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French supermarkets to sell masks for €2 - €3

Washable and reusable masks for use by the public will be on sale in some supermarkets from next week and in most by May 11.

Auchan, Aldi, Carrefour, Colruyt, Cora, Groupe Casino, Intermarché, Leclerc, Lidl, Netto, Supermarché Match and Système U have all confirmed they will sell them and have agreed on a price of between €2 and €3, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Secretary of State for the Economy announced this morning April 29.

Paper, single-use masks will be sold for under €1.

Supermarkets have been asked to put their own policies in place to ensure a fair distribution amongst shoppers, so they may well limit the number of masks people can buy at a time.

Masks will also be on sale in pharmacies and bar-tabacs as soon as individual branches of both have stocks. 

The law was changed on Monday April 27 to allow the sale of masks for use by the public in pharmacies. There have been suggestions that the price will be around €5.

 Bar-tabacs are hoping to be able to sell them from April 30 and the price will be around €5 for a mask which can be washed and re-used about 20 times.

Each bar-tabac will be able to order their masks via the Conféderation des Buralistes. The network of 24,500 bar-tabacs have remained open during the confinement period.

Mairies will also be somewhere to obtain masks and some are already making them available to the public. How, when, how much and to who is not yet clear, and may be down to each mairie to decide, but the government has promised they will pay 50% of the price paid by local authorities for the purchase of masks. 

After May 11 everyone will be expected to wear a mask whenever it is impossible to respect health barrier regulations, either at work or in everyday life. They will be obligatory on public transport, for all teachers and for pupils in collège.

The Prime Minister said in his speech outlining the deconfinement plan that shops may be able to refuse you entry if you do not wear a mask.

Gradually France is managing to build up a stock of masks.

Agnès Pannier-Runacher, told BFMTV Business this morning that there are 41 million masks in France today that have either been imported or made in France. She said there will be another 26 million by the end of this week and another 31 million masks next week. The Prime Minister said in his speech yesterday that by May 11 there will be enough masks for everyone in France. 

She also pointed out that at work it is up to the employer to provide masks if their staff have to work in conditions where the health barrier regulations cannot be put in place and that 5 million masks a week will be available for the vulnerable. They will be reusable 20 times. However, she did not say how they will be distributed.

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