Standard surgical masks are as effective as respirator masks (e.g. N95, FFP2, FFP3) for preventing infection of healthcare workers in outbreaks of viral respiratory illnesses such as influenza. No head to head trial of these masks in COVID-19 has yet been published, and neither type of mask prevents all infection. Both types of mask need to be used in combination with other PPE measures. Respirator masks are recommended for protection during aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Rapid reviews on wider PPE measures, and what counts as an AGP, are ongoing.
Greenhalgh, T., Chan, X.H., Khunti, K., Durand-Moreau, Q., Straube, S., Devane, D., Toomey, E., Ireland, E.S. and Ireland, C., 2020. What is the efficacy of standard face masks compared to respirator masks in preventing COVID-type respiratory illnesses in primary care staff? [Internet]. Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford.
Acess the publication here: https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/what-is-the-efficacy-of-standard-face-masks-compared-to-respirator-masks-in-preventing-covid-type-respiratory-illnesses-in-primary-care-staff/