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From 15 June 2020, wearing a face mask on public transport to help defend against the coronavirus will be compulsory in the UK.
The date, announced by Grant Shapps, the secretary of state for transport in the UK, on 4 June 2020 coincides with the reopening of non-essential shops.
This news follows government advice, released on 11 May 2020, that suggested face coverings should be worn in enclosed spaces - including public transport and when visiting some shops. At that point, wearing face masks or coverings on public transport wasn’t required.
According to Public Health England (PHE), a cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.
There are not suitable for children under the age of two or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly, such as primary school age children, and those with respiratory issues.
Read more: Are face masks a barrier to the coronavirus?
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 don’ts
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 face mask or covering online in the UK
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.
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.
The pack contains 50 disposable face masks, which are made from three layers of skin-friendly fabric. Each mask features an adjustable nose bridge and elasticated ear loop fastenings for optimal comfort.
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.
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.
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.
The British Fashion Council has joined forces with six British designers Halpern, Julien Macdonald, Liam Hodges, Mulberry, Raeburn and Rixo to create a collection of non-medical face masks.
The face coverings are made from luxury GOTS certified organic cotton sateen and have two layers of fabric. They also contain a nose-strip to create a snug fit, adjustable ear straps for comfort, and an anti-fog fit for sunglasses/ glasses.
The joint campaign with Bags of Ethics aims to raise £1 million with 100% of sale profits being split between NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s Charity.
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.
Face Mask Adult & Kids Cotton | £4.99
This Etsy shop, based in Derby, sells a huge array of handmade masks for adult and children.
There are over 40 designs available, with plenty of Disney and cartoon prints for children and plain designs for adults.
Each mask is made out of 100% cotton and has a tie ear-loop. Each mask also comes in a sealed bag.
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.
Face Mask by Studio on Stirling | £13.99
Made out of 100% cotton, each unisex face mask is lightweight and made with adjustable straps.
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.
Pack of 3 Masks | £40
The designer, who usually showcases at London Fashion Week recently announced a non-profit mask making project, where 100% of the proceeds of Lee’s masks will go towards the materials and logistical costs of a further 80 volunteer-made masks that will be donated to frontline workers.
Each mask is made of 100% Nonwoven Spunbond Polyproylene, a fluid resistant and breathable fabric that is often used to make surgical masks.
Each mask also features a wire nose piece that can be formed to the bridge of your nose for extra support and comfort.
Twin Pack | £22
Each mask is made out of two layers of pure cotton and has narrow elastic bands for a secure fit on the ears.
Each mask is also reinforced with flexible wire in the nose area.
The sustainable British brand is selling a range of triple-layered 100% cotton face mask with elastic ear loops.
Each 20cm x 10cm mask has an anti-bacterial finish and the masks come in a cotton pouch.
For every pack purchased, Lavender Hill is donating a three face masks to the Katherine Low Settlement, which provides immediate support for children, elderly and the refugee communities in Battersea, London.
The sustainable British brand has made a range of face masks out of TENCEL™, a biodegradable fabric made from eucalyptus and tree fibre.
Each mask also has adjustable ear straps, so that it can comfortably fit to your face.
The British luxury label has created a range of beautiful double layered masks made out of 100% silk.
Each mask is edged with scallop cut ruffles, silk covered elastic straps and comes in a coordinating drawstring bag.
Face Mask by Maask | £25
The new brand is creating sustainable face masks made out of 100% recycled ocean plastic. Each mask is hand stitched and comes in both small and large sizes.
For every MAASK sold, two medical grade masks will be donated to front line workers in need
Face Mask | £12
The London-based designer has created a range of unisex face masks that have a 100% cotton lining and satin front covering.
A portion of the profits go to Fuel Our Frontline, a charity who are delivering essential groceries to frontline workers in the UK.
Organic Linen Mask | £10
Plumo’s masks are made from four layers of organic linen. Each comes with elasticated ear loops that can be easily removed.
For every mask sold Plumo is donating to Masks For NHS Heroes.
Organic Linen Face Mask | £12
The Room Service is selling a range of organic linen face masks in a variety of colours, including sage, rose, navy and mustard.
The super-soft and adjustable masks have been ethically made from four layers of organic cotton and for every mask sold the brand will donate to Masks for Heroes.
Rose Mask | £30
Former singer-songwriter Pearl Lowe has created a line of masks for her eponymous clothing brand.
Each mask, which measures 20cm x 12cm and is double lined, features a unique floral Liberty print and has been hand made in Somerset by local seamstresses.
For each silk Liberty print mask purchased, Lowe is donating £5 to the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.