An overview of the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of face masks.
So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control.
- A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. (Source)
- A Danish randomized controlled trial with 6000 participants, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2020, found no statistically significant effect of high-quality medical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community setting. (Source)
- A February 2021 review by the European CDC found no significant evidence supporting the effectiveness of non-medical and medical face masks in the community. Furthermore, the European CDC advises against the use of FFP2/N95 respirators by the general public. (Source)
- A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth masks against virus infection or transmission. (Source)