Masks are recommended as a barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. infections spread mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain
Masks may help prevent people who have an illness from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a mask will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from pathogens and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants). Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of pathogens when they are widely used by people in public settings.