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Wearing a face covering in shops and enclosed public spaces will be mandatory from July 24 in England. This includes supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks and takeaways.
The new rules are an extension of the government guidelines that were put in place in June, which made masks compulsory on public transport to help defend against the coronavirus.
Children under the age of 11 and those with disabilities or certain health conditions will be exempt from the rule.
Under the new enforcement, those who do not comply can now be denied entry, removed from shops, or could face a fine of up to £100.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, spoke about the new guidelines in Parliament, saying it would "give people more confidence to shop safely and enhance protections for those who work in shops".
According to Public Health England (PHE), a cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.
You don’t have to buy a specific covering or mask - a simple scarf or bandana that ties behind the head is acceptable, the government body explains on its website.
Alternatively, you can make one yourself, following the below tutorial from NHS healthcare scientist Donald Sinclair.
If you would rather order a ready-made design, we’ve highlighted some of the best options below. These are not NHS-approved, as the PPE gear those on the front-line are using should be reserved for those who need it.
Instead, these non-medical face masks and coverings will help protect others, should you have COVID-19 symptoms, and be a visual reminder to practice social distancing.
They should be seen as a precaution as there’s no evidence to show cloth face masks or coverings will stop you contracting the virus from others.
Read more: How to make and wear your own face mask
Cloth face covering dos and dont’s
Wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser before putting on your face covering and after taking it off and after use.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
When wearing a face covering, take care to tuck away any loose ends.
Do maintain social distancing when wearing a face mask or covering.
Where to buy a fabric face mask online in the UK
M&S has created packs of five reusable fabric face coverings for both adults and children.
Each pack of five face coverings costs just £9.50, which is by far one of the most affordable options on the high street right now, the price being only £1.90 per mask.
Not only are they budget-friendly, but also, have been created with personalisation in mind.
Each mask is made from durable 2-ply cotton and features elasticated ear loops and adjustable toggles to ensure effective comfort and a secure fit.
ASOS is now selling a range of non-medical face masks. Each mask has a double-layer construction and elasticated strap.
ASOS will donate £1 from every sale, with proceeds going to Oxfam’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Appeal.
The popular Spanish fashion brand now has a dedicated section to face masks on its website, however currently the majority of face masks are sold out.
Three designs are available: plain black, floral and animal print. Each mask is made from polyester and comes with adjustable ear loops, so that it’s easier to adapt the mask to your own facial contours.
Mango’s non-medical masks are reusable for up to 10 washes and allow breathability and filtration.
Colour Collection Adult Mask | £17.95
The brand sells simple block colour and patterned designs so there’s something for everyone.
Each mask is made with polyester cotton and is combined with adjustable elastic ear-loops to ensure a snug fit.
There is a huge range of tailored designs for both adults and children, plus you can buy bulk orders if needed.
Fabric Face Mask | £8.50
These attractive, floral face masks consist of two layers made from 100% cotton.
The elastic is sent untied so that you can tie it yourself to best suit your face. The masks also have a tunnel at both sides, making it easy to change the elastic or to use a different type of string if you prefer.
The size of the mask is suitable for adults and children over 10 years old.
Family Unisex Face Masks (8 pack) | £29.95
Gap’s Family Unisex Face Masks come with four adult and four children sized face masks.
The non-medical masks are made from soft, triple-layer cotton and come with stretchy over-the-ear straps and an adjustable wire at the nose, to be as comfortable and secure as possible.
The British high street store has launched a set of three non-medical face masks. Each set has a mystery mix of Boden’s signature prints.
Each mask is made of soft jersey fabric and has an internal wire along the top edge to adjust the fit over your nose.
Topman Logo Charity Mask | £6.99
Topshop and Topman have launched charity face coverings where 100% of profits will be donated to NHS Charities Together. The estimated donation per face covering sold is £3.89.
Each mask costs £6.99 and features adjustable elastic straps to fit to your face.
The masks, which come in packs of five and are designed using a selection of Liberty’s own fabric line, don’t just look pretty - they’re also formulated with a trio of specially-treated layers.
The three-layered approach is common on any good face mask, and it’s something to look out for on whatever design you go for, Liberty or not.
Great British Designer Face Coverings | £15 from John Lewis
The British Fashion Council have teamed up with Bags of Ethics to manufacture sustainable and reusable non-medical face coverings to use alongside existing social distancing measures.
