Higher-quality masks could be one of our most important lines of defence against omicron, The Spinoff says. So why hasn’t the government updated advice around which masks offer the best protection or ensured we have access to them? “We’re dealing with the most transmissible variant we’ve seen yet,” says Joel Rindelaub, a research fellow at the University of Auckland. Despite this, the New Zealand government hasn’t updated advice around which types of masks offer the most effective protection, nor has it ensured we have access to them.