UK health officials consider urging everyone to cover their mouths

Updated: Feb 28, 2021


Face masks could soon be an everyday sight in Britain as health officials admit that they are reconsidering their advice for people not to wear them.

In countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, wearing face masks when you're ill is common - East Asia has learned from deadly virus outbreaks in the past.

The West, however, is new to the idea and the coronavirus pandemic has triggered widespread use of face coverings in the US, France and Spain.

Britain's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said on Monday that there is an 'ongoing review' of official advice on masks.

For weeks the Government has told people not to bother with them and to make sure there are enough available for staff in hospitals and care homes who really need them.

Following a World Health Organisation softening on the stance, however, they could soon be recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Two types of mask meet high-grade medical standards - FFP3 and FFP2 / N95. So what's the difference? 

The two main types of medical-grade face mask on sale in Britain are the FFP3 and FFP2, also known as N95, masks.

FFP stands for Filtering Face Piece, with FFP3 giving the highest level of protection against virus and bacterial infections, while FFP2 is the level below.

Health officials say that when FFP3s are not available, FFP2s can be used. The WHO recommends FFP2 and N95 respirators, which are widely used in other countries.


The KN95 face mask is made to China standard. Please be aware of many fake KN95 masks which will not offer the required protection. Hive does not sell KN95 masks, these are usually found in corner shops where unregulated mask sales are allowed.

The FFP3 face mask will protect the most vulnerable people. It filters out a minimum of 99% of particles. Hive offers a range of Bsi certified medical grade FFP3 masks.

Our FFP2 face mask has European certification. Made in a manufacturing site that specialises in face masks, this is the highest quality FFP2. FFP2 is the European equivalent to the US N95 standard face mask.

Trust Hive Pharmacy for high quality PPE.