Face masks (surgical masks) mainly protect from exhaled droplets ; their use is recommended in case of shortage of respirators and on a case-by-case assessment.
Further information can be found in the ECDC technical document ‘Safe use of personal protective equipment in the treatment of infectious diseases of high consequence’ .
5. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Safe use of personal protective equipment in the treatment of infectious diseases of high consequence 2014 [cited 2020 25 February]. Stockholm: ECDC; 2020. Available from: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/media/en/publications/Publications/safe-use-of-ppe.pdf.