Vol. 1230 | 12 Mar 2021

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published a second guidance document for community face coverings: BSI Flex 5555 v2.0:2021-03 Community face coverings — Specification. It is provided free of charge and is available to download via the BSI website: https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/topics/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/community-face-coverings/

The guidelines have been produced to provide guidance on the minimum requirements for the design and performance assessment of community face coverings (barrier masks) which are intended for consumers. The specification is provided for community face coverings which are not intended to fall within the scope of personal protective equipment (PPE) or medical face coverings.

It contains requirements to be applied to filtration efficiency and breathability and also contains details for:

  • General information on single- and multi-use face coverings
  • Cleaning requirements for multi-use coverings
  • Recommended test methods

This second version takes into consideration a wide range of comments from experts and contains new and enhanced information on:

  • Labelling – New information included including size guidance information requirement
  • Cleaning – Minimum 40°C for home laundering and 70°C for communal laundry
  • Fit – Requirements expanded to included adjustment instructions
  • Fastenings – Now includes tensile requirement for reusable and single-use products
  • Breathing Resistance – Changed to ≤60 Pa/cm³ and notes added regarding World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines
  • Environmental (new) – New clause added regarding disposal and sustainability
  • Children’s face coverings – New Annex regarding the safe use of face coverings on children

This second version of the standard is now available for download and open for public comment. A further update of the specification will be published should it be required.

For additional information please contact:

Dave Smith, Global Softlines
Office: +44 (0)1942 265700


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