Federal government wants to introduce FFP2 masks for children

Greens accuse the government of failing to specifically protect children

Berlin (AFP) – The federal government now also wants to introduce FFP2 masks for children. The government sees “in view of the ongoing pandemic there is a need for suitable children’s masks for the purpose of infection protection”, according to a response from the Federal Ministry of Labor to a request from the Green parliamentary group that AFP received on Sunday. The corona situation in Germany continued to ease. At the weekend, the seven-day incidence was back in the single digits for the first time in nine months.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the incidence value on Sunday with reference to the health authorities as 8.8. On Saturday, the seven-day incidence was 9.3, falling into the single-digit range for the first time in a good nine months.

Professional exchange on the standardization of children’s masks

The mask debate on Sunday, meanwhile, focused on the question of why there are no special FFP2 masks for children so far. Because such masks have so far been absent, according to the Federal Ministry of Labor, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health, initiated “the standardization of an infection protection mask” at the German Institute for Standardization, which should also take child-sized masks into account. The Federal Ministry of Health confirmed that the standardization of children’s masks was “part of the planned professional exchange” with the Ministry of Labor.

“One of the findings from the pandemic is that we have to develop standards for infection protection masks especially for children,” the Ministry of Health said on request on Sunday.

Greens criticize late date for children’s masks

The consumer policy spokeswoman for the Green Group, Tabea Rößner, called it a “poor testimony that after 16 months of the corona pandemic there are still no specific FFP2 masks for children available on the market”. “The federal government has failed to provide targeted protection for children,” criticized the Green politician.

The FFP2 mask requirement in schools has been lifted. However, many children used adult-oriented masks on buses and trains. “It is irresponsible that the federal government did not act earlier in view of the pandemic situation that has persisted for so long,” criticized Rößner.

For its part, the Federal Ministry of Labor pointed out that when testing a half mask of class FFP2 according to the European standard, ten test persons with different face shapes take part. Some manufacturers also chose people with small and narrow face shapes. It is therefore not ruled out “that masks are manufactured and tested that are suitable for children and adolescents in the area of ​​infection protection”.

Extension of the entry restrictions?

Meanwhile, there are indications that even after the end of the corona epidemic in Germany, the nationwide entry restrictions could in principle be maintained. As “Welt am Sonntag” reported, citing coalition circles, the Union and SPD are planning a corresponding change to the Infection Protection Act in the Bundestag before the summer break.

“We want to decide next week that entry conditions, which were set by Health Minister Jens Spahn by regulation, can continue to apply, even if the epidemic situation of national scope no longer exists,” said the legal policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, Johannes Fechner, of the newspaper . Transport bans from virus variant areas and test and quarantine obligations upon entry could be affected.

So far, the law provides for such regulations to expire with the so-called epidemic situation that is limited to the end of September and has national implications. With the proposed changes to the Infection Protection Act, entry restrictions could continue to apply for up to twelve months.

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