As England has now developed a new plan on easing lockdown restrictions, mask-wearing, especially in busy cities, is ever more important.
Due to the high demand for face masks, it has become tricky to find which mask is the best for protection. We have the top tips on what to look for when purchasing your face mask and a guide on staying safe in the city.
Government guidance suggests having a face mask on your person at all times when leaving the house in case of situations where you need to be wearing one. For example, it is compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport across the UK and in most public spaces. Not only is this important, but wearing face masks in crowded situations is advised to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
The Government also encourages people to keep social distance where possible and to wash their hands before and after travel.
Lab-tested face masks
There’s an infinite number of face mask brands available, but not all of them offer the best protection. Make sure your face mask is lab tested with 95% BFE bacterial filtration efficiency, as this states whether the material is strong enough to combat bacteria from penetrating.
Keep an eye out for masks with nanotechnology which is best for breathability, so you can remain protected and still breathe comfortably, as well as a mask that is 100% droplet resistant so that droplets from coughs and sneezes will not enter the material.
Last year, the UK government advised to use cloth masks instead of medical grade masks due to concerns of shortages for medical staff. Since then, many people have turned to using higher grade face masks such as N95, FFP2 and FFP3 as these offer a stronger protection for the wearer than cloth masks.
The World Health Organisation has recommended using a mask with triple layers. Masks that have a polypropylene sms filter in the middle layer, are considered the best system for bacteria filtration.
Recently, the CDC has recommended double-masking to reduce Covid-19 exposure, as research suggests aerosol droplet protection can increase by 90% through wearing a well-fitted surgical mask covered by a cloth mask. The research found that protective masks which fit well around the face prevent leakage of air around the masks edges, adding another protective layer.
Material and comfort
As mentioned regarding multi-layers, the inner layer should be cotton fabric, preferably hypoallergenic and/or antibacterial, as this will not only protect your skin but help avoid mask acne.
When leaving your home, you may be wearing your face mask for a short or long period of time, therefore it’s best that your mask be comfortable! Masks with adjustable straps are best in terms of comfortability by choosing the level of tightness that’s perfect for you, and putting your face mask on/off more hygienically than touching the mask itself.
Masks that have a nose bridge not only cover your face but will contour to its shape, giving you tailored protection.
Face mask littering
Numerous cities across the UK are reporting the impact discarded disposable face masks are having on their cities and wildlife.
Due to this impact, many people are switching to reusable face mask options like SmartCover, which is reusable and washable up to 67 times, without compromising on your safety.