It’s time to upgrade your protection — this is where to buy KN95, N95 and P2 masks to shield against Omicron

With the Omicron variant of Covid-19 known to be so transmissible, we not only need to be more stringent about when we are wearing masks, but what types of masks we’re wearing. Official advice recommends that “disposable high-filtration face masks or particulate respirators offer the highest level of protection, when used correctly.”

These are known by different names. P2 is the Australia/New Zealand respiratory standard, N95 is the United States respiratory standard, KN95 is the Chinese respiratory standard and FFP2 is the European respiratory standard.

Whatever mask you have, it’s imperative that it is well-fitting. Official advice also says “you can reuse these face masks several times if you leave them for 5 to 7 days between each use. If they no longer provide a tight fit around your face, then you should dispose of them.”

Demand has been high, so peruse our guide below of where to buy KN95, N95 and P2 masks.

-Firstly, it’s worth checking if your local chemist has supplies available. Otherwise, online medical store Amtech has P2 respirator masks.

-At Chemist Warehouse, P2 respirator masks are available in-store only, and Net Pharmacy has both KN95 masks and PM2.5 filters in stock.

-Locally-founded company Respiratory Protective Masks specialises in Korean Style face masks that combine comfort, fit and filter. They have greater than 99 percent BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency) and PFE (Particulate Filtration Efficiency).

-Stationery stores like Office Max and PBTech have masks in stock, as does The Market (find good filters for cloth masks here too). Bunnings has masks in stock on its website but check with them directly for availability. Mitre 10 offers delivery on its KN95 masks, which are currently available at the time of writing this article.

Superette has Private Stock Labs KN95 masks in stock, which come in packs of five in various colours.

For more advice, visit the NZ Government’s Covid-19 website. The World Health Organisation also has comprehensive advice on masking.

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