The government explained in a press release that there are different kinds of masks for different usages. The public is now invited to wear "alternative" masks to prevent the virus from spreading further.

The government distinguishes between so-called "alternative" masks and medical masks. The latter are surgical masks and FFP2-type masks, which are primarily reserved for medical staff as equipment remains scarce.

The alternative masks can be homemade or simply consist of a mere piece of cloth used to cover mouth and nose. According to the government, this type of mask can nevertheless have benefits as they also retain potentially infectious virus-laden droplets that could be spread when talking, sneezing, or coughing. In other words, wearing a mask helps you to protect other people as it "prevents the transmission of the virus by people who are carriers without knowing it."

According to government, individuals can use this type of alternative mask...

  • if they feel ill;
  • if they want to contribute to the collective effort of containing the virus;
  • in public spaces where it is difficult to maintain interpersonal distance.

More information on the masks and how to wear them can be found in the government press release (see link below).