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Coronavirus - Guide When Buying Masks

Automated translation of an article on the Moncloa website.

Today the Ministry of Consumer Affairs have launched a guide with a set of recommendations to be taken into account by the population when buying face masks in an establishment during the de-escalation period.

The Ministry intends that citizens make a responsible and conscious purchase of this product, to be informed of what types of masks are on the market and which is more useful for their personal situation based on their contact with the virus.

The Government of Spain, following the recommendations of the scientific community, suggests that healthy people without contact with COVID-19 make use of the hygienic mask model, always together with the recommendations for physical distance and hygiene from the Ministry of Health.

For those who have been infected, who have symptoms or who are positive asymptomatic, the use of surgical masks is recommended. PPE types are recommended only for people in contact with the virus, as well as for vulnerable groups and always under medical prescription.

In the case of healthy children from three years of age and without contact with COVID-19, Consumo recalls that there are hygienic masks of sizes according to age, up to 12 years of age, and asks that adults supervise the placement, use and disposal of these.

In any case, Consumo insists that the masks are only a complement to protection and that it is essential to continue complying with the other preventive measures recommended by the health authorities.

Hygienic masks
The hygienic ones are a complement to the social distancing and hygiene measures dictated by the Ministry of Health for healthy people without contact with the virus. They cover the mouth, nose and chin and are fitted with a harness that can wrap around the head or be attached to the ears. They consist of one or more layers of textile material and can be reusable or single use.

Surgical masks
The surgical models are those used in clinical settings and are recommended for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms. This model limits the transmission of infectious agents because they are designed to filter exhaled air. Therefore, its mission is to protect those around the carrier by avoiding viral dispersal by sneezing, coughing, or speaking.

The surgical mask must have a mechanism that allows it to be snug against the nose, mouth and chin.

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), sold in pharmacies and specialized establishments, is recommended to professionals in contact with the virus and to certain vulnerable groups, always on medical prescription. They serve to create a barrier between a potential risk and the user, filtering the inhaled air and preventing the entry of polluting particles into the body.

Depending on the degree of protection, they can be of type FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. Filters containing against particles can also be of three types: P1, P2 and P3.

The Ministry also includes in its guide the information that the consumer should look at on the labelling of the mask. Thus, it asks to verify that it includes the CE marking, followed by four numbers, to ensure that the product complies with the legislation.

It also reports on the reference to the UNE standard that ensures compliance with a quality standard.

On the label you will also find information regarding the reuse of the masks, how many uses it allows and how many washes can be done without the product suffering.

Other frequent doubts
Finally, the Consumer guide contains a series of frequent questions. The Ministry tries to tackle the erroneous information related to the reversibility of the mask, its cleaning in the microwave, the use of homemade masks or others such as diving masks.


Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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