23. Juni 2020 – Policy Brief
During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Switzerland, procurement of certified and properly tested face masks, including filtering facepiece (FFP) and surgical masks, became difficult. Further into the pandemic, the Swiss market was flooded with products for which legitimate concerns regarding the accuracy of disclosed certificates have arisen. To protect the Swiss health system, other professional personnel categories and the wider public during this time, different laboratories across Switzerland have implemented simplified qualification tests on procurable face masks with the aim to assess whether those masks obeyed minimum protection standards. Unfortunately, it was found that low quality products are being sold on the Swiss market, putting pressure on both users and procurers. Procuring face masks, both FFP and surgical, should be brought back to the normal (pre-COVID-19) state where only certified products are put on the market and both procurers and users reliably follow the regulations issued by Swissmedic and SECO.