BRITS will have to wear face masks in more places from tomorrow (24 September) to stop the spread of Covid-19, so we've rounded-up where to get your hands on one.
It comes as the Prime Minister announced new measures to help fight the coronavirus, including fines of £200 for anyone who fails to wear a mask when they are meant to.
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Face masks are compulsory in:
- Public transport (trains, buses, trams, planes) since Monday, June 15
- Hospitals (staff, visitors and outpatients are all required to wear masks)
- Shops and takeaways, if ordering from the counter, from July 24
- Places where people are likely to come into contact with people they do not know, eg. museums, places of worship and cinemas, from August 8
- Staff in pubs, restaurants and bars along with anyone getting a cab from September 24
- Customers in pubs will have to cover up from September 24 but can take them off to eat or drink
Scientific evidence shows face coverings can stop you passing coronavirus on to others if you are asymptomatic or have yet to develop symptoms.
But what type should you buy, can you make your own and where can you buy them? We explain.
Where can you buy face masks online in the UK?
Many shops now have them in stock online in a range of colours and styles after initial high demand.
Just make sure to check delivery times beforehand as your order may be delayed due to the coronavirus.
Fabric reusable face coverings
- Buy from Aldi - prices start from £1.33 each but that's for a three-pack costing £3.99. Children's masks start form £1 each but that's a three-pack costing £2.99.
- Buy from Amazon - prices start from around £5 but delivery costs vary by seller
- Buy from Asos - the online store now has a huge range of face coverings, starting from just £5.60 on sale, or £7.50 for a pack of two, and branded masks from Herschel, Fila and Skinnydip. Delivery costs £4 or is free on orders over £35.
- Buy from Boots - prices start from £3.50 a mask but they come in two-packs for £7. There's also an offer for buy one get the second half price on many face coverings.
- Buy from eBay - prices start from around £1 plus delivery fees that vary by seller.
- Buy from Etsy - prices start from £2.55 including delivery.
- Home Bargains - Prices start from £1.29 each but delivery costs an extra £3.49.
- Buy from NEXT - prices start from £3 but that's for a pack of two, plus £3.99 delivery.
- Buy from Notonthehighstreet - prices from £5 including delivery.
- Buy from PrettyLittleThing - prices start from £2 on sale but delivery is £3.99 on top.
Disposable face masks
- Buy from B&M - from £1 for a pack of three but the more you buy the cheaper they are - a 10 pack is £2. You can only buy in store.
- Buy from Boots - prices from £3.99 for a pack of five. Delivery starts from £3.50 or you can get click and collect for £1.50
- Buy from Home Bargains - 12p a mask as part of a 50-pack for £5.99, plus delivery from £3.49 (it's free on orders over £50)
- Buy from toner - starting from £6.99 for a pack of 10. You can order and collect for free or get free delivery on orders over £15, otherwise it's £3 delivery.
DIY dust/face masks and visors
- Buy from B&Q - from 60p each but that's for a ten-pack costing £6 with free click and collect delivery.
- Buy from Wickes - from £2 in store, free click and collect or £2.95 delivery.
- Buy a visor from Home Bargains - from £1.99 each plus £3.49 delivery. They also sold a case of 50 for £99.50.
- Buy from Etsy - prices start from £20, including delivery
- Buy from Halfords - prices start from £5 with free click and collect delivery or £3.99 home delivery
- Buy from Wiggle - prices start from £12.99 plus £2.99 delivery
- Buy from ChainReactionCycles - prices start from £12.99 plus £2.99 delivery
What type of face mask should you buy?
Top advisers in SAGE recommend a face covering that you can make yourself, or you can use something like a bandana or thick scarf for when you're out and about, saving you money so the NHS can get the top grade PPE.
Do not buy an N95 of FFP3 mask as they are most needed by NHS heroes and carers, and those looking after people with coronavirus, and can only be worn once.
But, non-N95 and FFP3 masks can be reused and should not just be thrown away - so are the better option.
A fabric face mask, DIY face mask (FFP1) or cycling mask from the shops are all a good option, or you could even make your own.
If you buy or make your own cloth mask they can be reused if you wash it thoroughly at over 60C.
Also read our information on the types of masks you can rewash.
How to make a homemade mask
IF you're unable to find a mask, you could make your own at home.
Homemade masks won't offer the same level of protection as medical-grade ones, but it hasn't stopped DIY tutorials popping up online.
One of the simplest ones involves using two layers of kitchen roll and one tissue cut in half.
You then cover each end with masking tape - and you can even tape down some wire to stiffen the mask, if you have any.
Finish by punching holes in each end and threading elastic through to fit around your ears.
If you don't have elastic bands you could also use a hair tie.
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If you do wear a mask you still need to follow the advice of often washing your hands and maintaining a social distance from people.
Some people are exempt from wearing a face mask, such as children and those with breathing difficulties.
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