Viruses can collect on face-coverings so they only work if you use them very carefully:

  • Wash your hands before you put your face covering on.
  • Do not touch it. The covering will stop working if it gets damp from your breath or your fingers.
  • Take it off carefully to avoid putting viruses on your face or hands.
  • Wash it after you take it off. Fabric coverings should be washed to kill the virus. You can put them in the wash with your clothes and use the same soap powder/liquid. If you can’t wash it straight away, put it in a plastic bag and tie it up. When you are able to wash it put the plastic bag in the bin.
  • Wash your hands after touching the face covering.

Most face-coverings protect the nose and mouth from virus – but not the eyes! If you are going to cover your face it is a good idea to wear glasses, sunglasses or protective goggles. This is because the virus can enter our body if we touch our eyes.

To find out more about making a face-covering look at ‘Reducing Illness 2’ at the end of this section.

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