Research has shown that wearing something to cover your face can stop some of the virus from being breathed in or out. 

Scientific evidence: Families who had a child with flu took part in a study. Some parents were asked to wear a face mask at all times when in the same room as the ill child. The other parents were not asked to wear masks.

Results showed that parents who followed instructions to wear masks were less likely to catch the illness from their child.

What can I use to cover my face?

People working in health care use medical masks to protect themselves. It is important that they have access to these masks. If you use fabric face-coverings you won’t be using up their valuable supply, and they can be washed and used again.

You can:

  • Buy a fabric face covering, like the type used by cyclists.
  • Sew a triple layer of cotton fitted to go over the nose and under the chin. Patterns are available free online and you can use an old sheet or t-shirt to make them. 
  • Tie a bandana or scarf around your head so that it covers your nose and mouth.

It is important that whatever you use fits well and comfortably so that you don’t have to adjust it. If you touch it you may stop it from working, and transfer germs to your face and your hands. 

To find out more about when and how to wear a face-covering safely, look at the ‘Reducing Illness’ section.