The British Standards Institution has launched a new Kitemark as face coverings become mandatory in shops.
The BSI says it hopes the move can boost consumer confidence.
The new Kitemark assesses face coverings to a technical specification that requires 70% particle filtration and breathability tests to ensure consumer comfort whilst reducing the risk of spreading infection.
Face coverings differ from PPE and medical grade face masks in that they are intended to protect those in close proximity to the wearer, not the wearer themselves.
Whilst a vast number of face coverings are already available on the market, their performance and design may differ significantly.
On top of breathability and filtering, the new BSI Kitemark for Face Coverings provides independent approval of the quality of the fitting, and the instructions provided to the wearer to minimize the chances of transmission.
Howard Kerr, chief executive of the BSI, said: “There is an overwhelming choice of face coverings available in the market. The challenge is knowing which claims they make are valid and whether they provide a basic level of protection to others.
“Face coverings that are independently assessed to schemes such as the Kitemark will allow consumers to make an informed and trusted decision.”
UK manufacturers, Cookson and Clegg and Rototherm, are amongst the first organizations to be in the final stages of assessment to achieve the BSI Kitemark for Face Coverings.
It is expected that the first face coverings with the Kitemark will be available from late July.