“We were able to award contracts to some 50 companies which want to produce 10 million FFP2 masks and 40 million surgical masks from August,” Spahn told reporters at a Berlin press conference.
So far Germany has not aped neighbouring Austria by introducing a nationwide requirement for people to wear masks in public, issuing only a “strong recommendation”.
Saxony became the first German state on Friday to make wearing a face mask on public transport and in stores a requirement. Previously only a couple of individual cities had decided to make masks obligatory. However, the requirement applies to all types of face and nose coverings.
Defending the decision to hold off a mask requirement nationwide, Spahn said people had been “very responsible” so far.