“Wear a medical mask in public outdoor areas where it is not possible to keep a sufficient distance.” That was a new advice from the OMT to the cabinet this week. The face mask could be an important point during the new corona press conference tomorrow evening. But which medical mouth mask is actually good?
Although, important… for many Dutch people, tomorrow will mainly weigh heavily on whether ‘the country will open up’. If not, the province of Overijssel – government against government – has already indicated that it does not want to enforce it if, for example, shopkeepers open their doors. It is up to Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the new corona minister Ernst Kuipers. The latter already spoke about shopkeepers yesterday (“rules are rules”) and saw the first hashtag #wegmetkuipers appear on Twitter.
What happens to the mouth cap?
So the mouth cap. Nothing was leaked yesterday from the latest consultation of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT). It does seem clear that the earlier ‘wish’ – to wear the medical mouth cap more often – has been introduced to the cabinet. If it is up to the OMT members, we should wear the mouth cap more often in public outdoor areas, and then a medical mouth mask. Think of demonstrations, during sporting events, in busy shopping streets and at busy markets.
Most drugstores do not have that type of mouth cap in stock, the entrepreneurs have indicated. “And what we have is very limited. We do have mouth caps, but especially the type I mouth cap. We still have a huge stock of that. But at the start of the corona crisis, type II face masks were reserved for healthcare. Then we didn’t sell them in the stores and we didn’t buy them.”
Tips for the good mouth cap
Tip if you want to be sure: those who do have the good mouth caps in stock are our colleagues from the Telegraph-Online store. The mouth caps that the OMT means are these and also this one. This concerns – if it is up to the OMT – surgical mouth mask type 2R or an FFP2 mouth mask.
Subway asked for our panel column what three experts think of the extension of the mouth cap obligation.
The surgical mouth mask 2R
At first glance, this mouth mask resembles the mouth masks that are often worn at the moment (type 1 masks). You know those, the light blue with white cords. Type 2R, however, is constructed differently. This mask is able to filter the exhaled air. It ensures that the wearer is also protected from drops caused by speaking, coughing and sneezing. This mouth mask is European certified (as type 2R).
Mouth cap FFP2
Face masks FFP2 have been common (and mandatory) in several European countries for some time. This includes Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Romania and the Czech Republic. The mask offers a higher protection than a ‘normal’ mouth mask. this is it:
This mouth mask has a five-layer filter capacity, which allows it to better filter infectious particles from the air. Only masks that are tested in independent and recognized laboratories and meet strict criteria are FFP2 certified.
The OMT therefore advises these types of mouth caps in places where (outdoor) distance is more difficult. Anyone who goes on winter sports would do well to visit the aforementioned webshop. Because in various countries you simply cannot get away with the pieces of fabric that we see in the Dutch streets. The stock is large, but not unlimited.
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