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As Ireland concludes its first week with Level 5 restrictions, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) urge consumers to make sure their face masks for day-to-day use are meeting Irish or European specifications. Face coverings made to the SWiFT 19 or CEN/CWA 17553 specifications should be the preferred option as Covid-19 transmission rates continue to rise at alarming rates across Ireland and Europe.

The barrier mask is intended for use by consumers in public settings such as public transport, supermarkets and shops, and other enclosed areas where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing guidelines. As Irish families gear up for a much quieter kind of Halloween this year, they are advised to do so while wearing a face mask with the SWiFT 19 or CEN/CWA 17553 marking.  

Face masks with SWiFT 19 or CEN/CWA 17553 marking ensure a correct fit, eliminating the need to fix the facemask which is a common problem with face masks that are available to purchase without any specifications.

Many manufacturers across the country have been innovative in their designs to meet the national and European specifications for consumer-level face masks, including HOTSHOT Sport in Tipperary, Uniformal in Dublin and Azzurri in Waterford.

Having sold 300 thousand face masks since converting their production lines, Azzurri’s Product Manager Jack Molloy says the interest in face masks has been constant and has opened up a whole new market:

“During the early weeks of the first lockdown our production schedules were completely full, with a turnaround time of two weeks per order, whilst producing in excess of 25,000 facemasks weekly in-house. We have made face masks featuring all kinds of custom logos, designs and sports club crests.”

NSAI Chief Executive Geraldine Larkin said:

“The SWiFT 19 Specification for Barrier Masks was developed in fast track by NSAI as a direct response to the coronavirus crisis. It was written by a multi-disciplinary group of experts to ensure non-medical and non-PPE facemasks for the general public are safe and effective to use. When used in conjunction with relevant public health advice such as hand washing and social distancing, these masks may contribute to the prevention of the spread of viral infections such as Covid-19.”

For more information on the Barrier mask for consumers specification, you can visit

More Information for importers /distributors/ manufacturers:

Media Contact

NSAI's SWiFT 19 Project Manager Elizabeth O'Ferrall is available for comment. 
Contact NSAI's PR Account Manager, Deirdre Farrelly 
t: 086 869 0774 e:

Notes to Editor - About NSAI

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) develops and publishes Standards to meet international demands for the quality, design, performance, safety and environmental impact of products and services.