On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance on facemasks for the public, stating that people “may choose” to wear N95 and KN95 masks, as they offer the highest protection against COVID, according to NBC News.

However, the agency said people should opt for certain masks instead of others, adding the “CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”

Previously, the federal health agency did not recommend wearing N95 or KN95 masks, a similar type of mask made in China, fearing that the higher-quality masks would affect the supply. However, the CDC has now said that shortages are no longer a concern.

The CDC wrote on its website, “When worn consistently and properly, N95 respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provide the highest level of protection from particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Public health experts said the new guidance was long overdue, adding that it does not go far enough.

Dr. Ranu Dhillon of the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital said, “We really need to go a step further and say this is the standard we should be aiming for.” He said it should be easy for people to find comfortable “N95-caliber” masks so they can wear them in high-risk indoor settings.

“CDC should have come out in front of this two years ago,” said Dr. Dhillon. “The science was clear two years ago.”

Epidemiologist Prof. Tara Smith of the Kent State University College of Public Health in Ohio said that the CDC guidance is welcome, but there are concerns over how people who need high-quality masks would have access to them.

She said, “Is there a plan to distribute them, especially for folks who can’t afford them or can’t easily find them? This was something I hoped would be done earlier this year, but still nothing. Recommendations are great, but without access, especially for those at highest risk, it’s not enough.”

President Joe Biden said Thursday his administration is planning to make high-quality masks available to people at no charge. However, he declined to offer more details.

The CDC said the updated guidance “continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.”

It said, “A mask should fit close to the face without any gaps, and be comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time when needed.”

After N95 and KN95 masks, the CDC said disposable surgical masks offer enough protection, but they should fit properly. It recommends double masks in this scenario.

The CDC added, “Loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection.” It said cloth masks should include multiple layers of tightly-woven fabric, which should block light when you hold up to a bright light source.