Surgical mask only and not cloth mask?

Old Sep 16, 20, 9:12 am
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Surgical mask only and not cloth mask?

Just got an update from AF about my upcoming CDG-BOM trip - It says only surgical mask allowed and Cloth mask not allowed. This does not make sense.

It is mandatory to wear a surgical mask upon arrival at the airport and on board all our aircraft. Without a surgical mask, you will not be able to board. Cloth masks are not accepted.
You will have to wear it throughout your flight. For your comfort, we advise you to bring several surgical masks.
This measure applies to all passengers, including children over 11 years of age. It is nonetheless recommended for all children over 3 years of age.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by Love_Travel View Post
t says only surgical mask allowed and Cloth mask not allowed. This does not make sense.
It does , its due to the fact that , while a ffp2 or 3 might be ok , the problem is that not all masks sold on the market are efficient enough . While i understand it create a mess , i can also understand that they had to do a choice to streamline the process and make everybody follow one rule

QR is asking paxs to change their surgery masks every 4 hours , however AF doesnt .

On some flights the paxs are given masks at entrance while boarding , and KLM seems to be ok with other types of masks
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Old Sep 16, 20, 9:45 am
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It is basically a French government requirement.(decree n 2020-663 dated 31 May 2020)..
Anything that looks like a surgical mask is fine. Preferably blue colour (I have seen some in white).
That requirement has been in force for over 3 months.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 9:49 am
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From what I've read, studies show surgical masks are better than many cloth masks. The cloth masks have a wide range of effectiveness - for instance, people wearing those thin neck gaiters that you can see through probably aren't offering much protection if at all. At least surgical masks are consistent. Personally, I would wear a cloth mask or an N95 mask and put the surgical mask over it for extra protection.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 11:11 am
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Thank you for the responses. The picture below are the surgical masks?
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Old Sep 16, 20, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Love_Travel View Post
Thank you for the responses. The picture below are the surgical masks?
yes, those are all surgical masks and would be accepted.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by oreocookies View Post
From what I've read, studies show surgical masks are better than many cloth masks. The cloth masks have a wide range of effectiveness - for instance, people wearing those thin neck gaiters that you can see through probably aren't offering much protection if at all. At least surgical masks are consistent. Personally, I would wear a cloth mask or an N95 mask and put the surgical mask over it for extra protection.
This is not the reason. The main reason is that everyone knows that, with washable cloth masks, the immense majority of people are not changing them even daily, while with disposable ones you change them more often simply because the elastic is breaking easily.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 4:50 pm
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On all my 6 AF flights last 10 days, the FAs actively checked (both at boarding and during the flight in case they might have missed someone) if people indeed have a surgical mask. However, those with cloth masks or others not deemed good enough are given a free surgical mask by the crew. If you can get your hand on surgical masks beforehand by all means do, but it looked like there are always a lot of them on the plane to hand out.
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Old Sep 16, 20, 6:55 pm
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Thanks everyone. I ordered the masks from amazon.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by Romanianflyer View Post
(...) However, those with cloth masks or others not deemed good enough are given a free surgical mask by the crew.(...).
Same experience. I witnessed it.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 4:13 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
This is not the reason. The main reason is that everyone knows that, with washable cloth masks, the immense majority of people are not changing them even daily, while with disposable ones you change them more often simply because the elastic is breaking easily.
From what I understand, the performance of surgical masks is substantially higher than that of masks made out of cloth. Essentially, even a simple three-layer surgical mask has a middle layer which is charged electrostatically. It captures more microparticles than the middle layer of cloth masks.
This electric charge goes away relatively quickly. Thus, they shouldn't be used for days on end. Even if you disinfected them (say, by placing them in an oven at 60 degress centigrade), that charge doesn't come back.

I am not an expert. But there was a series of NYT articles which referenced scientific studies on the issue. I can try to dig up those articles if there is interest.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by funkydrummer View Post
From what I understand, the performance of surgical masks is substantially higher than that of masks made out of cloth. Essentially, even a simple three-layer surgical mask has a middle layer which is charged electrostatically. It captures more microparticles than the middle layer of cloth masks.
This electric charge goes away relatively quickly. Thus, they shouldn't be used for days on end. Even if you disinfected them (say, by placing them in an oven at 60 degress centigrade), that charge doesn't come back.

I am not an expert. But there was a series of NYT articles which referenced scientific studies on the issue. I can try to dig up those articles if there is interest.
Yes, this is true, even I have read surgical masks are better than regular cloth mask.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by komal13 View Post
Yes, this is true, even I have read surgical masks are better than regular cloth mask.
They are much, much better in general indeed. As a simple (but not fool-proof) home test, just spray some deodorant or air freshener through a cloth mask and surgical mask - and see how much of it comes out at the other side!
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Old Sep 17, 20, 9:20 am
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I wear cloth masks all day, every day, at work and while out and about. They are perfectly fine for those instances because my exposure risk is pretty low in those scenarios. Given the obscene amount of litter created by disposable masks, I think cloth masks should be the standard everywhere. However, if you are going to be in a confined space for several hours with questionable airflow, perhaps a few feet away from a sick person, I would advise the best mask you can obtain. I used N95 masks on my longer flights, and I doubled up on surgical masks for shorter flights, buses, and ferries. N95 masks are a bit scarce, but the KN95 masks seems to be readily available everywhere. They are not as effective as a true N95, but more comfortable and surely better than cloth or surgical masks. There are also big quality control issues for all surgical and KN95 masks right now, as the market is being flooded with masks manufactured as quickly and cheaply as possible. Definitely carry plenty of spare surgical masks, because those straps will break, often on a brand new mask.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 12:28 pm
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I myself took a bandana and put the surgical mask below it when flying SFO-CDG. That way it was reasonably comfortable to wear and sleep in in an almost empty J cabin.
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