Coronavirus: A consumer’s guide to wearing a face mask to the shops

July 28, 2020 01:42

There’s now nearly no excuse for not wearing a face mask while out shopping in England – covering your face is as essential as remembering your cash or bank card.

The rules differ a little around the UK. But wherever you live, it’s going to be hard to avoid covering up your mouth and nose. And that raises a host of dilemmas.

How do I put it on correctly?

This is important to get right. The key things are to clean your arms earlier than you place it on and take it off, and to make sure it fits snugly so there are no gaps between the material and your face.

Of course in case your mask does not fit properly you possibly can always adjust it, or tie it in a slightly more handy way. However it must cover each your mouth and nostril and in addition go as much as the top of your nose, hooking behind your ears or the back of your head.

And keep in mind, the thought isn’t any gaps. Got it? You’re good to go.

Deciding on the proper one

When buying your mask the first thing you want to decide is what sort you want. The government says surgical masks and respirators must be reserved for many who need them to protect towards risks in their workplace, corresponding to NHS workers and care workers.

However you can still buy non-medical disposable face coverings, reusable material coverings, or even items like scarves and bandanas.

If single-use coverings are what you are after, you could head to a pharmacy – high street chains like Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds all sell them. They usually’re available on online sites like Amazon.

But more and more clothes retailers are additionally joining the marketplace with reusable cloth masks. Actually, it seems in every single place now sells reusable masks – out of your local nook shop, to your favourite football club, to unbiased retailers on Etsy.

From ditsy designs to animal prints, there are a range of “fashion masks” on sites like Asos or Boohoo, or in shops like Oliver Bonas.

Can I take it off to speak?

No, sorry, that is not allowed. Coronavirus is spread when droplets are sprayed into the air when infected individuals cough or sneeze – but in addition once they talk. These droplets can then fall on surfaces.

So it would defeat the point should you take it off to have a natter, really.

It’s a worry that has been burdening many spectacle-wearers. It’s a legitimate one, too – lenses can steam up if you wear a mask because your warm breath comes out of the highest of the mask, hitting the cooler lenses and clouding them up.

The additional moisture also can imply that nose pads become slippery and your frames glasses slide down your face.

The bottom line is to strive, if potential, to make sure there are not any gaps for the air to escape round your nostril and cheeks. You can strive tucking the mask behind your glasses, or tucking some tissue inside the highest of the covering.

The opticians Specsavers recommends resting your glasses on top of your mask to help seal any hole, or using a bit of surgical tape to safe the mask to the bridge of your nose.

Failing that you might attempt washing your glasses in soapy water to stop them misting up.

What about my medical conditions?

A face covering ought to cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. But in case you have a medical subject and suffer from breathing difficulties, it may not be quite that simple.

You might well already be among these exempt from wearing face coverings on public transport in England. The federal government hasn’t given the precise wording of the principles for shops but, so you may have to check those as soon as they’re out.

But one tip from Asthma UK is to attempt a couple of different types to see if there is one that suits you. It suggests making an attempt one out at house, or on a brief walk around the block earlier than heading off to do your weekly shop.

So how about recycling them?

No, sorry (once more). In case your mask is not washable, or if it’s disposable, the government says it ought to go in your “black bag” or common waste bin (or a litter bin in case you’re outside) as soon as you have worn it.

Disposable face coverings should be thrown away after each use, or as quickly as they are damp, based on the World Health Organization. This consists of the lighter, pleated ones as well as the sturdier, particle-filtering masks.

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July 28, 2020 01:42
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