What is a mask?
The Royal Decree of October 28, 2021 on the administrative police measures necessary to prevent or limit the consequences for public health of the declared epidemic emergency situation concerning the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic defines a mask as "a mask without ventilation, made of fabric or disposable material, which fits tightly over the face, covers the nose, mouth and chin and is intended to prevent contamination through contact between people".
The fabric mask should be used for a maximum of 4 hours at a time as the moisture produced by breathing alters the properties of the mask and may allow filtered particles to reach the respiratory tract. Badly maintained, in contact with the skin and respiratory tract, contamination (viruses, bacteria or fungi) is possible. Machine cleaning at 60°C after each use is essential.
Good to know: there are masks equipped with a small rectangular visor allowing the view of the mouth and therefore lip reading for deaf and hard of hearing people. More information here.
The industrial mask with a ventilation valve is not effective and therefore not authorised. Scarves, neck covers and bandanas are not acceptable alternatives either.
The FFP2 mask is recommended to protect vulnerable persons or after high risk contact.
Why wear a mask?
The mask picks up the particles or bodily fluids that we emit.
When mask-wearing is widespread, we protect each other. It is therefore a collective responsibility.
Wearing a mask also limits the often unconscious gestures that cause us to touch our mouth or face.