Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
24 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Millions of reusable face masks to be made available in France, but they won’t be mandatory

By Samuel Horti

Millions of reusable face masks will be made available to the French public through pharmacies, supermarkets, newspaper shops and online from early May, and will cost a maximum of €5, the French government has said.

Junior Finance Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told newspaper Les Echos that suppliers had produced more than 10 million textile masks last week, and that output should reach 25 million by the end of the month.

Until 11 May, when lockdown is due to end, those masks will be sold to companies and municipalities, but from 4 May the general public will also be able to buy them, he said. 

In a video call with mayors yesterday, President Emmanuel Macron indicated that masks would likely be mandatory on public transport once the lockdown ends, but that they would only be recommended in other settings. He also said the government would “probably” release its detailed plan for ending the coronavirus lockdown next Tuesday, 28 April.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Today, Health Minister Olivier Veran said reusable masks filter out up to 90 per cent of coronavirus particles and will cost between €2 and €5. “They take a while to make but they offer security. I prefer that to telling French people to put a scarf around their nose or make a mask from a T-shirt,” he told France Inter radio.