Early in the pandemic, major problems in the global supply of medical grade masks meant that the public was asked to avoid using these so that stock could be used to protect healthcare workers. At this point, bodies such as the US Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that the public wear cloth masks and even provided information on how to make them out of household items such as T shirts.1To get more news about Quality Medical Mask, you can visit tnkme.com official website.

Many people are still wearing cloth masks, which can now be bought in many shops. But as the worldwide supply of medical grade face masks has expanded, arguments have been made that some members of the public should start wearing more protective masks such as surgical masks. This argument has been strengthened by the emergence of more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the UK and South African variants, in response to which some countries have tightened their guidance on what types of masks are allowed.

In France, homemade masks and some shop bought cloth masks have now been banned, after the president of the government’s scientific committee, Jean-François Delfraissy, said that the new variants had “completely changed the game.”

French health minister Olivier Véran announced on 22 January that people in France should no longer wear homemade masks or certain industrially made fabric masks, listed as category 2. The government specified that category 1 masks filter 95% of 3 μm particles, whereas category 2 devices filter only 70%. Only three types of masks will be recommended: surgical (which filter 95% of 3 μm particles), FFP2 (which filter 94% of 0.6 μm particles), and fabric masks made to category 1 standards.

Austria has gone a step further, making FFP2 masks mandatory in indoor public spaces and sending out free packs of these masks to all residents aged over 65 and to low income households. Like the UK, the country is currently in its third national lockdown.2

Germany has made medical masks mandatory in supermarkets and on public transport. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, wants to introduce a similar requirement on the UK capital’s public transport system. The London newspaper the Evening Standard reported that the mayor’s office was currently reviewing whether passengers should switch to higher grade masks in light of the new variants.3 The former health secretary for England, Jeremy Hunt, has also called for FFP2 respirator masks to be made compulsory on public transport and in shops.4

On 1 December the World Health Organization updated its advice to recommend medical masks for people at risk of serious covid-19 illness and for people aged over 60.5 But this was made before it became clear how new the variants affected transmission. Commenting on the types of cloth mask the public should wear, a WHO spokesperson told The BMJ, “For all others, a reusable three layer fabric mask is advised. The filtration, breathability, and fit of the mask are important. If the mask is produced at home, WHO advises an inner absorbent material such as cotton, a non-absorbent fabric such as polyester outside, and a middle filter layer, such as non-woven spunbond polypropylene.”