How much do FFP2 masks cost in Switzerland?
FFP2 masks are not mandatory in Switzerland, however they have become more popular over the past few weeks. How much do they cost?
Germany and Austria have this week decided to put in place a mandatory FFP2 mask requirement.
While Switzerland has not followed suit, these masks have become more popular in recent months.
Some pharmacies in Zurich have reported selling double the previous amount of FFP2 masks in January, 20 Minutes reports.
They can however be more expensive than typical medical masks, while some of them cannot be reused to the same extent as cotton masks.
Up until recently, FFP2 masks had been mostly available in hardware stores and pharmacies, which contributed to the cost.
FFP2 masks are now sold in supermarkets and discount chains all across Switzerland - helping the costs come down.
Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes compared prices from each major retailer, showing that you can get an FFP2 mask for less than a franc - although without much change.
German discounter Aldi sells boxes of 50 FFP2 masks for CHF49.99, while singles are available from Lidl for CHF0.99 each.
Pharmacies charge a little extra for masks, with prices in Zurich at around CHF2.50 per mask (in a box of 50).
Anyone keen on a Swiss-made mask will have to fork out Swiss prices, with local manufacturer Flawa’s masks costing CHF35 for a box of ten.
Two other retailers, Migros and Coop, told 20 Minutes the masks would be on the shelves in mid-February at the latest.
Germany and Austria getting down with FFP
One of the major reasons for the new mask rules in Switzerland’s German-speaking neighbours has been the spread of the new virus variant, which is believed to be around 40 to 60 percent more infectious than known variants.
Despite Germany and Austria's decision, Switzerland has not followed suit.
While FFP2 masks are required in hospitals in Switzerland - and the canton of Aargau has banned fabric masks - cotton and fabric masks, including home-made ones, are fine throughout the country.