Government of Valencia Bans Face Masks with Valves!

   Valencia has placed a ban on wearing masks with valves after virus surges.

The director of the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies, Fernando Simón has recommended the ban on face masks that include a filter. The valve allows unfiltered air to escape from the mask into a sterile environment. While there’s no known difference between masks with and without valves in terms of personal protection, a mask with a valve isn’t going to protect the people around you- hence the problem.

The design of the masks facilitates breathing in through the high-intensity filter- then to exhale the air is forced out separately, through different vents. People standing in your vicinity would, therefore, be breathing your expulsions-unfiltered!

The normal strap on masks, if changed frequently, are adequate for use although for complete protection a full PPE kit is required- not really convenient for driving and shopping!

FFP2 Masks have a leak rate of 8%

This type of mask with valve belongs to the group of self-filtering, they are usually for industrial use, but in the context of the pandemic, they would protect the user from inhaling the pathogen- but not for anyone standing near the wearer.

In the case of FFP2 (P2 type particulate filter): they  have a minimum filtration efficiency of 92% and a maximum inward leakage rate of 8%

The new rules make face masks compulsory in public even when a social distance of 1.5 meters between people can be observed. Exceptions are made for eating and drinking, at beaches and swimming pools, and when exercising.

The beach at the Alicante town of Finestrat- some bathers wear masks and some do not. image: Twitter

Until now, the Spanish government’s “new normality” decree said that face-covering must be worn in public only when it is not possible to maintain the established distance. But the recent outbreaks have led some regional authorities to make the masks mandatory at all times.

“I don’t like making it compulsory, but seeing as how the epidemiological situation is getting worse and citizens’ attitude is growing relaxed, it is adequate,” said Magda Campins, head of preventive medicine at Vall d’Hebron hospital in Barcelona.

The city continues to be affected by the largest outbreak of Covid-19 in the Valencian Community, Gandia has the largest coronavirus outbreak in the three provinces. This Sunday the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, estimated 70 people were affected. This situation forced authorities to order the closure of all nightlife in the city.

170 new positive cases of Covid-19 in the Valencian Community were registered during the weekend alone. the death toll now stands at 1,433 in the region.

Catalonia was the first region of Spain to introduce the new rule, warning that violators could face €100 fines. Just 24 hours later, the Balearic Islands followed suit. Then came Extremadura in western Spain. Almost 1,000 people were fined so far today on the Costa del Sol in Malaga also.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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