What are the differences
Three different types of masks are currently going to be used in the Covid-19 pandemic. The everyday protection masks also called mouth-nose coverings or daily-masks are tailored from commercially available fabrics. There are no separate standards or specifications for filtering performance for this category. Ideally, however, these should have a good fit and fit snugly to the face for your protection.
The situation is different with so-called surgical masks. These masks designed as single-use products and, as medical devices, are subject to the European standard EN 14683:2019-10, for which every manufacturer has to successfully complete verification procedures (conformity assessment procedures). Only then may the product bear the CE mark as a medical mask. These masks are ideal for protecting other people.
FFP3 masks without an exhalation valve offer high protection against aerosols. The air is filtered by the material of the mask surface both during inhalation and exhalation. The prescribed filtering performance of FFP3 masks, according to European standard EN 149:2001+A1:2009, must be at least 98% of the test aerosol. FFP2 masks must have a filtering performance of at least 94%. The test standard is printed on the surface of the FFP mask, together with the CE mark and the four-digit identification number of the notified body.