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Where to Buy Nonmedical Cloth Face Masks in the UK

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As of 24th July, it will be compulsory to to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England. This is in addition to the mandate announced by the UK government on 4 June making it mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, including buses, trains, aircrafts, ferries, and when driving with Uber or Addison Lee. These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic.

For many before the pandemic, face masks were not a part of their at-home collection. Luckily, a selection of retailers have now made protective face coverings available for purchase. For those who do not have masks already or prefer not to make a face mask, buying one is an easy alternative.

In order to properly wear a face mask, it must fit closely against the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include more than one layer of fabric, allow for breathing, and be able to be washed without getting damaged. It’s worth noting that while these cloth face coverings are not medical-grade masks like the N95 respirators and surgical masks, which are being reserved for healthcare workers, they are still useful to put on when out in public. Wearing a cloth mask will not ensure protection against ingesting droplets, but it’s a precautionary safety measure worth taking.

Ahead is a curated list of face masks that are available to buy in-store and online in the UK, including options from our favourite retailers like Boots, Superdrug, and Marks & Spencer, as well as companies and brands that are doing their part by donating proceeds and masks to charities and hospitals to help those working against the virus. If you don’t already have a mask or need another one for yourself or a loved one, shop these picks now and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Additional reporting by Kara Kia and Ange Law



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Reusable Face Masks With Filter Pockets Available in the UK

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As of 24th July, it will be compulsory to to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England. This is in addition to the mandate announced by the UK government on 4th June making it mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, including buses, trains, aircrafts, ferries, and when driving with Uber or Addison Lee. These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic, and it’s sent us on a search for comfortable, affordable, and reusable face coverings for ourselves and our families.

At the moment, we’re interested in face masks that have a filter pocket. They’re reusable, which is awesome, and as long as you replace the filter every time you use it, you’ll be good to go. These are cloth face masks, not N95 styles, but they’re still great options for going outside.

From sleek black masks to colourful patterns, these 9 masks are optimal if you have reusable filters. Just keep reading to shop our top picks.

Additional reporting by Sophia Panych



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Coronavirus: Face Masks Compulsory in UK Shops From 24 July

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A shopper with a protective face mask walking down Oxford Street as people in London, UK on July 11, 2020  prepare for the possibility of Face coverings becoming mandatory in shops and other public places across the UK.  (Photo by Jacques Feeney/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

As of 24 July, face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England, and shoppers caught not wearing one could face a fine of up to £100. Children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt from wearing a face covering — though health advisers encourage everyone to wear one if they can.

“There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus,” said a Number 10 spokesperson. “The Prime Minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops, and we will make this mandatory from July 24.”

The decision follows days of conflicting advice from various MPs, including Michael Gove, who said that he doesn’t think masks should be mandatory as he believes people in England will display “basic good manners” after encouragement to wear one. However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has advocated the wearing of face masks since the beginning of the pandemic and brought in compulsory face coverings rules on public transport on 15 June.

Despite the announcement, which many members of the public are in favour of, the government has been criticised by various health advisers on the decision to give 11 days notice prior to the rules being enforced. When asked to explain, Environment Secretary George Eustice told BBC Breakfast that the delay “gives people time to prepare”.

Where possible, people are encouraged to wear reusable face masks and wash them after every use, in order to reduce single-use waste. There are now plenty of places to buy reusable face masks, including comfortable fabric face coverings available on various websites, masks created for Boots by famous British designers, and also masks with filter pockets for extra protection, which can be found on Etsy. If you aren’t able to get yourself a mask, there are also plenty of ways to make a face covering at home using a t-shirt.

As for other parts of the UK, face coverings became mandatory in Scotland for public transport and shopping from 10 July. However, those living in Wales and Northern Ireland are not required to wear one, though it’s expected this will be under review following Boris Johnson’s announcement for England.

So, repeat after us before leaving the house: “phone, keys, wallet, mask“. Oh, and just a reminder, you can wear a face covering from today, you don’t need to wait until the 24th.



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