The UK Government has announced that, in addition to public transport, wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July.
Ensuring staff, customers and visitors comply with these regulations will be a focus for many companies and organisations in the UK. But it can be confusing as to what to order for your workplace.
Here's a simple guide to the different types of face coverings.
There are two types of face coverings - disposable and reusable, let's look at both options.
- Fabric outer layers that sandwich filtration layers
- Typically are at least 3 ply but sometimes 4/5 ply
- They are meant to be worn once and replaced
- Banner has both non-Certified and fully CE Certified masks in our range
A civilian 3ply disposable mask will not be certified or tested – it is used simply as a ‘face cover’ for non-medical usages only. E.g. by the general public whilst shopping or travelling. It offers very basic protection only.
Masks offer a higher level of protection. They are certified and tested to EU harmonised safety standards. Dependent on the environment in which they are intended for use they can be worn by both civilians and health professionals:
- 95% bacteria and particulate filtration.
- For general medical use.
- Product code: 115 8481
- Higher bacteria filtration 98%.
- A higher specification than type I.
- As above but added fluid protection.
- Offers a higher level of Covid protection.
- The fluid protection reduces breathability.
- This specification offers the best value for money coupled with a high protection level.
- Product code: 115 8258
- A respirator mask with really high fluid protection and particulate filtration.
- Protects the wearer in high risk environments.
- Made of fabric and offer a low level of protection.
- They are not intended for medical use - a simple face covering for public transport and in shops.
- Are made to wash and reuse for a number of times.
- Not classified as PPE - therefore not CE marked.
- Product code: 115 8313 (single, as per illustration)
- Product code: 115 8485 (pack of 5, white)
- Product code: 115 8486 (pack of 5, black)
Made of different fabrics that work to offer a low level of
filtration from pollutants such as pollen. Often used as a way of stopping the wide spread/spray of coughs and sneezes.
Products do not last forever as the material will degenerate and the weave will slacken. Therefore filtration declines over time with washing. Masks should be replaced regularly.
Unfortunately, there are LOTS of illegal “Type IIR” masks in the UK being sold to the unsuspecting!
To legally sell a medical face mask in the UK, the manufacturer must go through several regulatory steps:
- The manufacturer must ensure conformity with all relevant EU requirements, under UK/EU law.
- Certified masks have to be tested and should carry a CE mark on the packaging. Testing is required as this is a surgical mask and should offer the protection required in the EN14683 standard.
With Banner you can be confident that you are purchasing a correctly certified product.
To view our range and live stock levels please visit our shop by clicking the link below and searching 'face masks'