As part of efforts to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Consumer Protection Service informs consumers that the following types of masks are on the market:
1) Masks that meet the basic safety requirements of the European Atomic Energy Agency Regulation and bear the CE mark. The competent authority for the control of this category of masks is the Department of Labor Inspection (TEE) of the Ministry of Labor, Welfare, and Social Insurance. More information on this category can be found in the relevant TEE Announcement .
2) Facial surgical / medical masks, which meet the basic safety requirements of the European Directive on Medical Devices and bear the CE mark. The Competent Authority for the control of this category of masks is the Medical Services and Public Health Services of the Ministry of Health.
3) All other masks, such as face masks, fabric masks, handmade masks, etc., do not fall into any of the above two categories and for their construction are not followed any procedures set by the European Union for the assessment of compliance.
The Competent Consumer Protection Service of the Ministry of Energy, Trade & Industry is the competent authority for the control of these products.
It is emphasized that the products that fall into this category, do not offer individual protection to the user. Such products may provide partial protection to those around the user.
Therefore, for the purposes of better informing and protecting consumers, these products should carry a warning that states the above.
- You need to be very careful when choosing a mask. It is recalled the recommendation of the Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, that the defined protective mask for the general public is the simple surgical mask (the Announcement of the Ministry of Health dated 1/5/2020 is relevant).
- The use of a mask by the citizens is used as a complementary measure and does not replace the application of other precautionary practices such as social distancing, hand hygiene, cleaning surfaces, natural ventilation of living and working areas, etc.
- Choose reliable outlets to get a mask.
- Don’t shop online, especially on social media, unless you’re sure it’s a real business, because you’re at risk of being deceived by alleged “businesses” that will disappear or you won’t be able to communicate once they get your money’s worth. with them, if you have a problem with the product you purchased.
- Do not trust statements that try to exploit the fear that consumers may have in order to promote “protective” masks or other products, falsely claiming that they can prevent or even cure COVID-19 infection.
- Do not buy products of dubious quality, level of protection, and specifications.
- Follow the recommendations of the State Authorities.
For further information or to file a complaint, consumers can contact the Service through its website ( www.consumer.gov.cy ) or at the Consumer Line at 1429.