Face coverings on public transport - and for hospital staff, outpatients and visitors - is compulsory in England from now.
This is in line with new World Health Organization (WHO) advice. It says non-medical face coverings should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible.
Bailey and Saunders (Highgate Pharmacy) in Highgate, North London offers Face masks and hand sanitisers to help you keep safe when out and about.
The guidance on wearing non-medical masks in the UK has changed a few times since the beginning of lockdown. A growing body of research indicates that wearing masks – even if they’re not closely fitted or medical grade – can slow the spread of viral loads by up to 80 per cent. On May 11, the government released guidelines recommending people cover their faces indoors, such as on public transport or in shops. Even so, YouGov polling found that UK face mask usage only saw a modest increase from 13 per cent to 18 per cent by mid-May. With more non-essential shops and businesses opening, on June 4, Grant Shapps announced face coverings will become mandatory on public transport in England from Monday June 15.
What’s the point of wearing a face mask?
Despite advice at the beginning of the pandemic, the government is now advocating the use of face masks. This is so that the mask can catch as many water droplets as possible containing coronavirus to reduce the chances of others from catching it. Even if you don’t show symptoms, you could still be a spreader.
You’ll still need to wash hands thoroughly and use hand sanitiser, but wearing a mask is an additional measure we all can take to help slow the spread of Covid-19.
How to properly wear a facial covering or mask
There’s slightly more to it than simply bunging it on. Here are a few do’s and don’t’s from Gov.UK to wearing a mask as safely as possible.
- Do make sure your mask or covering is enclosing your mouth and nose while still allowing you to breathe comfortably.
- Do wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when you’re wearing one - tuck away loose ends and hair so you’re not tempted to brush it away.
- Do keep your mask safely stored in a plastic bag until you have a chance to wash them.
- Don’t touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose.
- Once removed, do make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched, such as the lower half of your face.
- Do wash your mask regularly - most can go in with your normal load, using your regular detergent or washing machine gels.