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Everything you need to know about face mask etiquette

by Jonathan Penn on July 22, 2020

The UK is slowly but surely reopening and as it does, we are all being asked to take additional steps to protect ourselves and others from the Coronavirus. 

From the 24th July 2020 all adults and children over the age of 11 (in England) or five (in Scotland) are to wear a face mask or suitable face covering to all shops and supermarkets. 

Up till now, the wearing of face masks has been compulsory on public transport and in hospitals only, wearing them to shops has been a personal choice. However, with the wider reopening of businesses and those who were asked to shield now being advised that they can also go out more, it has now become a mandatory requirement to wear a face mask when out shopping from Friday. 

And, if you think that ‘it’ll be ok this once’ without your mask, you could be slapped with a fine of up to £100. Whether you’re for or against face masks they are here to stay for the foreseeable and the main reason behind wearing a face mask is to keep everyone safe, that’s got to make it worth it, right? 

Wearing a face mask doesn’t however, exempt you from you not practicing social distancing or hand washing – these measures still firmly remain. You can find the official line on wearing face masks and the potential fines for not wearing a mask (without good reason) at the government website. 

Do I need to wear a face mask to ALL shops? 

Yes. Face Masks will be compulsory at all shops, including our RED Barracuda Vape stores where you’ll find our staff are wearing them already.  

There are exemptions for people who have certain disabilities, they may choose to wear a badge identifying them as exempt from wearing a face mask.  

If our staff team asks you about wearing a face mask (and you’re not exempt) please don’t be offended, they’re following strict protocol which has been set out by the government and reinforced by the business. More importantly they are protecting you and themselves from the further spread of the virus. 

Where do I buy a face mask from? 

Lots of online shops, high street and luxury brands sell face masks, including disposable and reusable masks. Some brands have utilised leftover fabrics to make masks, ensuring that the material goes to some good use instead of landfill, some are being sold with the proceeds going to charity. There are so many designs available, from the simple to the super fancy!  

Have you got your mask yet? We’ve selected a few of our favourite face masks available now to buy: 

  1. First up there is the trusted pharmacy, Boots UK, they have a number of different options suitable for the whole family. Our first pick is reusable antibacterial mask with adjustable ear loops and replaceable FFP2 (N95) filter which gives a high level of filtration and 95% protection from air pollution. Each filter is effective for up to 40 hours use and the mask itself can last up to a year if washed once a week. 
  1. If you’d prefer a disposable face mask option, Boots also sell a variety of single-use multipacks of elasticated 3-ply face masks that are great to keep in the car or in your bag in emergencies. Remember, these are only to be used once and must be disposed of after each use. 
  1. If you’re looking for something that’s a little more understated and sportier, there is the Adidas face mask that footballers and sports personalities have been wearing recently. Made with a minimum of 40% recycled material, they’re reusable and give a nice snug fit, these masks come as a triple pack, so you always have a spare when one is in the washing. 
  1. For the fashion conscious, ASOS (and Boots) have a great multi-pack of three face masks designed by leading British designers, Julien McDonald, Rixo and Liam Hodges. 100% of the profits from the sale of these masks will be split between several charities in the UK.  
  1. Finally, Amazon offers great value multipack of 10 reusable fabric face masks in black or white and are best used with a tissue folded and placed on the inside. Made from 100% cotton, these are a great, no-fuss option suitable for the whole family! 

If you don’t want to buy a mask, there are lots of online demo videos and guides on how to make your own face mask. We found this simple to use guide on theBBC and it is great if you have some fabric or a small scarf at home you can recreate your own unique face mask from! 

Do’s and Don’ts of wearing a face mask 

There are a few guidelines to be mindful of whilst wearing your mask to ensure maximum effectiveness at controlling the spread of bacteria and the virus: 

  1. Ensure the mask covers both your nose and mouth. Do not pull it under your chin or just pulled up over your mouth.  
  2. Don’t wear a mask if it is damp or not yet been washed since you last used it. Always wash you masks between uses, unless disposable, in which case use and dispose of each mask every time you’re out. 
  3. Never share your mask with anyone, not even a family member. 
  4. Children under 11 in England and five in Scotland are exempt from wearing a mask, some people are exempt from wearing a face mask if they have a certain disability. Please consider this if you approach someone about not wearing a mask.