism from social organisations and opposition politicians, the Bavarian state government has announced that it will provide a total of 2.5 million FFP2 masks free of charge for people in need.
The coupons will be sent out in three installations: first, people aged 75 and over will receive them, then people aged 70 and over as well as people with certain illnesses and risk factors, and in the third mailing all insured persons aged 60 and over.
The first coupon can be redeemed at the pharmacy between January 1st and February 28th, the second between February 16th and April 15th.
Do FFP2 masks have to be worn on regional and long-distance trains?
No. FFP2 masks must be worn on local trains. This obligation does not apply on long-distance trains operated by Deutsche Bahn. Mouth and nose protection is still required, though.
What happens if I am caught wearing a "community mask" instead of an FFP2 mask?
In enforcement and in the assessment of a possible fine, it may be taken into account whether no mask at all was worn or simply not the prescribed mask. That means that fines can vary on a case by case basis.
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