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We've got you covered - our top tips on face coverings

Published on 10 July 2020 03:00 PM

This is a stressful time and, at first, news that face coverings are mandatory in public spaces such as shops and public transport may have felt like an added layer of anxiety.

However, it’s important for everyone to get used to this aspect of our ‘new normal’ as soon as possible to best protect both yourself and others.

We’ve put together some top tips to help ingrain wearing a face covering into your routine.

If you’re feeling anxious about wearing a face mask in public, try wearing a face covering to do everyday tasks around the house first. Doing this will help you get used to how it feels and what type of covering might be most comfortable for you. This might be particularly useful for those who wear glasses, as it’s possible that coverings may catch on glasses and fog them up.

We ask that people reach out to older friends and neighbours, particularly those who live alone or are not online, to make sure they have access to face coverings where necessary and are aware of the guidelines surrounding their use.

Wearing a face mask definitely changes our appearances, but just because people can’t see your smile, doesn’t mean they can’t tell that you’re smiling. A friendly wave is a good substitute from a further distance to help boost your mood while out and about.

It’s also important to remember that face coverings are an extra precaution, not a substitute for physical distancing.

What is a face covering?

  • A face covering can be any covering of the mouth and nose that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe.
  • Religious face coverings that cover the mouth and the nose count as face coverings for these purposes.
  • You may also use, if you prefer, a face visor but it must cover your nose and mouth completely.

Guidelines for the safe use of face coverings:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times.
  • If possible, store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
  • After each use, wash the face covering at 60 degrees centigrade or dispose of it safely.

Face covering exemptions

You may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering if, for example:

  • you have a health condition or you are disabled and a face covering would be inappropriate because it would cause difficulty, pain or severe distress or anxiety or because you cannot apply a covering and wear it in the proper manner safely and consistently.
  • you need to eat or drink
  • you are taking medication
  • you are communicating with someone else who relies on lip reading

For a full list of exemptions from wearing face coverings, please see the Scottish Government official guidelines.

Worried about Coronavirus?

We have compiled advice for older people and their families on how to avoid exposure to the virus, as well as actions we can all take to help each other.

Find out more

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