Respirators, surgical masks or sewn face masks – the differences in masks and the protection they offer are huge. According to experts, some could even convey a false sense of security.
From Kai Laufen, SWR
There is a lot of discussion these days about face masks to protect against the coronavirus. But not all masks are the same – the differences are big: Respiratory masks are made of hardened paper or fabrics and are multilayered, they have filters and sit a little distance over the mouth and nose, and are close to the cheeks. Only these masks are certified for biological threats such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus, only they protect against both infection and spread of the virus. They are called "Filtering Facepieces", or FFP for short, and they are divided into protection classes. Only respiratory masks with protection class FFP2 or FFP3 are certified for medical personnel in dealing with the coronavirus.