Medical masks – also known as surgical masks -are made from a minimum of three layers of synthetic nonwoven materials, and configured to have filtration layers sandwiched in the middle.

WHO advises that these should only be worn by health workers, anyone with symptoms of Covid-19, people caring for suspected or confirmed cases, people aged over 60 and people with underlying health conditions.

There are also respirators which are specifically designed for healthcare workers who provide care to COVID-19 patients in settings and areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken. Healthcare workers should be fit tested before using a respirator to ensure that they are wearing the correct size.