Face masks with valve and shields should not be used on airplanes, buses or trains: experts

Face masks with a plastic bit on one side, a valve that makes it easier to breathe out, might be more comfortable for the wearer, but experts say they miss the whole point of wearing masks, in that they don't filter out what you're breathing, dpa reported.

"The purpose of the mask is to protect people around you. But the valve allows the wearer to breathe out their own unfiltered air," Professor Tomas Jelinek from the Centre for Travel Medicine (CRM) in Berlin says.

Government health officials in many countries echo this advice: "This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting Covid-19 to others," the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says.

As a result, face masks with valves should never be used as a face mask on airplanes, buses or trains. That's why airlines generally won't accept the use of such masks, as anyone wearing them won't be protecting other passengers.

The same goes for face shields, and the CDC says there is currently not enough evidence that shows face shields are an effective means of stopping the spread of respiratory droplets that can be inhaled by people around you.

German carrier Lufthansa, for example, states that face shields, FFP2 masks with a valve and scarves are not permitted on board, as they allow the air to escape to the side and do not provide adequate protection.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles