what brand of KN95 masks are approved for Rick Steves tours?
Here is the verbiage from the email I received today for my tour that starts the end of September:
"While on tour, we expect all tour members to wear a medical grade mask (N95, KN95, KF94) on the bus and when social distancing is not possible. Please be prepared by bringing medical grade masks along with you. In Europe, you may see the term "FFP2" associated with masks. This type of mask is comparable to the N95, KN95, or KF94 masks available in the US."
No brand is listed so ANY mask that is marked KN95 will do as will any N95, KF94 or FFP2.
The N95 masks are tested in the US. K95 masks come from China, supposedly tested there. KF 95 masks are made and tested in South Korea. The brand should not matter as far as filtration goes. Personally, I would go for the K 95's as I trust the labs here more than I do the ones in China. My second choice would be the KF 94's from South Korea. I'm not familiar with the rating system in France. My husband and I took several KN95's and a few KF94's with us when we went to France in May and were glad we did. We were there for five weeks, wore our masks indoors including transportation and DID NOT GET COVID.
Basically any mask that indicates it is N95, KN95, FFP2 is fine, with the exception of industrial N95 masks that have the exhaust vent.
No one will ask for documentation, some reports from tours indicate that those with paper surgical masks or cloth masks were tolerated, in some cases, no mask...so it seems the guide has a wide latitude.
I would find a mask that claims to meet the requirements indicated above, then try it, make sure it is comfortable and can wear it for extended periods. My wife that had to wear masks often had some she liked, some she hated.
In regard to a previous poster. I don't believe the guides have discretion to over-rule RS policy. No one should set off for a RS tour thinking, "I don't really have to follow the mask mandates set out by RS tours, I'll just bring whatever mask I like." I'm not ever implying that this was the intention of the OP, just responding to another poster that seemed to suggest that he had heard reports that could be ok.
I'm going on 2 RS tours in September. My very reasonable expectation is that tour members and the guide will follow their published policy.