What is the difference between FFP2 masks and fabric masks?
For some time now, masks have had to be worn in enclosed spaces such as public transport, museums and shopping stores. Slowly we are used to it, the mask belongs in the pocket like the wallet and the house key. In contrast to other countries, in Switzerland it is your own decision what kind of mask it should be.
Important with all protective masks is here still the observance of the hygiene measures as well as to keep distance. Not only do the masks come in different colors and patterns, but the mask type itself differs in different categories. Two of them are FFP2 masks and fabric masks. The respective quality requirements can be found on the official Website of the FOPH website.
The Filtering Face Piece mask, also known as an FFP2 mask, provides protection against aerosols, droplets and particles in the air. It is important that the FFP2 mask is used correctly. The most central thing here is that it fits tightly to the face and is therefore rather unsuitable for beard wearers.
The mask offers a higher self-protection than fabric masks. And in certain situations it makes sense to use an FFP2 mask instead of a fabric mask. Important to know: FFP2 masks with a valve also only protect the wearer.
Fabric masks which have been professionally manufactured offer sufficient protection in everyday life. However, the protection for the environment, i.e. for other people, is greater than self-protection.
Again, it is important that the mask fits well. Mostly the wearing comfort is higher than with FFP2 masks. More and more often there are fabric masks with an additional filter that can be replaced. In the case of fabric masks, there are no specifications for manufacture. However, there are already labels which insure a better protection (e.g. Testex and SQTS). In addition, they must comply with the standard of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force. So care should be taken with homemade fabric masks.
The protective masks can be washed and used several times.