Masks: who needs them?
Mouth masks are used to fight the spread of coronavirus. They provide protection to two categories of people:
- Healthcare workers and other people caring for patients It is important that the masks remain reserved for those two groups.
If you are healthy, there is no point in wearing a mask on the street or at work.
Maintaining good hygiene is the best way to protect yourself and others. Follow the recommendations, stay at home when you do not have to go to work, and stay 1.5 metres away from each other. This is the best way to stay in good health and to prevent the further spread of the virus.
**What kind of protection do masks offer? **
There are several types of masks. We explain below what kind of protection they offer, and whom they are for.
Surgical masks are used by
- care providers and staff in hospitals, rest and care homes, and home care nurses,
- healthcare workers with light symptoms of a respiratory tract infection but no fever,
- the care personnel treating or transporting a potential or confirmed Covid-19 patient, and
- possible or confirmed patients infected with the Covid-19 virus, in order to protect the people around them. FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks are used by healthcare staff who are in close contact with patients suspected or confirmed to be infected with Covid-19. Immediately after treating a patient, these masks must be thrown away, as they are usually contaminated afterwards.
When worn correctly, these masks fit closely around the nose and face so that all inhaled air is filtered. They are quite difficult to breathe through, and using them correctly requires some training.
Homemade fabric masks are not medical masks and do not offer the same protection as surgical masks do.
Patients who are infected or possibly infected with the coronavirus and are staying at home in self-isolation, can use homemade masks if they do not have surgical masks. People wearing a homemade mask give limited protection to their housemates and the persons caring for them. It is important that these masks are washed at 60° on a daily basis.
Follow the recommendations strictly! This is the best way to protect yourself and others:
- Stay at home if you do not have to go to work
- Wash your hands regularly and touch your face with your hands as little as possible. Always keep a 1.5m distance from others outside