Whenever we talk, cough or even just breathe small droplets are released into the air which can contain the virus thus aiding its spread. Face coverings allow individuals to contain these droplets, thus it is being advised for these to be worn when in public spaces. Some individuals can be asymptomatic whilst carrying the virus – therefore it is crucial that everyone wears face coverings in public, even if they are not showing symptoms.
Cloth face coverings are described as a form of ‘source control’ – meaning they create a barrier to reduce the spread of droplets and therefore contain the spread of the virus at the source.
It should be taken into account that face coverings are to be used alongside, and not in replace of, other preventative measures such as social distancing and washing hands regularly. Wearers should avoid touching face coverings whilst being worn, wash hands prior to removing, and ensure that the face covering is washed with soap after each wear/once damp. Following these preventative measures this will help maximise effectiveness of face coverings and in turn reduce the spread of the virus.
As a result of the limited airflow whilst wearing a face covering individuals breathe commonly escapes at the top of the mask. This can become problematic for mask wearers, as their warm breath hits the cooler lenses it tends to fog up and restrict their vision.
We have easy quick tips to help you avoid foggy lenses! Firstly, ensure that the mask is fitted snuggly to your face and around the nose – our Bags of Ethics face coverings come with a fine wire and adjustable straps built in to help you achieve the perfect fit to your face. A snug fit will help to reduce the amount of breath which escapes at the top and thus reduce the fog.
Secondly, pulling your mask up higher on your face will allow your glasses to rest on the face covering and prevent the air from escaping.
The government has advised that face coverings should not be used for children under the age of 3 or those who cannot manage them effectively. Our range of kids face coverings are designed for children aged 3-10 years. The fun collection of animal prints will help you adapt your little ones to this new way of life and ensure they feel comfortable when going outdoors.
As face coverings slowly becoming a mandatory way of life it’s important to ensure you have one ready before going out into public spaces. Face coverings can easily be made at home, here’s how:
Don’t have a sewing machine? Don’t worry!
1. Grab an old t-shirt, best to use a breathable fabric such as cotton.
2. With a pair of sharp (fabric) scissors, cut a strip seven to eight inches in width from
the bottom of your shirt.
3. Fold the fabric in half and cut out a six/seven-inch long and five/six-inch wide
rectangular piece. Make sure to leave at least a quarter of an inch towards the edge of
4. Cut through the edges to make straps.
5. Tie the straps behind your head and neck to ensure a snug fit.
You will need; two pieces of tightly woven cotton fabric cut to 10 inches x six inches, two six-inch long elastic bands (you can use hair bands), (fabric) scissors, pins, and a sewing machine (or needle and thread, if you prefer the old-fashioned way).
1. Align the two fabric pieces together and pin them in place.
2. Fold down the long edges ¼ of an inch, pin in place and place and stitch down.
3. Fold over the short edges ½ of an inch and stitch down.
4. By using a bamboo stick or a bobby pin, thread the elastic band through the created loops on the sides and tie at the end according the size of your face.
5. Pull through and hide the knots behind the hems.
Filters are being marketed as an ‘extra layer of protection’ to contain particles which may carry the virus. It should be noted there is limited scientific evidence or government advice concerning the effectiveness or requirement of filters.
As filters need to be replaced after each use they are not viewed as the most sustainable option. Ensuring that your face covering has a tight weave will avoid particles slipping through gaps in the cloth and allow you to avoid waste by only using a reusable face covering. Our Bags of Ethics face coverings have 2 layers of cotton fabric to increase containment levels and remove the need for a filter.
There is a lot of advice surrounding which face covering is best, however, if you are not a medical professional or do not have a respiratory condition, you do not need a mask with a filter or a surgical mask. Surgical masks, whilst very convenient, have several negative impacts. Firstly, they are in short supply across the world due to the global pandemic, and are desperately needed by healthcare workers. By using single-use masks as a member of the general public you are reducing the supply available to healthcare workers. Single-use also have a larger environmental impact. They are made from polypropylene, a derivative of plastic, which takes a long time to decompose. Single-use masks are being discarded carelessly, and are therefore being found washed up on beaches across the world, posing as a danger to the wildlife that inhabits our oceans.
Reusable masks therefore are deemed a better option, both for the people and the planet. They do not use up vital stocks of surgical masks needed by healthcare workers, and do not contain single-use plastic. Reusable masks are found to be just as efficient as surgical masks in preventing the spread of COVID when worn by the general public.
Most European countries have now adopted face mask regulations as part of their lockdown exit strategy and require people to wear a face covering in public spaces, public transport in particular.
In the UK, face coverings have been made compulsory to wear on public transport from June 15th , and in shops from July 24th. Similar regulation are in place in most countries across Europe, including Spain, Italy, France and Germany. US health officials recommend US citizens wear a simple cloth face covering, and in Central and South America, Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba and Ecuador followed and made it mandatory to wear masks in public places. In many Asian countries wearing a face mask is not a new phenomenon and people are much more accustomed to it due to pollution or previous virus outbreaks. In summary, most countries across the world have now made the wearing of face coverings in public compulsory.
Currently in the UK, face coverings are mandatory on all forms of public transport – trains, tubes, planes, buses and in taxis, and for those working at, visiting or going as an outpatient to a hospital. They have also now become mandatory in all shops and supermarkets from 24th July. While not mandatory, it is recommended that you should wear a face covering at all of these places:
– All forms of public transport
– When visiting shops
– When in crowded places with lots of people such as outside shops or when waiting in queues
– When surrounded by groups of people such as when sat in pub gardens
– When travelling in indoor spaces such as when walking around a large office environment
– When visiting hospitals
– When going to appointments such as hair appointments, eye tests or doctors’ appointments