Face coverings: do's and dont's

reusable face covering

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A friend of mine posted on Facebook today:

"So it’s true, it will be law to wear face coverings in shops by the end of the month. Am I offended, Is this an infringement on my right to breathe, cough or sneeze over my fellow men and women? NO!

Is wearing a face covering an inconvenience? Is it uncomfortable ? Yes! But I tell you now, I’d rather that than a ventilator mask, wouldn’t you?"

According to many studies and eminent scientists, wearing a mask prevents the spread of potentially virus laden droplets from the wearer to those around us. 

But how long can you wear a mask without washing it? 

I heard this morning on BBC Breakfast that you should wash it every time you've worn it. As I speak both French and Italian, and have contacts in Italy and France, I read a few articles in the medical press and fashion magazines, reviewing face masks and how to clean them. 

My understanding, from the AFNOR (French association of standards) and from French and American nurses, if your mask has 3 layers of cotton, like ours, you can wear if for 4 hours before you have to wash it. That is if you only use it for the time you go to do some shopping and back home. It is also the advice given in the UK, as per many recent articles in the press and on the government website.

So I wash mine twice a week as I never wear it for more than 15 minutes a day (I only go to Tesco Express).

How do you remove it? where do you keep it?

You should also be vigilant about not touching the mask before washing your hands, and when removing it, do it via the elastics behind your ears and do not touch the middle of the mask. Store it in your "quarantine area" if you have one or in a clean disinfected container or a plastic bag.


You should wash your face covering at 40 degrees minimum and dry it in the dryer or outside in the sun. Make sure it is completely dry before you wear it. 

If you wear it all day at work then you have to wash it every day, preferably at 60 °C.

Look on the bright side (ladies), our lip gloss and lipstick expenses will reduce immensely and no one will see the spot on your chin (or the hair). 
On the downside for us of a certain age, reading price & ingredients or labels is to become more challenging as our specs fog up in an instant.
But, I have discovered that if I put my specs over the mask, it's ok!
face covering instructions


At work, we have been told that we must wear a mask whenever we walk in corridors and when meeting other people. Personally, I am waiting until I'll be obliged to go to the office. I have everything I need to work from home, I'd rather not take any risk and let the young and fit ones spread the virus.

What about you? How do you feel about it? 

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