As we spend the second day after the obligation to wear masks indoors has been lifted, our daily lives are changing little by little.
Mask makers once operated factories day and night, and the number increased significantly, but as time passed, they started closing their doors one by one, and now there are many places that are facing a crisis with stocks piled up.
Reporter Lee Jung-min of JTV covered the story.
A mask production factory in Jeonju.
Out of 15 production facilities, only 5 are running and the remaining 10 are idle.
The warehouse is full of unsold masks.
What I see next to me are boxes of masks.
They were made in March of last year, but they haven't been sold for over nine months.
We have facilities that can produce 200,000 sheets per day, but we have now cut production by half.
[Yeom Ae-sook/Director of mask production company: Now, it can be seen that there is almost no general sale.
(Public Procurement Service) We apply through general bidding or announcements or something like this, and this must be a successful bid (production.)]
In 2020, when the mask shortage occurred, there were only 4 mask manufacturers in Jeonju, 35 in 3 years. has grown to a place.
However, in the last six months, five businesses have closed, and four have stopped production.
This is because the number of producers nationwide increased significantly in the early days of the corona, resulting in an oversupply of masks.
The mask industry says that during the mask crisis, the government loosened regulations, lowered barriers to entry for new companies, and encouraged mask production.
[Representative of a mask producer: (from the government) In 2020, we continued to attract new companies, and we continued to ask existing companies to increase their production.
Because a lot of mask makers come in...
Now, as the obligation to wear a mask indoors is lifted, small businesses are expected to be hit harder.
(Video coverage: Kwon Man-taek JTV, CG: Won Won-jeong JTV)