Covid-19: Face coverings explained

Covid-19|August 24, 2020

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The importance of face masks during Covid-19

To help stop the spread of Covid-19, wearing a face mask is being made compulsory by most governments around the world. Coronavirus is often transmitted by droplets from sneezes, coughs and speaking. It can also be picked up from surfaces, by touching a surface and then your face. As a result the public has been advised to social distance, hand wash regularly, cover our faces when we cough and sneeze, and wear a face covering.

Why do we have to wear face masks?

All of these measures have been put in place to protect yourself and others in your community, with scientific evidence advising that when worn correctly, wearing a face covering may help reduce the spread of Covid-19, and consequently save lives.

However, face coverings are an additional measure to social distancing and regular hand washing, not a replacement, and it is therefore important to practice all three to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

It’s important to wear the face covering correctly. To do this, make sure it covers your nose and mouth, while allowing you to breathe comfortably and able to wear for prolonged periods of time. The mask should fit securely against the side of the face, and be secured to the head with ties or ear loops.

The material of the mask does not have to be surgical grade as part of personal protective equipment (PPE), and can be made of something homemade such as a t-shirt or pillow case in a material such as cotton or cloth. Importantly, the mask should be comfortable and breathable to you. However, to be as effective as possible, the fabric needs to be able to block droplets from passing through, and should be doubled up when made.

If your mask is not disposable, it should be washable with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions. If the mask has been damaged during washing, it should be disposed of.

It is crucial that you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on or taking it off. Additionally, you should change the face covering if it becomes damp or you have touched it. Therefore, you should only handle the traps, ties or clips of the mask.

Where do I have to wear a face mask?

In the UK there are certain places where you must wear a face covering by law, however different rules apply to the different countries of the UK. __In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings: __

  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services (post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • places of worship
  • funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
  • community centres, youth centres and social clubs
  • exhibition halls and conference centres
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • storage and distribution facilities

__Before entering any of these settings you are required to wear your face mask and not remove it before leaving. __

If you are planning on traveling abroad this summer, different countries also have different rules on when and where you have to wear a face covering.

In Cyprus for example, masks must be worn in all indoor crowded areas, and those who do not follow the rules will be fined up to €300.

Spain has made it mandatory that anyone over the age of six-years-old must wear a mask in all public spaces where it’s not possible to maintain a social distance of 1.5 meters.

Face masks have to be worn in Greece on all public transport, and in all medical facilities. It is highly recommended that you wear a covering in all closed spaces, but not compulsory.

The French government says you must also wear a mask on public transport for passengers over the age of 11. President Emmanuel Macron has also made it mandatory for people to wear masks in shops and other enclosed spaces.

Wearing masks is also mandatory in enclosed public spaces in Italy, Germany, and Turkey.

How Qured can help you stay safe on your holiday this year

Whether you are going abroad or staying in the UK this year, it’s vital that you stay safe and help keep others around you safe. Qured offers a Covid-19 PCR test that can determine if you have the virus or not, and knowing you are coronavirus free before traveling can give you extra peace of mind and allow you to enjoy your holiday.

Many destination countries require a medical certificate showing proof of a negative test result for Covid-19, either to gain entry or to avoid the need to quarantine. We offer ‘safe to fly’ certificates for a small additional fee, allowing you to travel freely internationally. Book your Covid-19 PCR swab test and Covid-19 travel certificate now.

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