THE Government has warned that face masks must be used to stop a second spike of deadly coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is vital protection is now worn in enclosed places like shops, trains or buses.

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The PM says it is vital face masks are now worn in enclosed places like shops, trains or busesCredit: Reuters

While the fabric masks alone will not prevent you catching Covid-19, they have been shown to stop asymptomatic carriers spreading the killer bug even further.

Babak Javid, an infectious diseases consultant at Cambridge University Hospital, says that many other nations have already benefitted from the approach.

He explained: “Almost every other country in the world is taking up masks more than us.

“They’ve all consistently seen decreased transmission.”

But he warns we will only see a downturn in fresh infections if most people wear face coverings.

He said: “Because the main benefit of a cloth mask is to protect other people, it only works if most people are wearing them.

“Most of us need to be engaging with this new guidance because then most of us will benefit.

“This is a time for Brits to show their public spirit.”

More than 50 countries worldwide, including France and Germany, have already enforced wearing of masks in public places. And it looks like the UK will be next.

We look at three different face-mask options you can buy and Babak gives his verdict on them.

Cloth mask

THE type of mask you wear can offer different levels of protection.

A bandana can stop 15 per cent more of your cough. While a commercially made cloth mask with no filter could give 70 to 80 per cent coverage.


Cloth masks, as worn by Naomi Campbell, offer different levels of protectionCredit: Instagram

Masks with a double or triple layer should give the best protection from airborne droplets.

WHERE TO BUY: Sites such as or Business card firm is now also making masks, with ten per cent of pre-orders going to vulnerable communities.

COST: £5 to £20.

REUSABLE? Yes. Wash at 60 degrees.

WORN BY: Supermodel Naomi Campbell.

BABAK’S VERDICT: “Cloth masks reduce the amount of droplets we spread to others. Some will offer a reasonable self-protection but not as high as medical grade ones.”

Dust mask

THESE are usually worn to stop construction workers or decorators from breathing in dust particles.

But they can minimise the risk you pose to others if you have coronavirus.


Dust masks, as worn by Selena Gomez, can minimise the risk you pose to others if you have coronavirusCredit: BackGrid

They are moulded to the face to stop droplets from your cough spreading to others. Sometimes they have an air valve which make them less effective.

WHERE TO BUY: Readily available on Amazon and can be found on DIY sites across the web. Screwfix is selling dust masks but has reduced service to Click & Collect with a maximum order of five.

COST: £5 to £15.


WORN BY: US singer Selena Gomez.

BABAK’S VERDICT: “As long as they are well-fitting, they will offer pretty decent self-protection. If your mask has a valve, you should tape this up to allow other people to be protected as well.”

Why not try out a trikini?

THIS matching mask and bikini sold out after it was designed for a bit of fun.

The “trikini” was created as a joke by Tiziana Scaramuzzo, whose daughter is pictured modelling it as Italy relaxed its lockdown.

Now Tiziana’s business, Elexa Beachwear, in Senigallia on the Adriatic coast, is inundated with orders after the image went viral on social media.

Surgical mask

THESE masks may look flimsy but they are made with two pieces of cloth between a breathable plastic filter.

In the past doctors have worn these to stop them passing on germs to patients.


Surgical masks are made with two pieces of cloth between a breathable plastic filterCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Check they are certified to be worn in Europe by looking for this code: EN14683.

WHERE TO BUY: Medical equipment sites such as or pre-order at They are available on Amazon too but check these are both three-ply and medically certified.

COST: £1 to £2 per mask. A pack of 50 should set you back between £50 to £65.


WORN BY: Actress Kate Hudson.

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BABAK’S VERDICT: “Surgical masks were designed to protect other people – that’s why surgeons wear them.

“They also offer a good way of protecting yourself as they filter out particles and droplets.

“An important aspect of surgical masks is they are water-repellent on the outside so they can be worn for longer in one use.”


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How to make a sewn mask in four steps


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