What is Type IIR Surgical Mask?

Surgical Mask Type IIR

The PHE recommended masks to be used in a social care setting is Surgical Mask Type IIR for delivering the care. 

Surgical facemasks are medical devices covering the mouth, nose and chin, and should be worn during any activities where there is a risk of blood, body fluids, secretions or excretions splashing onto the wearer’s mouth or eyes

All Type IIR facemasks must comply with the following:

●  The mask must be marked as Type IIR;

●  Must have a splash resistance pressure equal to or greater than 120mm Hg;

●  Must provide a bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of 98% or above;

●  Must be single use;

●  Each mask must dispense from packaging individually;

●  Must be free from chemical smells, resulting from the manufacturing process, which prevents the end-user from breathing comfortably;

●  Must have no residue left from the manufacturing process on the finished product which may lead to irritations on the skin;

●  Must be close fitting in order to prevent venting (exhaled air ‘escaping’ at the sides of the mask);

●  The noseband must deform when pressed to mould over the nose and cheeks and must maintain its shape over time; and

●  The noseband must not kink or break when adjusted.

Masks with ties must:

●  Have integral ties long enough to go around an adult head whilst wearing a surgical cap;

●  The upper tie must sit at the crown of the head;

●  The lower tie must be positioned to allow it to be positioned behind the neck to hold the sides of the mask against the face of the user to prevent any gaping; and

●  Straps and ties must not detach from the face mask when in use. Masks with ear loops must:

●  Have elastic ear loops; and

●  Ears loops must not detach from the face mask when in use.

●  Not cause visual distortion for the wearer; and

●  Have an anti-fog strip and be resistant to fogging. Masks with ties/ear loops and anti-fog strip must:

Be resistant to fogging when worn by wearers of spectacles Masks with visors must. 


A detailed version of the guidance can be found here.