As of last week, face masks are compulsory to wear in shops in England. Those who fail to wear a mask will be fined £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days).
Those who don’t have to wear face masks will be shop workers, children under the ages of eleven and those with certain disabilities. For example, if you have trouble breathing or require lip reading in order to communicate, face masks are not required of you. As the new legislation follows, these rules will be enforced by the police.
It will not be a requirement to wear face masks in public places such as pubs, cafés, restaurants.
And for our American readers, more than 20 states require you to wear a mask.
Regardless, wearing a face mask is the right thing to do. Here’s some more information about face masks, and our suggested buys to help you stay in line with regulations and protect your community.
Do Face Masks Work?
The purpose of wearing a face mask is not to ensure you won’t catch COVID-19 but to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. The general public is also advised not to wear surgical face masks i.e. what is worn by NHS staff and keyworkers. (They’re in short supply) It’s imperative to halt the spread of coronavirus by maintaining social distancing rules, washing our hands thoroughly and often (sing the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune just to be safe), carrying hand sanitiser when outside and staying home as often as you can.
What kind of face mask should I opt for?
As the public is required to wear a face mask that isn’t required when practising medicine, there is a range of face masks to choose from. Face masks are now trendy, even fashionable as designers have released their own designs. Cotton and linen face masks are popular as they tend to be the most comfortable for the face.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “a cloth mask is intended to trap droplets that are released when the wearer talks, coughs or sneezes. Asking everyone to wear cloth masks can help reduce the spread of the virus by people who have COVID-19 but don’t realise it.” Remember, people can be asymptomatic, and it takes two weeks for symptoms to appear.
Now we know what we have to wear, here’s a list of the most stylish masks from the internet. If we’re going to cover our faces, we may as well look cute, yes?
The Great British Designer Masks, £15 (for three)
Mulberry, RAEBURN and Halpern have come together to bring you three individually designed reusable face coverings and two protective pouches. 100% of the profits will go to NHS Charities Together, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity.
This Season’s Signature Prints, £15
Made from 3-layered fabric with a jersey lining and elastic bands for a comfortable fit, Essential Antwerp has designed masks that fit this season’s signature prints. A selection of the profits will also go to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to support the World Health Organization.
The Masks You’ll Want To Wear At Your Next Social Distanced Walk, £22.48
Luisa Cerano knows how to make face masks that will make you want to wear them to your next wedding (whether it’s on Zoom or a socially distanced celebration). Made out of pure cotton, these floral babies will be the inspiration for the rest of your outfit.
The Structured Face Mask, £20
If your steeze is a monochromatic fit and you prefer to wear a mask that will fit the contours of your face, Wolford has created a high-quality, water-repellent mask that has adaptable aluminium nose wires. It’s washable and with the extra-thin bands, keeps the mask perfectly in place.
The Linen Face Masks, £8.72
Mask Lab face masks are individually handcrafted and made from 100% organic linen. The masks are light and breathable while protecting others. Though they come in a range of colours, our favourites are the pastel tones such as the orchid, light peach and even the plain white one.
The Luxury Neutral-Toned Masks, £37.75 (for four)
The Jonathan Simkhai masks come in a pack of four and in true Simkhai fashion, they are in a spectrum of neutral tones, apt for olive and deeper skin tones. Each mask contains an optional pouch for removal filter use. Plus whenever you purchase a pack, Jonathan Simkhai will donate a civilian mask to local front-line essential workers in need of non-medical mask protection.
The Mask Made For Picnics, £12
This unisex Florence Bridge face mask (that has tie fastenings) is apt for socially distanced picnics. Walks in your local park by yourself. All of that. There’s nothing else to say.
The Mask Thanking The NHS, £19 (for three)
With a rainbow token thanking the NHS, these Little Mistress x Kindred Rainbow Thank You NHS masks are aiming to raise £5 million for NHS Charities Together. Up to 30 uses, these masks are made to be comfortable all day.
The Woven Masks That Make You Look Like Art, £9.95
If appearing like a real-life watercolour painting is a goal of yours during this pandemic, look no further. These woven floral masks do exactly that.