You should also:Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all timesStore used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash themWash a face covering regularly - it can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergentVIDEO: How to wear a face covering safelyOur next example uses an old t-shirt, preferably thick cotton or a cotton and polyester mix. And still nothing to sew.
People in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are now being advised to wear face coverings while at the shops or on public transport to help limit the spread of coronavirus.While medical face masks and respirators are prioritised for health and care workers, you might want to try making your own face covering.Here's our guide to different types and step-by-step instructions on how to make them.Whether you're handy with a sewing machine, like cutting up old t-shirts or just want a quick fix, the principles are the same: the more layers of material the better, and the mask needs to fit snugly around the face, and you should be able to breathe comfortably.One study has shown that the best materials to use are tightly woven cottons or twill, natural silk or quilted cotton material. But you can also make do with what you have around your home.Let's start with an easier one.
The most protective mask is an FFP3 or, alternatively, an N95 or an FFP2.NHS staff in lower-risk situations can wear a surgical mask. This includes healthcare workers within one metre of a patient with possible or confirmed Covid-19. These staff may be in hospitals, primary care, ambulance trusts, community care settings and care homes.Where am I supposed to get a face covering?There is lots of advice online about how to make them.How to make your own face maskSuggestions include using common household items, such as cotton fabric from old T-shirts or bedding.The government has published advice on how to wear and make your own cloth face covering which says:A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortablyIt can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the headWash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off and after useAvoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them
For the first time, people in England are being advised to wear face coverings in some enclosed spaces.The Scottish government already recommends people wear them when in shops and on public transport.What is the new advice?The government for England says:People should aim to wear face coverings on public transport and in some shopsAlso in other "enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet""Social distancing" means staying more than two metres away from someoneFace coverings should be worn and not surgical masks or respirators which should be left for healthcare staff and other workers who need themPeople do not need to wear face coverings where they are:Outdoors or while exercisingIn schoolsIn workplaces such as offices and shopsChildren under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistancePeople who have problems breathing while wearing a face coveringAdvice in Wales has not changed and face coverings have not yet been recommended for the general public. People in Northern Ireland have been told to consider wearing face coverings if they are in places where they cannot social distance.Why doesn't everyone wear a mask now?The advice talks about face coverings, rather than masks.The World Health Organization (WHO) currently says only two groups of people should wear protective masks, those who are:sick and showing symptomscaring for people suspected to have coronavirusIt says medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers.Masks are not generally recommended for the public because:they can be contaminated by other people's coughs and sneezes, or when putting them on or removing themfrequent hand-washing and social distancing are more effectivethey might offer a false sense of securityBut that doesn't mean they have no benefit at all for the general public - it's just that the scientific evidence is weak.Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances - they might help stop the spread of coronavirus by people who are contagious but have no symptoms (known as asymptomatic transmission).Scientists in Singapore suggest that risk is especially high in the 24-48 hours before an infected person is even aware they might have the disease.Coronavirus is spread by droplets that can spray into the air when those infected talk, cough and sneeze. These can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object.