COVID-19 is showing no sign of retreating anytime soon and with winter on the way, it’s important that you know what to look for when buying a face covering in order to make sure you’re protecting yourself as well as the world around you.
What’s the current guidance on face coverings?
Face coverings are now mandatory in England on public transport, in all shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, transport hubs and post offices. People are also obliged to wear face coverings in indoor settings where you’re likely to come into contact with people you don’t normally meet, including cinemas, museums, galleries and places of worship. People who don’t wear a face-covering, without an exemption, face a fine of up to £100.
In Scotland and Ireland, people are required to wear a face covering in shops and on all public transport. Face coverings have also been mandatory on public transport in Wales since 27 July, including in taxis. The Welsh Government is also recommending people to wear masks in busy places where social distancing is not possible, but this is not compulsory.
In Scotland, high school students are been obliged to wear a face covering in corridors, communal areas and on buses.
In England, staff and pupils in high schools in local lockdown areas like Manchester and Birmingham have been required to wear face coverings when moving around the building and in communal areas where social distancing is not possible. In other parts of the country, masks are not mandatory, but schools have the option to make them compulsory in communal areas should they feel it is necessary.
What to consider before buying a face covering?
Glasses: If you wear glasses, you might find that they steam up when wearing a mask. To avoid fogging up, opt for a mask with a nose clip or an anti-fog visor like ours.
Facial hair: For people with facial hair, beards and moustaches, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cautioned that they may interfere with the effectiveness of face coverings. If you’re not willing to go clean-shaven, make sure that the hair fits inside your face covering.
Hearing difficulty: People who are deaf or have hearing loss rely on visual cues for effective communication including facial expressions and lip-reading, therefore face masks can make it hard for them to communicate. With its anti-fog, anti-static, optically clear visor, UltimateVisor offers people who’re deaf or have hearing loss a comfortable and effective alternative to troublesome face masks.
Mental health: For people with mental health problems face masks can be hard or even impossible to cope with. We’ve heard from people throughout the pandemic with mental health problems who can’t wear a face covering because it causes anxiety or claustrophobia. At the same time, people are also worried about being judged by others for not wearing one. UltimateVisor’s comfortable, effective and stylish face coverings offer a great alternative to masks. For more guidance on wearing a face-covering visit www.kaleidoscopeplusgroup.co.uk
What to look for when buying a face covering?
First things first, as with anything you buy, it’s always a good idea to consider the environment. According to a 2018 UN report, it is estimated that 13million tonnes of plastic flows into our oceans every year and it is already of great concern that the increased use of single-use PPE in use due to the COVID-19 pandemic will only make matters much worse. In order to do your bit for our beautiful planet, consider sustainable face covering alternatives.
You should also:
- Choose products that are CE certified in accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018.
- Select equipment that suits you – consider the size, feel, fit and weight of the face covering. It’s worth remembering that to establish an infection the COVID-19 virus enters your body through portals of entry: the mouth, nose and eyes. So, in order to make sure you’re as protected as possible, a face covering should shield as much of the portals of entry as possible. Wearing a mask that’s slung under the chin or hanging off one ear will make it significantly less effective. And of course, frequently touching and re-adjusting your mask means you’re possibly contaminating your hands too. If you’re opting for a visor then the department of health advises wearers to make sure it covers “the forehead to below the chin area and wrapping around the sides of the wearer’s face”.
- Opt for something that’s easy to remove and doesn’t involve touching your face or the front of the covering
- Pick a face covering that offers both a comfortable and snug fit to make sure it stays in place and to prevent you from having to adjust it – like UltimateVisor. Coverings to fit children are also available.
- Maintain your face covering properly – it’s very important that face coverings are looked after and stored appropriately when not in use – in a dry, clean cupboard for example. If your face covering is reusable, like UltimateVisor, it must be decontaminated after each use and kept in good condition.
If you need to wear a face covering throughout the day, it’s worth investing in more than one so you don’t need to re-use unwashed protective equipment. Keep used face coverings in a plastic bag until you take them home to de-contaminate.
Why choose UltimateVisor?
As well as being CE certified and trusted by the NHS, UltimateVisor by Ramfoam has been specifically designed to offer wearers a comfortable, safe, stylish and environmentally-friendly alternative to other less effective face coverings on the market.
Taking just seconds to assemble, UltimateVisor follows the basic shape of a face, securely covering the eyes, nose, mouth and chin. Made from a medically approved, hypo-allergenic, self-adjusting foam headpiece and a recyclable, optically clear anti-fog, anti-static visor, UltimateVisor is durable, washable and reusable. Simply de-contaminate it after each use in the dishwasher or washing machine and it’s ready to go again and again.
As well as its considered design, UltimateVisor is customisable and available in a range of colours and fashionable label designs.
Created with lifestyle in mind, UltimateVisor offers unbeatable protection for wearers and gives people the confidence to get back to a semblance of normality whilst looking super stylish too.
In England, there’s no official government guidance about whether a visor or face shield can be worn as an alternative to a traditional cloth face mask and visors are becoming increasingly popular as a result, especially amongst people with medical conditions who struggle with a traditional mask.
How effective is UltimateVisor?
A 2014 study featured in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene showed that when face shields were placed on cough simulators (or “breathing” robots), and secondary robots located 18 inches away “coughed out” the flu virus, the shield prevented the robot from inhaling up to 96% of the virus. It’s also worth noting that during the same study, when the robots wore both shields and masks, they blocked out 97% of the virus from landing on the masks.”
If you want the ultimate protection you should consider wearing both a mask and a visor together. As well as being designed with both comfort and style in mind, UltimateVisor features built-in face mask harness points to help prevent ear injury and discomfort, which is becomingly increasingly more important for users of dual face coverings, prescription spectacle and hearing aid wearers.
Made in the UK, UltimateVisor by Ramfoam has been rigorously tested to exceed the most exacting international standards giving wearers complete confidence that they’re as protected as possible.
When wearing a face covering it’s essential you follow government advice and use it safely.