The Government has advised the public to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
After careful consideration of the latest scientific evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the government confirmed face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances.
Face coverings can help the public protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if someone is suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
Government detailed how they may be beneficial in places where it is hard to follow maintain social distancing measures such as shops.
It did go on to explain though that they do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices, and retail, or by those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing whilst wearing a face covering.
The public is also being strongly urged not to purchase surgical masks or respirators, which are prioritised for healthcare workers working in more high-risk environments where the risk is greatest.
Instead, the public is encouraged to make face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items, which many will already own.
Jo Churchill, health minister, said: “At all times our strategy for keeping the public and the NHS safe during this crisis has been guided by the science.
“Today, thanks to the evidence provided by our expert scientists, we are advising people to consider wearing a face covering if they can in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is impossible, for example on public transport or in shops. This may help prevent you spreading the virus to others.”
Adding: “You do not need a clinical mask which are prioritised for our healthcare workers. Instead a face covering is sufficient and we encourage people to make these at home with items they will already own.”