| Erfurt Laboratory for Empirical Research, Faculty of Philosophy, Research

Mandatory mask wearing - yes or no?

Face masks have become a symbol of the current pandemic in many countries around the globe. Wearing a mask is considered one of the most effective measures to curb the spread of the disease. Yet, whereas it is voluntary to wear a mask in some countries, others have made it mandatory, such as Germany. In fact, it has been heatedly discussed whether mask wearing should be mandated.

Researchers at the Universities of Erfurt and Copenhagen have now investigated citizens’ perceptions and behavioral effects of voluntary versus mandatory mask wearing. In the study published in the renowned scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) they analyzed data from the German COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) survey, with about 1,000 participants per week since the beginning of March 2020. Read more about this in our research blog "WortMelder" (German only).