Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection for Prevention of COVID-19

Date of Publication

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19 and is spread personto-person through close contact.

The authors of this article aimed to investigate the effects of physical distance, face masks, and eye protection on virus transmission in health-care and non-health-care (eg, community) settings. They did a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the optimum distance for avoiding person-toperson virus transmission and to assess the use of face masks and eye protection to prevent transmission of viruses.

The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis support physical distancing of 1 m or more and provide quantitative estimates for models and contact tracing to inform policy. Optimum use of face masks, respirators, and eye protection in public and health-care settings should be informed by these findings and contextual factors. Robust randomised trials are needed to better inform the evidence for these interventions, but this systematic appraisal of currently best available evidence might inform interim guidance.