Fabric masks are fine
There are new guidelines for the use of mouth masks. Following the discussions in various European countries about which mouth mask is now the most efficient, the Risk Assessment Group (RAG) has put the finishing touches: both fabrics and disposable mouth masks are “standard choice”. Moreover, face masks must now also be used in the office, even when you are sitting down or can keep a sufficient distance.
The new guidelines underscore the importance of face masks in keeping the pandemic under control. By extending the use to the workplace, the experts emphasize that wearing a – good – mask – correctly – can indeed stop the rapid spread of the virus. We review the main decisions of the RAG:
- The general rule is that it is not the type of mask we wear that is decisive, but the way in which it is used. And let the correct use just be one of the points that we have already repeatedly hammered on this blog. However, the RAG expands on that general maxim.
- Both fabric face masks and disposable masks are efficient when it comes to stopping virus spread. By explicitly stating that “disposable masks are not necessarily better,” experts dismiss the idea that FFP2 masks offer better protection. But the RAG goes one step further.
- FFP2 masks are not recommended for the general population. Their argument: “they are expensive, are uncomfortable to wear and they cannot be reused”. A clear clue to the waste problem caused by disposable masks.
- Using scarves and bandanas as a mask is no longer allowed. That was allowed at the time because there was a shortage of masks. That shortage no longer exists. This rule also indicates that there is indeed a difference in effectiveness. Not just any cloth covering the mouth will protect you in the same way against water droplets or aerosols containing virus particles.
- Masks with a valve should not be used. Those masks do filter from the outside in, but not the other way around. The droplets with virus particles can enter the environment unhindered through the valve. And that is exactly what we want to prevent thanks to a general mouth mask obligation.
- From now on, masks must also be worn if you share an enclosed space in the office with people who are not part of your household. Even if it is possible to keep more than 1.5 meters away. This means that from now on you always have to wear a mouth mask as soon as you enter the workplace. More than 20% of all infections today take place in companies. The RAG hopes to reduce that figure with this measure.
- The experts also have good advice about the use. Such as: “Remember to wash a cloth mask regularly.” Do not wait until it is visibly soiled. Throw it in a sealable basket and wash the masks at a minimum of 60 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Every day if necessary. Not indefinitely, of course. As previously discussed, you can reuse a fabric mouth mask until visible wear appears on it.
#Alsicomasks #wearamask #carbonneutral #facemask