To prevent respiratory illnesses that are transmitted airborne to humans, filtering the air we breathe is a key precaution against contamination. Wearing a mask is not the only protection required, read more about other precautionary and protective measures here.
Like similar diseases in the past, Covid-19 is a respiratory illness. Scientifically it’s called “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”, or SARS-CoV-2, and spreads airborne when people are close to each other. Invisibly small droplets or aerosols from an infected person’s breath, cough, sneeze or speaking transmit the illness.
To filter these droplets or aerosols from the air that each of us inhales or exhales is why we should all wear a face mask. You can read about the different types of mask here. Also consider who should wear what mask, both from a health perspective as well as to help give everybody the appropriate mask in times of severe mask shortages in some areas. Wearing a mask is not a 100% guarantee at any time, as no mask can guarantee a 100% filtration level of the air you breathe. Also wearing a mask incorrectly or for too long without changing it significantly reduces its efficiency. We recommend you read the WHO advice on face masks and instructions for use on your masks' packaging carefully.