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Face masks

Hey all! Traveling to France next week. Are regular cloth face masks ok or do they need to be N95 type? Thanks so much!

Posted by
7064 posts

Regular cloth face masks are ok in some situations, but not in all (I think, not OK on trains for instance).
Surgical masks are OK everywhere and the most common ones.
N95 are never required in France.

Posted by
2589 posts

I would bring surgical ones. We ended up going to Milan via Paris, due to a delayed flight, and surgical masks were handed out before landing for those with cloth masks. My husband who had a N-95 mask on was told to put a surgical one on top of it, which did not make a lot of sense. But clearly surgical is the standard in France.

Posted by
16862 posts

Did his N95 mask have a valve? Some do—-and then it would be appropriate to cover it with a surgical mask.

Posted by
2589 posts

No it had no valve. I think it just wasn’t a surgical mask. The staff did not want to evaluate alternatives I think.

Posted by
27406 posts

I switched from a KN95 to a surgical mask at the hairdresser yesterday, at his behest. Something about the chemicals from my permanent messing up my mask; I hadn't thought to take a second one with me. That surgical mask was like wearing nothing--horribly loose-fitting. I've decided if I'm wearing a mask (and I am), it's going to be a mask that fits a lot better than a surgical mask. Obviously I'd have to follow instructions of flight crew on a plane, so I suppose wearing the surgical mask on top of an N95 or KN95 would be the best I could do there.

Posted by
14241 posts

Beth that is interesting. I'm wearing N95s as well so will take some surgical masks to wear over it just in case.

And acraven, I agree with you. At present I want something tight across my face.

Posted by
788 posts

Cloth masks are fine, as you won't be going anywhere where they are forbidden

"Si les masques faits maison en tissu ou les masques grand public de catégorie 2 (garantissant une filtration de 70 % des particules de 3 microns émises par le porteur) ne sont pas interdits, ils ne peuvent plus être portés en entreprise ou à l'école"

While homemade fabric masks or category 2 consumer masks (guaranteeing 70% filtration of 3-micron particles emitted by the wearer) are not banned, they can no longer be worn in the workplace or at school.

By workplace they mean your own workplace.

Posted by
454 posts

We traveled to Europe last month. Looking back, I wish I’d brought fewer cloth masks (maybe 1 or 2). Most people wore surgical masks or KN95s or equivalent. Masks were easy to find at pharmacies and grocery stores. On the plane, I wore a KN95 that had the headband style straps. This was more comfortable as it kept the pressure off my ears. Happy travels!

Posted by
8219 posts

to get a closer fitwith the surgical masks you can knot each ear loop at the edge of the mask and then sort of fold the mask at that point inward so instead of that gap on the side, it closes up -- it sort of cups your face and makes for a tighter fit.

We are taking a bunch of korean k95s with us and a bunch of surgical masks and hope to buy more there. We usually cycle them at home i.e. let one rest a few days between wearings, but I suspect that traveling we will be discarding them more often. I assume we will be acquire more as we go.

The cloth ones are just not as good as the surgical and K95s and so we just no longer use those.

Posted by
5 posts

Flights in all countries require surgical masks. All other situations cloth masks are acceptable for France & Italy. The only exception I have encountered so far in Europe is that Germany requires surgical masks on trains.