Free mouth masks available in pharmacies from 15 June

In April the Federal Government promised that everyone in Belgium would be given a free mouth mask. Now more than a month later the masks have finally arrived at the Peutie Army Barracks in Flemish Brabant. The Defence Department will now set about distributing the masks. They will be available for people resident in Belgium to collect free of charge from pharmacies from next Monday.  

18 million mouth masks are now in storage at Peutie. They will be distributed to pharmacies all over the country during the next few days.

From Monday 15 June anyone over the age of 75 will be able to collect a mask. From Tuesday 16 June anyone over the age of 67 will be able to do so. From Wednesday 17 June those over 60 will be able to go and collect their mask and so it will go on until 26 June when anyone that has eID or kidsID identity card will be able to go and collect their free mask.

The masks are white and don’t require a filter. They have an anti-bacterial layer and can be washed after use up to 30 times. They should be washed at 30°C. Washing at higher temperatures damages the anti-bacterial layer.

Despite us having been promised the masks 7 weeks ago, the Defence Department says that they been delivered quite quickly. The Ghent company Tweeds en Cotton delivered its 3 million masks two weeks ago. However, the remaining 15 million masks from the Luxembourg company Avrox took longer to arrive.

Avrox has been fined for not delivering within the time limit and now the Federal Government will pay 34.5 million euro for the Avrox masks instead of 40 million.