Personal protection equipment – masks and similar

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We recommend wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces and in public transport. This applies especially for risk groups.

It is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The mask should sit on the face properly, so that the mouth and the nose are covered. If the mask has a wire to keep it in place, then the wire should sit tight around the nose, the bottom of the mask should fit under the chin.

  • If the mask has been pulled off the face, or it has been repeatedly adjusted or touched, then the mask must be changed.

  • The maximum time period for the use of a mask bought at the pharmacy is three hours. After that it is recommended to change the mask because the top layer of the mask might have become contaminated with the virus.

  • The mask cannot be damp. A damp mask must be changed out.

  • A used mask needs to be disposed to a bin with a lid or placed in a plastic bag which can be sealed. It is absolutely forbidden to leave a used mask lying around somewhere.

You can find more instructions and information about protective masks from the web page of the Health Board.

Last updated: 05.07.2022 23:15

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If you make a mask at home, this mask is not a substitute for a medical-grade mask nor would it prevent transmission like a medical-grade mask. Wearing such a mask and using other preventative measures may reduce the risk of transmission through inhalation and it will reduce the risk of infecting other people.

Instructions on how to make a home-made mask have been published by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority:

  • A mask must be made of a multiple-layer fabric, which can be washed at 60 degrees Celsius, and can be heat-treated.
  • Materials used in cleaning cloths and microfiber towels, a thicker dishwasher fabric, antimicrobial pillowcase are suitable for making home-made masks.
  • The material should have good breathability.
  • The mask material should not be too stiff but comfortable against the skin. It should be taken into account that constant adjusting of the mask reduces its effectiveness substantially.
  • The mask must be fixed behind the ears; a rubber band could be used. Instead of a rubber band, a ribbon can be attached to each corner of the mask, but this mask would be more difficult to affix.

Last updated: 13.05.2021 09:14

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Yes, but the cloth masks have to be made from multilayered cloth and they must be washable at high temperatures. The mask has to be washed at 60 degrees, at the lowest. NB! Used masks must be gathered into a closed plastic bag or box. Used masks should certainly not be left lying around.

Last updated: 13.05.2021 09:14

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Masks can be sold everywhere -- pharmacies, construction stores, health stores, grocery stores, online stores. The important thing is that people get the correct information -- a person must know what it is she is buying, what it protects her from and how the masks should be used.

That is why the product must be accompanied by product information (name, the standanrd it meets and information on its protective properties), an instruction manual in Estonian and information on the importer.

If there is no information on protective properties of the product, it can only be advertised as a face mask.

Last updated: 25.05.2020 10:03

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If you are wearing a mask for a longer period of time made out of an unsuitable material and it covers your nose and mouth, then microfibres, dust or other particles may enter the airways and damage them.

According to the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority the unsuitable materials are:

  • Material that is not breathable – for example, denim, leather, plastic film-like material, etc.
  • Material that is too porous, so that you can see gaps when you look through the material against the light, such material does not filter the air we inhale and exhale.
  • Impregnated material or coloured with chemical agents unsuitable for the skin.

Mask is an additional measure for preventing the spread of the virus, but it does not replace other important methods for avoiding infection such as washing hands, cleaning surfaces, and also keeping distance from other people.

Last updated: 24.11.2020 11:26

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According to TTJA the packaging of a reusable mask or an information sheet included with it must contain the following information:

  1. filtration efficiency and the size of particles that it has been tested with;
  2. reference to whether this is a reusable or a single use mask;
  3. in the case of a reusable mask, additional information that "the mask needs to be cleaned according to the manufacturer's instructions after every use" and instructions for cleaning/washing the product must be included. PS! The virus particles are destroyed by washing at 60 degrees or higher. For instance, if the instructions refer to washing at 40 degrees and there are no references to any other cleaning instructions that would ensure that the virus is destroyed, this kind of a product cannot be considered safe for the user for repeated use;
  4. using instructions (how the face cover/mask needs to be placed etc. -- this can be depicted with pictograms);
  5. the following information needs to also be included: "Always check that the face cover is correctly placed and covers your nose, mouth and jaw; a beard might reduce filtration efficiency." Additionally, the following information must be included: "Using a face cover does not replace other protective measures like regular hand washing, keeping a necessary distance etc.";
  6. a warning must be included: "Warning! This is not a medical mask or personal protective equipment. The face cover/mask limits the dispersal of droplets from the user's respiratory tract to the environment." (this warning must be easily noticeable);
  7. the name and contact information of the producer or the importer;
  8. the means of identifying the product (the model or batch number or similar).

The same kind of labelling must be included with the product description at an e-store.

TTJA recommends to rather refrain from buying a mask that has no information included at all or no corresponding description with the product at an e-store.

Last updated: 08.02.2021 11:12

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Yes, a cloth mask must be put straight into a washing machine, or a closed plastic bag or box immediately after use. The mask must be washed at a temperature of at least 60 degrees. Used masks should absolutely never be left lying around somewhere. A used mask that has been left on a shelf can disseminate the virus through airborne transmission and is thus dangerous to people in the same room.

Last updated: 08.02.2021 11:39

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The higher the mask's filtering capacity and the smaller the particles it can filter, the more effective the mask is. It is highly recommended to use medical masks or masks that have been equated to them (e.g. a FFP1-3 mask or a N95 respirator), as using them contains the spread of the coronavirus through air very effectively.

In close contacts with an infected person, a respirator mask that meets the requirements for personal protective equipment should be preferred.

Last updated: 20.12.2021 16:36

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New variants are significantly more contagious than the coronavirus variants that were spreading during the beginning of the pandemic and covering one's nose and mouth with anything other than a protective mask will not help to avoid infection.

In public transport or crowded indoor spaces it is recommended (especially for people who are in the risk group due to their age or health condition) to wear a medical mask or a mask equated to that (e.g. FFP1-3 masks or an N95 respirator) which effectively stop the new variants of the coronavirus from spreading.

Last updated: 05.07.2022 23:20

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).