Now that in the UK we have to wear face masks in shops, on public transport and when in enclosed public spaces, we have had to adjust to this new way of life and find out what to wear, and how to wear it. Here is a handy guide providing a few tips on how to wear a face mask correctly. Hopefully this will help you feel slightly more comfortable and safer when you are out and about.
It is mandatory to wear a face mask in the following places:
NHS settings, such as hospitals and GP surgeries
Transport hubs, such as train stations and airports, and when using any form of public transport
Shops, supermarkets, and shopping centres
Banks, building societies and post offices
Cafes and restaurants which do not have table service and require customers to go to a till to purchase food and drink. Once food has been purchased, customers are able to take off their face covering to eat the food if there is a sitting area available for this.
Visitor attractions and entertainment venues, such as cinemas, museums, galleries, and bingo halls
Places of worship
Venues providing beauty treatments, such as hairdressers and nail salons
Public areas of hotels and hostels
This list may be updated depending on any further spread of Covid-19 and if it does, Ability Superstore will be sure to update you straight away.
Does Everyone Have To Wear A Face Mask?
There are exemptions to this, currently if you, or both you and the person you are a carer for:
Find putting on a mask difficult to put on, wear or remove because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
If you find that putting on, wearing, or removing a face mask will cause severe distress
If you are travelling with or providing help to someone who uses lip reading to communicate
When using public transport to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face mask with you
When you need to eat or drink during the journey
If you need to take medication during the journey
If you are an employee in an indoor setting, such as retail staff in shops and supermarkets
Also, children under 11 currently do not have to wear face masks (although there are lots of smaller sized face masks available, and often children want to copy what their friends, relatives or carers are doing!)
Again, this list may be updated and it can be confusing just when or where you should wear a face mask, but a good rule of thumb if you are not sure is, if it is an indoor place where trying to keep socially distant is difficult, then wear a face mask if you can.
You should not be asked for proof of your reason for not wearing a mask, but some people may feel more comfortable with something in writing.
So, the Government have made some face mask exemption templates that you can print, download or store on your mobile phone.
Now that we more fully understand the rules let’s see how we can help to make the wearing of a mask a little bit easier.
Try A Face Mask On At Home
Unless you work in a medical, healthcare or veterinary environment it is unlikely that you will be used to wearing a face mask and when you put one at first, it can feel a bit weird.
Try one on at home, fiddle around with it until you are comfortable. Remember that you can breathe!
It can feel a little bit claustrophobic, having a piece of cloth covering your nose and mouth, if you wear one at home for a short time it should help you get more used to it before you go out.
How To Put A Face Mask On
The W.H.O (World Health Organisation) made a short and easy to understand video on how to wear a mask and what to do with it when you take it off – simply click below to watch it.
The main points to remember are:
The mask should cover both your mouth and nose
Try not to move the mask down away from your face when you are wearing it, this is very tempting, especially if you see someone you know in the supermarket – you can still talk through the face mask
If it is a disposable mask, when you have finished wearing it take it off with the ear loops or ties and dispose of it, trying not to touch the material of the mask
Do ensure that it is disposed of correctly – as one of our recent news articles highlighted, disposable face masks are becoming an environmental issue in terms of waste
If it is a reusable mask do ensure that it is washed after each use
Before you use a reusable face mask do ensure that it is clean – if it looks dirty then do re-wash it before wearing it again
Wash your hands before you put your face mask on and as soon as you take it off. Keep some hand sanitiser on you so that you can keep your hands clean, when you’re not close to soap and water.
How To Stop A Face Mask Steaming Up Your Glasses
This is something that I have first-hand knowledge of, the first time I wore a mask in Morrisons (other supermarkets are available) my glasses steamed up straight away and I got lost in a fog somewhere between the kale and potatoes.
Then I proceeded to huff and puff my way around the supermarket like a grumpy surgeon, before finally getting back to the car, taking my mask off, and breathing out like I had performed heart surgery for 4 hours.
There are a few tips to stop this, admittedly over dramatic, situation from happening. They don’t work for everyone so give them a try, at home if possible and hopefully they will help you to have a less steamy trip to the shops.
If you google ‘how to stop glasses steaming up when wearing a mask’ you will be met by a multitude of videos and tips, which can be overwhelming. So, I have collated the best tips for you.
Wash Your Glasses With Soap
This sounds bonkers, but it can work! If you wash your glasses with soap and water then dry them with a micro-fibre cloth (the cloth you have in your glasses case or one that is dust free such as one for cleaning a TV or computer screen) this can stop glasses from steaming up.
Use Shaving Foam
Have you ever noticed that if you get some shaving foam on a mirror it doesn’t steam up in the bathroom? The same theory could work for glasses. Rub a small amount of shaving foam onto the lenses and then wipe it off.
Close The Gap At The Top Of The Mask
The reason that glasses steam up is the only way air can escape when you breathe out is through the top of the mask and up to the inside of your glasses.
If you can close the gap of the mask at the top, then this can stop them steaming up.
There is a handy video here with a neat trick for doing this with disposable face masks.
As we said earlier, although it is mandatory to wear face masks in certain situations there are exemptions.
If you start to feel distressed in any way then take the mask off, if possible, outside.
Take deep breaths and find somewhere to sit down.
The brain is a tricky chap and once it thinks you cannot breathe normally it can cause panic.
You may see on Facebook or hear from friends that face masks restrict the flow of oxygen and while it may feel like it when you first put a face mask on, it simply isn’t true.
The World Health Organisation made this infographic to clarify the situation.
If In Doubt, Get In Touch With Us
Hopefully these tips for wearing face masks will be helpful but If you have any questions then please do contact us, our team of experts will be able to guide you and talk you through the different face mask options we have on offer.
You can browse our range of masks here and look at our wider range of PPE here.