Are you fully vaccinated? Wearing cup masks or a PPE full face mask that covers your mouth and nose is mandatory on airplanes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling to the United States, in and out of the country, and in closed areas of American public transportation hubs like airports and train stations. It is not mandatory for travelers to wear a PPE full face mask in open areas of the means of transportation (such as covered outdoor areas on a ferry or the second floor of a bus without a roof).
How to choose Cup masks or a PPE full face mask
When choosing a Cup masks or a PPE full face mask, there are several options. Here are some tips on what to choose and what not to choose.
DO choose masks that have:
- 2 or more layers
- Breathable fabric
- Completely cover the nose and mouth
- Precisely fit the sides of the face, with no gaps
- Have a nasal wand to prevent air from leaking through the top of the mask
DO NOT choose masks:
- Made from fabrics that make it difficult to breathe, such as vinyl
- valve masks
- Masks that are intended for healthcare workers such as respirators or surgical masks
- Prioritized for healthcare personnel
- Wear a two-layer neck warmer or fold it into two layers
- Evaluation of face shields is ongoing, but their effectiveness is currently unknown.
- Look for a mask that is made for children, to help ensure a good fit
- Children under 2 years old should NOT wear a mask
- In cold weather, wear your cup masks or a PPE full face mask, ski mask, or balaclava over your mask
- Use mask-fitting accessories
Note: facial hair, such as beards can make it difficult to fit the mask. Well-fitting cup masks or a PPE full face mask protect better.
- For a better fit, bearded people can shave or trim their beards as short as possible.
- Wear a disposable mask under a mask with several layers of cloth.
- The second mask should press the edges of the inner mask against your face and beard.
- For people who do not have a trimmed beard, the masks may be loose and do not fit well in the beard area. However, people with beards should still wear masks.
Using cup masks or a PPE full face mask for People with disabilities
Proper and consistent use of a PPE full face mask can be a challenge for some people, including those with certain types of disabilities. The difficulty may lie in the sensitivity of feeling a material on the face; difficulty in understanding why wearing a cup masks or PPE full face mask is a protective measure (for example, for people with intellectual disabilities) or difficulty in controlling their behavior.
To determine whether children and people with certain disabilities should wear a mask, assess their ability to do the following:
- Wear the mask correctly
- Avoid touching the mask and face frequently
- Limiting sucking, drooling, or excess saliva on the mask
- Removing the mask without help
It is suggested:
- Ask your healthcare provider on how to help your caregiver to wear a cup masks or a PPE full face mask and ask about alternative ways to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Ensure proper mask size and fit
- Remove the mask before going to bed
- Children under 2 years
- People with disabilities who are unable or unable to wear a mask safely due to a disability
- Wear a mask with a clear panel
The use of vinyl masks or non-breathable materials is generally not recommended. However, the exception can be made to facilitate lip reading.
If you cannot get a clear mask, consider using written communication, captioning, or reducing background noise to enable communication when wearing a mask that covers the lips.
People with underlying conditions can and should wear cup masks or a PPE full face mask.
If you have a respiratory condition and are concerned about wearing a mask, consult your healthcare provider about the potential benefits about the use of masks.
Use of a PPE full face mask and carbon dioxide
- Wearing a PPE full face mask does not raise the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air you breathe.
- Cloth masks do not provide a tight fit to the contour of the face. On the other hand, the respiratory droplets that carry the virus that causes COVID-19 are much larger than those of CO2. So they cannot pass as easily through masks that are well designed and used correctly.