June 17 2020
With so much information out there, it can become overwhelming to find guidance on how to protect yourself from Coronavirus. In particular, finding the correct advice on whether or not you should be wearing a face covering.
A face covering is a piece of material that should cover your mouth and nose. According to the GOV.UK website, face coverings should be worn when social distancing is not possible.
A face covering is different to a face mask. A face mask is a medical grade and certified surgical mask or respirator that is used in clinical settings. They’re also different to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes occupational face masks that helps avoid inhaling things like chemicals, dust and spray which are usually found in an industrial environment.
The government advises that these types of PPE should be reserved for those who need to protect themselves in workplaces where they are exposed to such risks.
The government have said wearing face coverings can be used as a ‘beneficial precautionary measure’. There is no evidence to suggest that wearing a face covering will protect you. That said, it may protect others from you if you are infected but have not developed symptoms.
If you decide to wear a face covering, you should still be taking the necessary precautions to help avoid the risk of infection and spread. For instance, you should still be minimising the time spent in contact with other people, using fixed teams in the workplace, partnering up for close-up work and increasing hand and surface cleaning.
It’s not a legal requirement to wear a face covering. If you do choose to wear one, it is important to know how to wear one properly and how to take care of it. This includes:
(The advice in this article was last updated on the 17/06/2020)