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The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we’ve seen before. It is therefore unsurprising that the official government advice has changed in recent weeks, as new findings have come to light and we continue to navigate how best to deal with it.
One of the major new developments has been the changing advice on face masks. From Monday 15th June, people across the UK will be required to wear a face covering on public transport. It is also strongly advised that, if you can, you should wear a face covering in ‘enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’
In response to these new recommendations, the healthcare experts at YourGP have answered some of the most common questions about face masks and COVID-19.
Will a face mask protect me from COVID-19?
Unlike the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare workers as part of their personal protective equipment (PPE), face coverings such as fabric masks, scarves or bandanas will not protect you from contracting COVID-19. However, evidence suggests that if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, a face mask may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.
How can I make a face mask?
There are lots of online resources, such as the UK government website, featuring instructions on how to make your own face mask. The key thing is that it should cover your mouth and nose and allow you to breathe comfortably.
Who should not wear a face mask?
For safety reasons, face masks should not be worn by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly.
Where should I wear a face mask?
Anyone using public transport in the UK is required to wear a face mask, and it is advised they should also be worn in shops and enclosed areas where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
How do I put on and remove a face mask correctly?
You should wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser before putting on and removing your face mask. Whilst wearing the face mask, avoid touching it, as well as your eyes, nose and mouth.
How should I wash my face mask?
Face masks should be washed thoroughly and regularly. Store your used face mask in a plastic bag until you are able to wash it, then place in the washing machine with your normal detergent.
Please note that all patients attending appointments at YourGP will be asked to wear a face mask. Remote consultations, either via video or telephone, are also available. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to book yours.
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