The Health Ministry confirmed on Sunday that it had asked the German Norms Institute to work on standardizing FFP2 face masks for children.
“In light of the continued pandemic, there is a need for appropriate masks for children for the purpose of infection control,” the government confirmed in response to a parliamentary question posed by the Greens.
During recent lockdowns children have had to wear mandatory masks in certain areas such as classrooms and on public transport, but up until now they have been wearing masks made for adults.
The government’s move towards creating FFP2 masks specifically for children indicates that it expects some mask wearing rules to be maintained for a longer period of time.
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The Green party criticized the fact that the government was only now taking steps in this direction.
“It is unjustifiable that after 16 months of the pandemic there are still no specific FFP2 masks for children available on the market,” said Green parliamentarian Tabea Rößner. “Children are not small adults, so it is shocking that there is insufficient research and development in this area.”
Face mask requirements for children have been one of the more controversial responses to the pandemic, with parents complaining about possible adverse health implications and negative effects on learning.
As the infection rate has come down in recent weeks, the mask-wearing requirement has been ended in most schools.