By Laura Taylor • 20 July 2020 • 11:10
Masks have become a staple of protection for the whole population, especially now that their use is mandatory in most open spaces, despite whether you can maintain interpersonal safe distances. This is the general rule in all regions except for in Madrid and the Canary Islands.
The monthly acquisition of masks adds this item to the list of fixed bills (electricity, gas, water, rent or internet and mobile), with a monthly cost of approximately €120 for a family of four who wears a mask a day, a daily price of four euros.
According to a study prepared by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), the monthly cost for this family model is between €70 and €150. The average monthly cost is €70 if non-reusable hygienic masks are purchased, a total of 120 masks at 60 cents per unit.
It amounts to €115 if 120 surgical masks are purchased for 96 cents each, while the figure is at least €155 if two of the family members belong to a risk group and need masks that guarantee greater protection. FFP2 masks are priced at two euros each.
This extra expense, although it is a necessity due to the health crisis, is unaffordable for many families, especially if we take into account the future economic crisis that will follow suit after the coronavirus pandemic.
The OCU estimates that 6% of families have difficulties buying food, a vulnerable range of the population that has a very difficult time complying with the obligation to buy and use a mask when they take into account the monthly expenses involved and what is a priority.
For this reason, the organisation requests that “as long as their use is compulsory, the masks be distributed in an orderly, free, and periodic manner through the health facilities”.They insist that this measure is very important for the most vulnerable families, but they also consider that for the rest, a “minimum monthly supply that would alleviate the economic impact” that the purchase of masks involves.
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Laura Taylor is a graduate from the University of Leeds. At university, she obtained a Bachelors in Communication and Media, as well as a Masters in International Relations. She is half British and half Spanish and resides in Malaga. Her focus when writing news typically encompasses national Spanish news and local news from the Costa del Sol.
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