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Face mask use in the community to reduce SARS-COV-2 transmission – rapid evidence update

Status: Published on

To inform national efforts in response to COVID-19, HIQA develops evidence summaries and syntheses to answer specific policy questions and topics posed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Policy topic and advice provided to NPHET on 25 November 2020


This evidence synthesis was used to inform advice provided to NPHET to address the following policy question:

“What evidence is available to indicate that routine wearing of face masks in the community reduces the transmission of SARS-CoV-2?”

HIQA’s advice was informed by a rapid evidence update, published on this page (link below). This rapid evidence update followed HIQA’s previous evidence summary, published 21 August 2020, on the use of face masks in the community.

The advice was also informed by some of HIQA’s other evidence summaries, which considered airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, relative importance of direct versus indirect droplet transmission for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and activities or settings associated with higher risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Supporting documents: