While facemasks will be mandatory in public transit as soon as deconfinement starts and the Academy of Medicine recommends mandatory facemasks starting now, masks will be available soon.
As a matter of fact, from May 4, the French government will give non-surgical masks. Several distribution channels are being considered, State Secretary for Economic Affairs Agnès Pannier-Runacher says to Les Echos.
“The State will help give non-surgical masks to citizens as soon as possible via the fittest means of distributions. First tests will be made from May 4. Several distribution channels have been considered, to allow as many French as possible to have access to them. The field of possibilities is very wide, and we look at all hypothesis: pharmacies, city halls, big distribution, tobacco stores, Afnor platform, e-stores and so on” Agnès Pannier-Runacher explains.
But “we still have to answer questions: how to avoid an overstock phenomenon by some people jeopardizing local supply? How to rely on local collectivities?” she also wonders.
While waiting for an answer, a 24,000-tobacco store network has got organized to give protective facemasks to people, according to Le Parisien and confirmed by a press release sent to the AFP.
“The 24,000-tobacco store network accompanies the gradual deconfinement that is to come and giving access to people to protective facemask” the tobacco store confederation says.
First, masks will be sold only to priority local professionals (store owners, workers) from April 30. Then, the offer will extend to the general public from May 4. “We will first privilege local professionals – craftsmen, plumber, bosses, baker, butcher and so on – to help the economy to start again, then, we will provide private people right after, starting from May 4th” the Confederation says.
Masks (mostly made by Lainière Santé from Chargeurs group laboratories) will be sold €5 the piece and will be washable and reusable at least twenty times. “But we’re not here to make a margin, we’re here to protect French and will be sold for about €5, a very correct price” Eric Vidal from the Confederation says.