On this page

    Face masks and face coverings, what do I need and where can I get them?

    On this page

      Updated 12th April 2021 - 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. 

      Find out more about how to protect yourself from COVID-19. 

      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. 

      Considering a COVID-19 test?

      View options


      Government guidance

      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.

      See the most up to date restrictions and guidance for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

      VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.9%*. Providing a moisturising protective barrier, VIRALEZE™ can be used up to 4 times per day wherever you go alongside face masks and social distancing. This isn't a substitute for COVID-19 infection control measures, so please always follow Government guidelines for COVID-19.

      Where to get face masks

      You can buy face masks online from LloydsPharmacy, they have a variety of options for adults and children. 

      References
      *Source - https://ssrn.com/abstract=3830085
      www.gov.uk/coronavirus
      www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings
      www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/face-covering-guidance
      twitter.com/PHE_uk

      Authors and editors

      Close
      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

      Close
      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

      Visit IE Online Doctor Continue with UK service