Should We All Be Wearing Face Masks? Here’s Why Experts Are So Conflicted

Should members of the public be wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a controversial question, with different countries and authorities giving different advice.

We have reviewed the results of more than a dozen randomised trials of face masks and transmission of respiratory illnesses. We found the current best evidence suggests wearing a mask to avoid viral respiratory infections such as COVID-19 offers minimal protection, if any.

Conflicting recommendations