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COVID-19: The use of face coverings

As a way of reducing the risk of coronavirus infection, members of the public are encouraged to wear a face mask alongside the other recommended methods of hand washing and social distancing measures. A face covering refers to anything that safely covers the nose and mouth, but popular options include single-use masks or reusable fabric face masks.

The government have now made it mandatory to wear face coverings in various public settings, including:

  • In shops in England and Scotland
  • On public transport in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and Wales
  • In healthcare settings (such as hospitals) in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

Most people with respiratory conditions will be able to wear a face covering with no issue.

However, some people have reported that the face covering exacerbates their existing breathing difficulties. And for people living with other allergic conditions wearing a mask may cause considerable discomfort, distress and anxiety.

If you are unable to wear a face mask, the Government have said that you do not need to wear one.

People living allergies may be feeling anxious about being judged or challenged for not wearing a mask in public, if they feel unable to do so. It is important to remember that the reason for somebody refusing to wear a mask may not be immediately obvious and we ask that people bear this in mind.

For UK regulations around the use of face coverings, including clinical guidance on use and information on who is exempt from wearing a face covering, please see the government website.

If you would like any support around allergy and coronavirus, including the use of face coverings please contact our Helpline on 01322 619898.

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