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Face masks for you and your family

Close up of woman wearing white face mask
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Updated 12th April 2021 - We recommend the coronavirus page on the NHS website for more up to date information.

Face masks and face coverings are a common sight right now, as they're compulsory in shops, supermarkets and a variety of other places in England and Scotland. Plus, face coverings must be worn when travelling on public transport in England.

They're a simple and effective way to help reduce the number of airborne particles getting through to your mouth and nose. Which is why the latest government advice is to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn't always possible and where you'll come into contact with people from outside our home.

Making sure you have the right protection is more important than ever. It’s why at LloydsPharmacy we have a range of face coverings and masks, offering different levels of protection depending on your needs.

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What protection can a mask give me?

Different face masks provide different levels of protection, based on the number of filter material layers. The level of filter provided by a mask depends on the size of particles (measured in microns).

There’s also some evidence that face masks help to reduce the respiratory particles you emit when you talk, cough or sneeze for example. This helps to protect those around you.

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How face coverings work: 

Reusable face covering

Reusable face covering icon

  • Helps prevent particles passing through to your mouth or nose
  • Re-washable and reusable
  • More sustainable and cost-effective
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Type II and Type IIR

Type II face mask icon

  • Surgical face masks
  • Filters 98% of larger particles (3 microns in size)
  • Ear loops for comfortable fit
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Face masks everything you need to know


Do face coverings and face masks work?

Current information suggests that the two main routes of transmission of the COVID-19 virus are respiratory droplets and contact. Respiratory droplets are generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Any person who is in close contact (within one metre) with someone who has respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing) is at risk of being exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets. Droplets may also land on surfaces where the virus could remain viable; thus, the immediate environment of an infected individual can serve as a source of transmission (contact transmission).

How often should you use a face covering mask?

If you are using a disposable face mask you should change your face mask as soon as it becomes moist. A damp mask offers much less protection and should be removed and disposed of carefully. Don’t re-use single-use masks. Remember to wash your hands after removing the mask AND before applying a new one. Find out how to wash and use a reusable mask here

How to put on a face mask

The first thing to remember is hand hygiene. Always wash your hands before and after applying and removing your mask. Putting them on is easy:

  • Make sure your mask is facing the right way and place it snuggly over your nose and mouth. It should cover your nose and tuck under your chin.
  • Make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask
  • The ear loops simply go behind your ear to keep in place.

Avoid touching the mask while using it, if you do wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 

Do face masks expire?

Yes. But they do last for many years if unused. Store in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight and always check the expiry date before use.

Nasal sprays

VIRALEZE™ antiviral nasal spray inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19 by 99.9%. Providing a moisturising protective barrier, VIRALEZE™ can be used up to 4 times per day wherever you go alongside face masks and social distancing. This isn't a substitute for COVID-19 infection control measures, so please always follow Government guidelines for COVID-19.