Wearing a face mask is better than social distancing at preventing you from catching Covid, a study suggests, Daily Mail reported.
Researchers found that donning a covering could lower the risk by up to 225 times, compared to solely relying on a three-metre rule, the report said.
Masks have been mandated in almost every country in the world at some point in the pandemic but the jury’s still out on their efficacy due to contradictory evidence.
The latest research, by a team of German and US experts, is the latest to conclude that wearing a face covering offers ‘enormously high’ protection, the report said.
It found a 90 per cent chance of catching Covid if you stand across from an infected person for five minutes and neither of you wear a mask, even with a gap of 3 metres.
Whereas it would take 30 minutes for the risk to be that high if someone was to wear a surgical mask, even if it does not fit ‘perfectly’ on the face, the report said.
In the most ideal scenario, where both people wear a medical-grade FFP2 mask and are kept apart, the chance of transmission is just 0.4 per cent after an hour.
Experts from the universities of Gottingen and Cornell who did the study said their finding ‘makes social distancing less important’.
It comes after a major review found that widespread mask use could cut infection rates by 50 per cent, double the amount from solely social distancing, the report added.