The higher protective effect of medical mouth-nose coverings compared to community masks is only achieved if you wear the mouth-nose covering correctly. This is the only way to significantly reduce the risk of infecting yourself and others with the coronavirus. You should therefore observe the following:
- If possible, wash your hands thoroughly with soap before using the medical mouth-nose covering.
- Always handle the mask by the straps only.
- Pull the straps over both ears.
- The mask must fit snugly over the mouth, nose and cheeks.
- The edges of the mask should fit snugly against the face so that no air can be breathed in or out past the mask.
- If the mask becomes soaked or wet, for example due to saliva sputum or even rain, it should be removed and replaced.
- When removing the mask, use only the straps and do not touch the non-woven fabric if possible.
There are further instructions for wearing FFP-2 or FFP-3 masks. Paying attention to them is really important: the mask will only protect you if it is worn properly - leaks increase the risk of infection.
- Your mask must fit snugly and fit over your mouth, nose and cheeks. The edges of the mask should fit snugly and not allow airflow past the mask. This means pressing the wire straps close to the bridge of your nose so that the mask fits your face shape. Often the masks can also only be used with the help of special retaining straps and foam seals on the nose without edge openings.
- When using the mask for the first time, please test it to see if it allows enough air to pass through to minimize obstruction to normal breathing.
- Please change your mask as soon as it becomes soaked. Refer to the following section for reuse instructions.
- Please always remove your mask via the straps and do not touch the front.
- Difference between masks with and without exhalation valve: Masks without a valve filter both the inhaled and exhaled air. Masks with a valve filter only the inhaled air and thus offer little external protection.
Beard wearers are recommended to shave before wearing FFP2 or FFP3 masks, otherwise the protection is not guaranteed. However, in Thuringia, one may switch to the medical surgical mask - and for this, the beard does not have to be removed.
FFP2 masks are actually intended for single use. In the field of occupational safety, for example, they are disposed of at the end of a working day. Or they may need to be replaced earlier, for example, if they become soiled or soaked.
In the event that FFP2 masks are only worn for a short time, such as when shopping or on public transport, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices provides instructions for reuse.