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How will compulsory facemasks affect you?

As of July 24th, face coverings in shops will be compulsory

Elizabeth Cromwell


A large collection of light blue surgical face masks that cover the picture.

As of the 24th July 2020, wearing a face-covering in shops and supermarkets will become mandatory here in England. This comes into action after it was compulsory to wear a face-covering on public transport back in June. And for those who fail to comply with the new rules set in place, risk a fine of up to £100. 

Environment secretary George Eustice commented that "It is about managing the overall risk," and that "Any type of covering will be sufficient for this purpose." 

Throughout the pandemic, the government has been holding back on telling the public to wear face coverings, even after other countries began wearing them. 

According to “A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.” They also have a step by step instruction on how you can create your own face covering simply using and old t-shirt and cotton fabric. 

Why are we now being advised to wear them?

One of the main reasons why face coverings have been slowly made compulsory appears to be down to the fact that we are now gaining a better understanding of COVID-19 and how it spreads.

cartoon image of woman showing the difference between Droplet and Airborne transmissions

cartoon image of woman showing the difference between Droplet and Airborne transmissions

Droplet Transmission

  • Coughs and sneezes can spread droplets of saliva and mucus.

Airborne Transmission

  • Tiny particles, possibly produced by talking, are suspended in the air for longer and travel further.

When the pandemic first broke, The World Health Organisation stated that there wasn't enough evidence to say that we should wear face masks. However, they have now changed that statement, and it now states that we should be wearing face coverings in public spaces, and where social distancing is not possible to help reduce the spread.

However, people are still very reluctant to wear face masks. According to BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, their listeners commented on the fact that “Face coverings steam up your glasses, they're uncomfortable, they infringe on personal freedom.”

However with the face coverings now becoming mandatory, will people be less likely to enter public settings due to the discomfort of a covering?

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