This high-fashion pack contains three reusable face coverings and two protective pouches from internationally acclaimed British designers; Mulberry, RÆBURN, and Halpern.
The masks are available from a whole host of high street stores, from ASOS and Boots to John Lewis.
Adult Hype 3 Pack Face Mask Set | £24.99 from Hype
Leicester-based fashion brand, Hype, sell its own branded face masks. Available in both multipack and single options, the adult masks are made from 100% cotton on the back and 70% cotton, 30% polyester on the front.
The brand also recently launched knit masks for adults that are designed to be more comfortable made from Elastomeric, Polyester and Diolen Hygienic Poly.
Hype’s masks for children are 16x10cm and are suitable up to age 10.
Reusable Face Mask | £9.95
The Amsterdam-based fashion brand has created a range of genderless styles, including a solid black mask and a limited-edition style embroidered with the rainbow words I’m Smiling, as a nod to Pride Month.
The masks come in three sizes S, M and L and each includes a single-use nano-filter insert.
Scotch & Soda will donate 20% of sales for every mask purchased The Hunger Project.
The three pack comes with minimal white, navy and black designs to match your look of the day.
The cotton masks have fabric loops to hook over the ears and a pocket in the back to insert your own filter should you wish.
£4 from every sale is donated to the charity UK Youth.
The high end department store is selling numerous designer face masks from the likes of Rixo, Off-White and Seletti.
Rixo’s floral print face coverings are exclusive to Selfridges and are made out of 70% silk and 30% cotton.
Anthropologie UK is selling a set of organic cotton face masks with elastic ear loops and adjustable metal nose bridge.
All profits from The Sanctuary Face Mask will be donated to NHS Charities Together.
Cotton Face Mask Double Layer | £4.50
Made in London, each face mask is made out of two layers of closely women cotton, as well as elastic ear loops.
There are also a huge variety of colours to choose from, including black, navy, coral and red.
Bullabaloo, who usually specialise in breathable, antibacterial and sustainable baby essentials have created a range of face masks for all the family.
Made in Britain and eco-friendly, the masks feature double layered organic cotton and are available in sizes suitable for adults and children.
For every mask sold, the brand is donating a percentage of the profits fo the NHS Charities COVID-19 Appeal.
The British womenswear brand has created a range of affordable face masks, which are available to buy for £6.
The masks are made from 100% cotton and are double layered. They also feature a stainless steel bendy wire and an adjustable elastic loop.
Face Cover 3-Pack | £12.95
The sports brand has created a pack of face masks emblazoned with its logo. Each face mask is made out of two layers of recycled polyester. However, they are currently sold out.
£2 from every pack sold goes to Save The Children’s Global Coronavirus Response Fund.
Wolford Set of 3 Masks | £55
Wolford’s set of three masks are made out of 86% polyamide and 14% elastane. They have the brands logo embroidered in the corner and have been designed with a stretch fit for additional comfort.
The cotton face mask is made from two layers of Liberty’s reconcilable floral cotton. Each also has an adjustable nose clip for better support.
£10 from every mask will go to the NHS Charities Together.
2-Pack Face Mask | £15
Falk’s sports-inspired knitted face masks are constructed out of two layers: the outside is made of hydrophobic, a moisture-repellent material. While the inside features a moisture-absorbing material.
The masks are suitable for aged 7 and older.
Where to buy disposable masks online in the UK
Elasticated 3PLY face mask 50 pack | £30 from Boots
Boots sell a range of single use masks for anyone who just wants functionality and quantity.
These elasticated face mask come in a pack of 50 made from three layers of skin-friendly fabric to cover the mouth and nose.
They feature an elasticated ear loop fastening for optimal comfort and an adjustable nose bridge for best fit.
Aidapt Face Mask Type II Pack of 25 | £20 from Argos
Ideal for everyday use in public, this pack of 25 masks are easy and comfortable to wear with soft elasticated latex-free ear loops.
Each mask is 3 ply breathable with an integrated nose clip and have been manufactured with different layer materials and thickness to comply with government health guidelines.
Termin8 Disposable Surgical Face Mask x50 | £29.99 from Superdrug
If you’re after face masks in bulk then Superdrug should is your first-stop shop.
This box of 50 disposable face masks have elasticated ear loops for a comfortable fit.