Coronavirus: majority of the population supports mandatory masking

Coronavirus: majority of the population supports mandatory masking

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Coronavirus: Mask requirement is widely accepted by the population

In the meantime, a so-called mask requirement has been decided in all federal states in order to further limit the spread of the coronavirus. Surveys have shown that the majority of the population thinks that wearing a mouth and nose cover is appropriate.

All federal states have made wearing a nose and throat protector compulsory in public transport and usually also when shopping. Those who do not comply with the obligation to wear a mask must face fines that are sometimes high. But most people will probably stick to the rules. Surveys have shown that the majority of the population is in favor of wearing protective masks.

Six out of seven respondents consider the measure to be appropriate

According to a recent Federal Government announcement, wearing so-called non-medical everyday masks according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) can reduce the risk of infections.

“In particular, they protect others if the wearer is infected with the corona virus. However, covering the mouth and nose is only considered additional protection and does not replace other measures, emphasizes the RKI, ”it continues.

In the meantime, wearing a protective mask has become compulsory in many places nationwide or is strongly recommended. The “BfR Corona Monitor”, a regular survey by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), shows that six out of seven people questioned (86 percent) consider this measure to be appropriate.

In addition, a third of the respondents indicated that they already wear protective clothing such as face masks or gloves. "The fact that the majority of the population is in favor of a mask requirement shows that the threat posed by the novel corona virus continues to be taken very seriously," said BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel according to a message.

Protect yourself from infection

According to the BfR, a total of four out of five people take measures to protect themselves or their families from being infected with the novel corona virus. The measure most frequently cited by the respondents is still the avoidance of the public (46 percent).

While only six percent said they used masks or gloves in the first survey four weeks ago, this percentage has now risen to 33 percent, making it the second most frequently mentioned protection method.

Despite the rapidly changing information situation, the proportion of people who feel well informed about the pandemic has remained constant at over 70 percent since the survey began four weeks ago. Respondents still list television and the Internet as the most common sources of information.

Compared to the previous week, the importance of private contacts has increased again: While two percent of those surveyed said that they had informed themselves about the private environment about the coronavirus a week ago, the proportion is nine percent this week.

In contrast, the assessment of the extent to which the coronavirus influences the health or the economic situation of the respondents remained largely unchanged. People under the age of 60 feel more affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic than older people.

Clear differences in the reasons for mask use

The University of Trier also conducted a survey on the acceptance of masks and found that the stricter obligations that will apply in Germany from next week have surprisingly not changed the attitude of the population to the mask.

As the university wrote in a message, the survey showed significant differences in the reasons for mask use. It therefore hardly matters to young people under 25 that they can protect others with it.

Older people, on the other hand, don't care much about self-protection or the impression they make of masks on people. Women can hardly be persuaded to use a mask by referring to the protection of others. Men, on the other hand, do not give priority to self-protection. In addition, the survey found that people with higher educational qualifications would rather use a mask.

Tightening could endanger acceptance

For politics, economist Professor Marc Oliver Rieger from the University of Trier deduces from the survey results that tightening the mask requirement, for example on the street, could rather jeopardize acceptance.

Rather, according to the communication, addressing target groups would likely increase approval. For example, young people were motivated by popular role models to wear masks. They should also be relieved of the fear of being “looked at wrong” with a mask. The self-protection function should be emphasized in relation to young people and women, and the reference to the protection of others in men.

According to the information, the study does not reach a representative level with the number of respondents (274).

“Nevertheless, we have no reason to believe that our key results could not be transferred to a more representative sample of the population and to other, comparable countries. The results seem to be very robust. However, further studies are required, ”says Professor Marc Oliver Rieger. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR): Mask requirement finds broad approval, (accessed: April 26, 2020), Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR)
  • University of Trier: Corona: Survey on the acceptance of masks, (accessed: April 26, 2020), University of Trier
  • University of Trier: Which factors influence the willingness to wear masks during the corona pandemic in Germany ?, (published: April 24th, 2020), University of Trier
  • Federal government: federal states and municipalities rely on everyday masks, (accessed: April 26, 2020), federal government

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