A study conducted across Switzerland has shown 59 percent of people supporting putting in a rule that requires everyone to wear masks in public – under the proviso that masks are actually available.
Conversely, 38 percent of respondents indicated they would not support such a requirement – with three percent saying they did not know.
Switzerland has been somewhat of an outlier when it comes to making masks compulsory.
Austria has had a mask requirement in place for some time, while several hard-hit German states including Bavaria are incorporating compulsory mask wearing as part of an easing of lockdown restrictions.
Not only has the Swiss government not made masks compulsory, but the wearing of masks is not even recommended.
According to the Federal Office of Public Health, only sick people are advised to wear masks.
In the study, 60 percent of respondents felt the government had not made masks compulsory because the devices were in such short supply.
Support highest among older Swiss and those in affected areas
While less than half of those under 34 supported a mask requirement, older Swiss were particularly in favour.
More than two thirds – 69 percent – of over 65s supported making masks compulsory.
Those over 65 – as well as people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory conditions are the most at risk for the virus.
There was also a regional difference in support, with 77 percent of respondents in Ticino saying they were in favour of a mask requirement.
Ticino has been the hardest hit canton in Switzerland for coronavirus fatalities on a per capita basis.
The study was completed by Swiss media company Tamedia and featured more than 40,000 respondents from across Switzerland.