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France advises against fabric face masks

  • October 31, 2021
    Faced with two new and relatively unfamiliar variants of the coronavirus, which were first discovered in the UK and South Africa respectively, France's health advisory council (Haute Conseil de la Santé Publique HCPS) has amended its advice to the public for wearing protective face masks.To get more news about famous mask wholesale, you can visit tnkme.com official website. While they have not yet published an official opinion, the council has confirmed their new position on homemade masks to French media after it was first reported in La Voix du Nord on Monday. Masks are compulsory in all indoor public spaces in France as well as on the streets in around 400 towns and cities, but the government guidance says only that a mask fully covering the nose and mouth must be worn. People caught without masks or wearing masks incorrectly face a €135 fine.There is no distinction in the government advice between fabric or surgical masks, although individual businesses are free to impose their own conditions. “When it comes to the penetration of certain new variants. . . which are more contagious . . . the question is raised of what kind of mask to recommend to the general public,” said Didier Lepelletier, co-president of the Covid-19 working group of the HCPS, during an interview with BFMTV.Over the weekend, Lepelletier and the rest of the working group decided that cloth masks, preferred by many because they can be re-used, did not guarantee sufficient protection against the new Covid-19 variants.Health Minister Olivier Véran on Tuesday morning echoed that new advice. “Artisan masks that you make at home, with the best intentions in the world, respecting the official advice, do not necessarily offer all the necessary guarantees,” he told France Inter.The problem with cloth masks is that not all of them have not been officially checked and therefore their level of protection will largely depend on their fabric, thickness and the maker's craftsmanship. Since March many small businesses in France have begun making masks that, while good for the environment and often prettily decorated, don't necessarily that the necessary thickness and layers of fabric to offer full protection. These are still recommendations at the stage, but the Council's recommendation is to wear a category 1 mask, rather than a category 2. Category 2 masks are those that have been proved to filter more than 70 percent. Known as “masques du grand public” (masks for the general public) these are most cloth masks and were the ones advised to the general public last spring, but they remain common. Category 1 masks are those that filter more than 90 percent of particles. This includes the FFP2 filter masks, the blue single-use surgical masks and certain types of fabric masks that meet specifications. The issue with fabric masks is that most are made in France, rather than imported, and a lot do not display filtration levels allowing you to know which category they fall in.