It’s now official, from 24th July, wearing a mask in shops and supermarkets will be compulsory in England. Prior to the decision on 14th July, masks were only required on public transport. While in Wales, masks must be worn from 27th July on public transport. Scotland has already made mask wearing mandatory in stores. Across the UK, persons refusing to wear masks will be fined fifty to one hundred pounds. How you feel about wearing a mask is likely to be linked to your attitude to the coronavirus as well as any underlining physical or mental health concerns. Come what may by the end of July we will all be wearing mask in the UK, with a few exemptions.
Mask wearing exceptions
Clearly, the coronavirus is not going anywhere anytime soon. We all have to learn to live the best we can within the current limitations. Fortunately, there are some people who are exempt from wearing mask. The full listing is on the Gov UK website. However, to mention a few:
- a child who is under the age of 11
- where they cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering without severe distress
- because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010)
- where they are travelling with, or providing assistance to, another person who relies on lip reading to communicate
Although younger children are exempt from wearing mask, they may want wear one to be part of the tribe. Choosing prints that are fun. Superheroes, dinosaurs and princesses are usually safe bets.
Hack For Glasses Wearers: Apply folded tissue over the nose-bridge area under the face mask.
If You Are Asthmatic
Head of Health Advice at Asthma UK, Jessica Kirby stated:
“For some people with asthma, wearing a face covering might not be easy. It could make it feel harder to breathe. The UK government has advised that people with respiratory conditions don’t need to wear face coverings, so if you are finding it hard, then don’t wear one. If you’re comfortable to wear a face covering, please use a cloth or home-made one, not a medical type face mask. “However, if you are asthmatic but would like to wear a mask for your on piece of mind, General Practitioner, Dr. Hilary Jones, advised on the Lorraine show trying wearing it at home first to get used to it. He also suggested using breathable fabric that his closing woven. The pores in stretchy fabric will expand which means the level of protection is lowered.
Coping With Wearing A Mask If You Are Claustrophobic
If you are claustrophobic but need/or want to wear a mask, these tips might help:
- Practice wearing it at home first
- Remind yourself you can remove at any point (in a quite spot)
- Choose breathable fabrics, spandex type materials are a no no
- Try a mask that has a nose wire and/or filter valve for comfort.
Sourcing Face Mask In The UK
Reusable face masks are more cost effective in the long run. They are also less damaging to the environment. You could make your own masks at home. Alternatively, you can purchase online.
Here are 8 black-owned brands for face masks as recommended by friends and readers:
Do you already wear a face mask? How do you feel wearing it? What type of mask do you use? Where you buy yours?
Feature image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexel.com