According to a hygiene expert, the obligation to wear FFP2 masks in local public transport and retail will not noticeably improve the infection situation in Bavaria.
"I don't think that makes a big difference," said Johannes Knobloch, head of hospital hygiene at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, the German Press Agency.
"In the worst case, the situation can even worsen because people feel more protected and are less cautious."
A FFP2 mask requires great expertise, it comes from occupational safety and is not intended for laypeople.
"If it is not put on absolutely tightly, it does not work better than a simple disposable mask," says Knobloch.
The breathing resistance is greater with the denser FFP2 masks than with the simple plastic or self-sewn fabric masks.
"I always breathe through a fabric mask at least partially, but if there is a small gap somewhere on the face with an FFP2 mask, almost all of the air goes through there - and with it the virus."
It is also unclear to many people that beard wearers cannot put on an FFP2 mask tightly, explained Knobloch.
"Men can only wear it with clean-shaven skin." Even the beginning of a beard can be a problem because there is a gap between the skin and the mask through which air flows in and out without being filtered.
“With an FFP2 obligation, beards should not actually be allowed in shops and public transport.” The measure may be well meant, but ultimately only one thing really helps: staying at home.
The virologist Alexander Kekulé, on the other hand, considers the obligation to wear FFP2 masks in public transport and retail to make sense in principle.
“Of course, an FFP2 mask is much safer than mouth and nose protection, which is often only worn very loosely,” said the professor at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.
Lots of people crowded into a tight space, especially on public transport, said Kekulé.
With an FFP2 mask, the risk of infection decreases significantly.
"But it also makes sense in many a small bakery shop, especially because there is not enough ventilation there." Risk patients should always wear an FFP2 mask in closed rooms with several people.
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