Why most N95 masks do not satisfy Austria’s tightened mask requirement?

Why most N95 masks do not satisfy Austria’s tightened mask requirement?
Boxes of N95 masks. Photo: JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP
Despite offering a similar degree of protection, N95 masks do not satisfy Austria’s new FFP2 mask requirements.

As of Monday, January 25th, FFP2 masks will be required in all retail shops and supermarkets, along with public transport throughout Austria. 

Long-distance trains will also require FFP2 masks, as will doctors surgeries, airports and aeroplanes.  

FFP2 masks have been chosen as they offer a greater amount of protection 

Anyone who fails to wear a mask in a long-distance train in Austria will risk a fine of 40 euros. 

READ MORE: FFP2 masks to be mandatory in public transport and shops

While the FFP2 masks have been chosen because they offer a greater degree of protection, N95 masks – which offer a similar high level of protection – cannot be worn on public transport, in supermarkets and elsewhere because they have not been certified by European authorities. 

Austria’s Kurier newspaper confirmed that the masks, sometimes known as N95 of KN95, will not meet the requirements where FFP2 masks are required, unless they are certified. 

READ MORE: How much will mandatory FFP2 masks cost in Austria? 

The Austrian Ministry of Health told Kurier that even if they are similar quality they will not satisfy the requirement. 

“If they really comply with this standard, then these masks should be of similar quality to the European FFP2 masks,” a spokesperson said. 

“However, since they are not subject to a European standard, there is no European quality control on them. 

“So they may not have been tested and are therefore legally to be judged only as basic mouth-nose protection.”

EXPLAINED: Why is Austria making FFP2 masks mandatory? 

The spokesperson did say that some N95 masks have been certified and therefore will be allowed. 

https://kurier.at/wissen/gesundheit/corona-kn95-masken-sind-kein-ersatz-fuer-ffp2/401167215

In order to be sufficient, the CE mark with a four-digit identification number should be visible on the mask. 

In addition, the FFP protection level and the manufacturers name must be visible. 

 

 


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