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BSI launches V2.1 of BSI Flex 5555 Community face coverings specification


BSI has launched Version 2.1 of its BSI Flex 5555 Community face coverings Specification, which is now available to download.

The standard on minimum performance requirements and test methods for community face coverings is designed to help UK manufacturers and testing houses to ensure single-use and reusable face coverings are safe and fit for purpose.

Each version of Flex 5555 benefits from a wide range of expert comments. Version 2 contained enhanced information on labelling, cleaning, fit, fastenings and breathing resistance, and a new clause on environmental considerations. Version 2.1 is an update, focused on introducing changes to the filtration efficiency requirements and the material filtration efficiency test.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are wearing face coverings to reduce the projection of exhaled air and the spread of infection. They are designed to offer protection for those around the wearer, but can also limit penetration by respiratory droplets from another person into the wearer’s nose and mouth.

BSI brought together UK stakeholders to create an agreed specification for community face coverings. For speed, they built on an existing document, the CEN WORKSHOP AGREEMENT CWA 17553 (2020) and refocussed the document for the UK market.

The standard provides:

  • minimum performance requirements with regard to filtration
  • general information on single and multi-use face coverings
  • a method of test for testing houses, and
  • reassurance for retailers and consumers.

The Community Face Coverings – Specification does not cover PPE or medical face coverings, nor does it address DIY coverings or clear face coverings. Version 2.1 is now available to download. Versions 1 and 2 are also available to download.

Find out more here.

UKFT Coronavirus Guidance: UKFT is in constant dialogue with the government and is outlining the latest support available for UK fashion and textile businesses on our website. We will update this page as new guidance becomes available or the situation changes.