Wearing a face covering in public may help to slow the spread of COVID-19.
From Monday, June 15, wearing face coverings or face masks on public transport and when visiting hospitals across the UK is mandatory. While many commuters and workers have been wearing them already, the easing of lockdown means transport ministers have deemed this a necessity for all—except very young children, disabled people, and anyone with breathing difficulties. Fines will be handed out to those who fail to comply with the new regulations.
Uber also announced that face coverings will become mandatory for both drivers and passengers in the UK. And, with non-essential shops opening from June 15, it seems like a pretty good time to invest in a mask.
What is the evidence for face masks?
Face masks alone won’t stop the spread of coronavirus, so it’s still important that you follow social distancing guidelines and continue to wash your hands regularly. However, they will help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 carriers spreading the disease to others, thus helping to keep the reproduction (or “R”) rate down. It’s important to remember that people may be carriers of the virus without showing any symptoms.
Where to buy face masks in the UK?
So, you might be wondering where you can get a decent supply of masks. Or better still, a sturdy reusable item. Those who commute daily, or are making frequent visits to the hospital, must be particularly mindful of this. Face coverings can of course be made with items you already have at home—such as sports socks or old t-shirts—but if you don’t want to take your chances with a pair of scissors, we’ve rounded up a few places that stock face-coverings in the UK. And remember: it remains absolutely paramount that surgical face masks are reserved for NHS staff and frontline workers, in line with official advice.
The government and the World Health Organization (WHO) have recommended that people purchase or make their own cloth face masks that can be washed and reused. There are many spots that stock these in a wide range of styles and patterns. Might as well look good and funky as we wander the streets, right? Here are some sites that might stock what you’re looking for.
- Good Ordering – this site stock reusable masks for both adults and children, for around £12.
- Florence Bridge – this womenswear site stocks masks at £12, with a whole host of great designs for you to choose from.
- Newt – Newt stock a three-layered mask with some great prints.
- Wawa Clothing – these comfy but sturdy masks are made-to-order, and start at £15.
- Casetify – these reusable masks are made with breathable cotton materials and fitted with a filter. For each one you buy, they’ll donate one to health workers.
- Redbubble – artist-designed face masks for around £10.
- HYPE – buy three face masks for £24.99, and 100% of profits will go to the NHS
- Aeibe – beautiful, 3 ply-filtered masks designed to suit any face shape
- ASOS – trendy designs for affordable prices
Can I buy face masks at the supermarket?
Although not completely reliable just yet, you’ll find some durable masks on the shelves of many supermarkets across the UK. According to The Grocer, these are expected to become commonplace “in the next few weeks” so, eventually, you’ll be able to purchase them here with ease. Aldi, for example, stock a two-pack of cloth masks for £4.99.