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RIP cloth masks? Why airlines and governments are banning them

Fast Company: “Many airlines now ban fabric masks on flights. Last week, Finnair was the latest to adopt this policy, joining Air France, Lufthansa, Swissair, Croatia Airlines, and LATAM Airlines in announcing that passengers would not be allowed to wear cloth masks on flights. The reason? “Fabric masks are slightly less efficient at protecting people from infection than surgical masks,” according to Finnair’s statement. Now, all of these airlines are only allowing N95 masks, surgical masks, and respirators that do not have exhaust valves. At the start of 2021, European countries began recommending the use of medical masks, as more transmissible strains of the coronavirus—like the alpha (or British) variant—began spreading. In France, the government made it mandatory to wear masks in public and recommended that citizens only use disposable surgical masks or N95 masks. In Germany and Austria, the governments mandated that citizens wear filtering facepieces (FFP)—a European standard that offers a similar filtration system to the N95—on public transportation, in workplaces, and in shops. In its announcement, the German government said that medical masks offer the wearer more protection than cloth masks, “which are not subject to any standards with regards to their effectiveness.”…

See also the Washington Post – Massive randomized study is proof that surgical masks limit coronavirus spread, authors say

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