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Government Guidelines - Facemasks

September 2020

This is an extract from current government advice regarding Face Coverings.



How to wear a face covering

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably

  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face

  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops

  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton

  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)

  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged


When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on

  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead

  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus

  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it

  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)


When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing

  • only handle the straps, ties or clips

  • do not give it to someone else to use

  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle

  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed



Making your own face covering

If you want to make your own face covering, instructions are widely available online. We do not endorse any particular method but be considerate of materials and fabrics that may irritate different skin types.


Emerging evidence suggests that the risk of transmission may be reduced by using thicker fabrics or multiple layers. However, the face covering should still be breathable.


Children should make face coverings under the supervision of an adult and face coverings for children should be secured to the head using ear loops only.


If you would like more information on how to make a face covering with materials from around your home please visit the Big Community Sew website. Here you will find step-by-step video tutorials on how to make face coverings and other useful tips and advice.



Maintaining and disposing of face coverings

Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose.


Once removed, store reusable face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them. If the face covering is single use, dispose of it in a residual waste bin. Do not put them in a recycling bin.


Make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched using normal household cleaning products. If eating in a café, for example, it is important that you do not place the face covering on the table.


Wash your face covering regularly and follow the washing instructions for the fabric. You can use your normal detergent. You can wash and dry it with other laundry. You must throw away your face covering if it is damaged.


The government has also published guidance on the safe disposal of waste for the public and businesses.

English Martyrs' Catholic School, Anstey Lane, Leicester, LE4 0FJ
Tel: 0116 2428880 | Email: office@englishmartyrs.org

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