Should We Continue to Wear Face Masks After the 19th July?
Now that the Prime Minister has confirmed that all remaining lockdown restrictions will end in England on the 19th July, it feels like we might finally see life getting back to normal… or will it?
One of the longest standing restrictions of the pandemic has been the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places such as shops, hairdressers and restaurants. Whilst this is officially coming to an end too, many businesses have announced independent guidelines that face masks will continue to be mandatory whilst using their services, regardless of government guidance.
The Prime Minister’s decision to lift the mask mandate before all adults have been fully vaccinated has been met with arguments both in favour and against.
On the one hand, many officials have said we must “learn to live with the virus” and are confident that deaths will be limited due to the success of the vaccine roll out.
But on the other hand, there is an expectation that the infection rate will rise and deaths will continue. Interestingly, other health bodies such as the World Health Organisation, are also still advising that masks should remain mandatory on public transport, in shops and crowded places, and many members of the public have already said they don’t yet feel comfortable to give up the mask.
Chairman of the British Medical Association, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said it “makes no sense” to stop wearing the face masks in crowded areas whilst the number of Delta variant cases continues to rise.
But let’s just remind ourselves the benefits of wearing a mask:
COVID-19 is primarily spread through the inhalation of aerosols created from coughing, sneezing or talking, whilst in close proximity to an infected person.
When worn correctly, over the mouth and nose, face masks can help greatly reduce the spread of these droplets and thus reduces the spread of COVID-19, especially when combined with other measures such as social distancing and washing your hands often.
What makes a good face mask?
For the general public, the making of a good face mask includes:
- Nose wire to mould around your personal nose shape
- At least three layers of material
- Fits comfortably over the mouth, nose and chin
Full Support Healthcare’s surgical masks offer over 98% bacterial filtration efficiency and are now available for only £6.24 for a family pack.
Should I continue to wear a face mask?
Whilst Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that choosing to wear a mask will be a matter of “personal responsibility“, notable figures such as the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, still recommend that they continue to be worn in indoor public spaces.
Plus, some establishments may request that you wear a face mask whilst using their service or whilst on their premises and could refuse your service unless your have a medical exemption.
So just to be safe, make sure you continue to carry a face mask, even after the mandate has been lifted, just in case you find yourself in a situation where you might need one.