The Government is advising that people in England should aim to wear a face covering in some circumstances.
If you can, wear a face covering in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
They should be worn in crowded areas and for short periods, good examples of where to wear a face-covering are on public transport or in some shops.
The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms.
It is important to note that a face covering is not the same as a facemask as the surgical masks or respirators used as part of personal protective equipment by healthcare and other workers. These supplies must continue to be reserved for those who need it.
The type of face covering the majority of the public need, can be something as simple as a scarf or a bandana or, you could make one at home – some simple instructions can be found here
What is the new advice?
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough and/or high temperature) you and your household should isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this
- If you can, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably
- It is important to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and taking it off
- Remember to put on your face covering before you enter the enclosed space
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them
- Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched
- Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly for example primary school age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions
- People who have problems breathing while wearing a face covering should not wear one
- You do not need to wear face coverings if you are outdoors or while exercising.