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Mandatory wearing of masks finds broad approval

12/2020, 24.04.2020

The fifth "BfR-Corona-Monitor" shows that the overwhelming majority considers wearing protective masks to be appropriate

Wearing a protective mask has become mandatory or is strongly recommended in many places throughout Germany. Six out of seven participants (86 percent) consider this measure to be appropriate. This is shown by the "BfR-Corona-Monitor", a recurring survey by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). A third of the participants also stated that they already wear protective clothing such as face masks or gloves. "The fact that the majority of the population is in favour of making masks mandatory shows that the threat posed by the novel coronavirus continues to be taken very seriously," says BfR-President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel.

In total, four out of five people take measures to protect themselves or their families from an infection with the novel coronavirus. The most frequently named measure by the participants is still avoiding the public (46 percent). While in the first survey four weeks ago, only six percent stated that they used masks or gloves, this proportion has now risen to 33 percent, making it the second most frequently mentioned protective measure.

Despite the rapidly changing information, the proportion of people who feel well informed about the pandemic has remained constant at more than 70 percent since the start of the survey four weeks ago. The most frequent sources of information are still television and the internet. Compared to the previous week, the importance of private contacts has also increased considerably: While a week ago, two percent of the respondents stated that they obtain information about their private social environment regarding the coronavirus, this week the figure is nine percent.

In contrast, the assessment of the coronavirus’ impact on the health and economic situation of the participants remained mostly unchanged. People under 60 years of age feel more affected than older people by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The BfR is continually updating its FAQs on the topic of coronavirus, in light of the dynamically changing situation.

About the BfR-Corona-Monitor

The BfR-Corona-Monitor is a recurring (multi-wave) representative survey of the German population's perception of risks from the novel coronavirus. Since 24 March 2020, around 500 randomly selected people have been asked by telephone every Tuesday about their perception of the risk of infection and the protective measures they have taken, amongst other things. A summary of the data is regularly published on the homepage of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. More information about the method and sample can be found in publications about the BfR-Corona-Monitor.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.



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