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Guidance on use of face masks for volunteers and organisations

white face mask on blue background

What is a face covering?

A face covering is different from a face mask.
Face masks are medical grade coverings that are classed as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are currently only recommended to be used by medical and care professionals in a health and social care environment.

Face coverings are not classed as PPE and must not to be worn as an alternative to PPE in a health and social care setting by employees. Face coverings can range from a scarf across the nose and mouth to a homemade face covering made for example out of a T-Shirt.

Government guidelines for the public refer to face coverings NOT face masks. 

Do I have to wear a face covering when out and about?

No, a face covering is not mandatory for leaving your home. You should still be observing a social distance and washing your hands regularly. From 5 June 2020 the Government have advised that all hospital visitors and outpatients wear face coverings.

From 15 June 2020 face coverings are only mandatory on public transport. 
Please remember that social distancing and hand washing are the main things you can do to fight against the virus.

Will wearing a face covering mean that I can meet others without adhering to Social Distancing and the 2 metre requirement?

No, you still need to adhere to Social Distancing in all locations. 

How do I make a face covering for use?

Please see making your own face covering information on how you can make a face covering. This is on the Public Health England website.

What is Derby City Council’s guidance for anyone that wants to use a face covering?

The message for all:

  • practise social distancing wherever possible.
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand      sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • continue to wash your hands regularly
  • change and wash your face covering daily
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste