Face masks and face coverings, what do I need and where can I get them?
Please note - for the most up to date coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance and information, please visit the NHS or government’s dedicated pages. This advice may differ in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
You can visit LloydsPharmacy face mask pages to find out more about different types of face masks, face coverings and visors.
Face coverings and face masks
Face coverings are different from surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare professionals or other workers who have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of their job. You can use the LloydsPharmacy guide to learn more about the difference between face masks and face coverings.
Face coverings are, generally speaking, a layer of material worn over the nose and mouth. These can be homemade face coverings, a repurposed scarf or headband, or face coverings bought online.
It is not thought that wearing a face covering protects you, but if you are infected with COVID-19 and not yet displaying symptoms, it may protect anyone who comes into close proximity with you.
Looking after face coverings
It’s important to look after your face coverings as they can spread infection, if you do not use them in the correct way.
You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after touching the face covering . The covering should go over the mouth and nose and you should always remove the covering by the ear loops.
If you have a reusable face covering, you should wash the covering after every use in a hot wash. If you have disposable face coverings you should use them only once and then dispose of it safely in a bin bag inside of your home. Littering this type of face mask puts anyone picking up the litter at risk.
Across the UK, it’s compulsory to wear face masks in the majority of public indoor settings. For an up to date list of locations you’re required to wear a face covering, visit the government website.
When and where else must you wear a face covering, depends on who you are and where you live. For example, children under 11 years old will not be expected to wear a face covering on public transport, nor will anyone who cannot put on, wear or remove one due to having a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability.
Please note: to ensure that everyone in our pharmacies feel safe and protected from COVID-19, we ask that our customers and patients follow the new mandatory government advice that face coverings are compulsory in shops and supermarkets from Friday 24th July in England. This is already a requirement in Scotland.
Where to get face masks
You can buy face masks online from LloydsPharmacy, they have a variety of options for adults and children.
Updated 5th Jan 2021 - we recommend the COVID-19 pages on the NHS website for more up to date information.