What are FFP3 face masks and where can I buy one?
FACE masks and coverings have become a normal part of daily life during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are various grades of masks from disposable, medical grade and reusable, and an FFP3 mask is one of them.
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It is a legal requirement that you wear a face mask or covering on public transport or in shops.
This is both to protect yourself and other people around you.
Some people are exempt from wearing a face mask and they will usually have a badge or lanyard on to signify this.
But if you do have to wear a mask, an FFP3 mask could be an option.
What is an FFP3 mask?
An FFP3 masks fits the same as other masks and coverings but has added protection against Covid-19.
This particular mask is used to protect people in the medical profession from bacteria, viruses and toxic aerosols.
The reason the masks are sought after is due to the fact that they have a built in filter.
These filters can filter out at least 99 per cent of airborne infectious diseases.
They are designed to be better shaped to your face so that there are no gaps around the side – which is something often seen with the standard blue disposable face coverings.
FFP3 masks also include a valve to help you breath as the filtration is thicker than standard face masks.
Where can I buy one?
Because these face masks are meant for medical workers, you will struggle to find them on the high street.
At the start of the pandemic people were urged to not buy these masks as they needed to be kept for NHS staff treating Covid patients.
They are also typically more expensive than disposable masks and they should not be reused after wearing.
There are several places where you can buy them such as LloydsPharmacy where you can get a pack of 5 for £27.06.
They are also available at Chemist Click for £3.99 per mask.
Researchers today revealed that the use of FFP3 masks for staff on Covid wards could "dramatically cut infection".
Research shows that one hospital that upgraded their masks saw a drop of infections in workers by up to 100 per cent.
Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge upgraded the masks used by staff on Covid-19 wards from fluid resistant surgical masks (FRSMs) to filtering face piece 3 (FFP3) respirators, with the change made in late December.
Before the update in masks, Covid cases were higher in staff who did not have access to FFP3 masks.
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