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Why you should still wear a mask beyond Freedom Day

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that the wearing of masks is to become optional after July 19th, 2021. The reaction was met with a mixture of relief and concern, with some who ‘want to get back to normal by no longer wearing a mask’, and others rightly worried that the coronavirus pandemic has not gone away. 

Let’s backtrack for a second here. The reason masks were introduced in the first place is because COVID-19 is primarily an airborne virus. Masks have been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of droplets in the air, with some types of face masks proving to be up to 99% effective. 

With COVID cases currently on the increase, relaxing the rules at this juncture has been met with widespread condemnation from the opposition, as well as a number of people petitioning to keep mask-wearing in places such as public transport and shops. 

So the question is, should you continue to wear a mask beyond July 19th? Here is our take on this popular debate. 

Benefits Of Wearing A Face Mask

  • They reduce the spread of airborne viruses, including COVID-19
  • Face masks are inexpensive to purchase
  • Easy to put on and adjust
  • Many different styles to suit the individual 
  • Offers peace of mind to those around you
  • Reusable face masks can be washed many times over

When face masks were introduced, everyone naturally felt a little strange suddenly having most of their face covered, especially in public. Although the wearing of face masks has long been sensibly adopted by other countries in transit hubs and other busy spaces, their mainstream use has never been seen before in the UK. 

However, people were soon offered reassurance especially when the wearing of masks became mandatory. It meant that everyone (aside from those with specific ailments) had to protect both themselves and you, which seemed a lot safer than hoping for the best with no mask in place. 

Although we are facing a difficult period, wearing a mask alongside sanitising your hands and maintaining social distancing is how we have all been able to do our bit. While restrictions are set to become relaxed, the benefits of masks will not change which is why they continue to be beneficial, especially in busy spaces. 

How Masks Have Changed The World Of Work

Whether you work in a customer facing role such as hospitality, healthcare, retail or beauty, it’s safe to say that the wearing of masks would have been unheard of before the pandemic. 

The lockdowns that forced businesses to close their doors have had a devastating financial impact. Therefore, any way in which they could safely reopen had to be explored. The wearing of masks is just one way in which close contact businesses have been able to adapt to our new normal. 

For example, during the Euro 2020 games, pubs were able to stay open and begin to finally claw back some of their lost revenue, with an estimated 10 million pints served up during each game alone. As shouting and singing in pubs is prohibited due to coronavirus restrictions, the wearing of masks has also been mandatory when not eating and drinking. 

The Bottom Line 

Regardless of government guidance, the fact remains that we are still in a pandemic, and wearing a mask continues to help protect yourself and those around you. Although the wearing of masks may no longer be legally enforced, it should still be encouraged for those who want protection against the virus. There is also nothing to say that Boris Johnson won’t backtrack on his decision, depending on how infection rates continue to develop when mask wearing is no longer in place. 

Furthermore, in a recent June 2021 publication, The WHO stated: “Decision makers should apply a risk-based approach when considering the use of masks for the general public regardless of vaccination or natural immunity status. 

In areas of known or suspected community or cluster SARS-CoV-2 transmission: WHO advises that the general public should wear a non-medical mask in indoor (e.g. shops, shared workplaces, schools) or outdoor settings where physical distancing of at least 1 metre cannot be maintained. 

If indoors, unless ventilation has been assessed to be adequate, WHO advises that the general public should wear a non-medical mask, regardless of whether physical distancing of at least 1 metre can be maintained.”

Buy Face Masks Online UK

Along with washing your hands regularly, social distancing and getting tested if you develop any symptoms, we highly recommend the continued wearing of face masks, especially if you feel apprehensive about the legislation changes. 

Mask4Life is a UK supplier of face masks. We sell a wide variety of styles, including in large quantities. So whether you are an individual or a business, you’ll find a range of masks on our site, where you can benefit from extremely low costs when buying in bulk, versus what you will find on the high street. 

To browse our full range of UK face masks please visit our shop. Alternatively, if you have any queries or if you are interested in custom branded face masks, please contact us and our friendly team will be in touch. 

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Where Are Face Masks Mandatory?

With so many rules and regulations to keep up with over the past few months, if you’re feeling confused about the current state of play, then you are not alone. But as we know, keeping up with government guidance is for the safety of ourselves and those around us. 

As it stands, face masks continue to be a requirement in most places, especially anywhere indoors where there is not an adequate flow of fresh air to disperse any potential coronavirus droplets. Though, there are some changes you need to be aware of. 

In today’s post, we will be breaking down the current regulations surrounding face masks so that you can stay in the know. 

Looking to bulk buy face masks? Skip ahead to the end of this article to find the link to our online face mask store! 

Where Are Face Masks Still Needed In The UK?

To prevent the spread of the virus, face masks continue to be mandatory unless you have a medical reason that would count as an exception. 

Advice is constantly being updated, but at the time of writing, you must wear a face-covering in the following locations across England: 

  • Auction houses
  • Auction houses
  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Estate agents (including on viewings)
  • Exhibition halls/conference centres
  • Funeral service providers
  • Hair and beauty salons
  • Hospitality venues (except when seated to eat or drink)
  • Hotels (all public areas)
  • Indoor play areas
  • Libraries
  • Offices 
  • Places of worship
  • Post offices
  • Public transport
  • Schools (in areas where social distancing is not possible)
  • Shopping centres
  • Shops
  • Solicitors
  • Storage and distribution centres
  • Supermarkets
  • Tattoo parlours 
  • Taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Theatres
  • Transport hubs
  • Veterinary services
  • Visitor attractions

See the latest government guidelines for Scotland and Northern Ireland

Do Employers Have To Provide Face Coverings To Employees?

In any workplace setting where staff must wear a face mask by law, employers must provide face coverings for their staff. However, your employees are also free to wear their own face masks. 

In situations where you have created a physical barrier between your staff and anyone else (i.e. a partition screen), then staff do not have to wear a face mask. For example, in reception areas with glass screens or drivers on public transport who are also protected behind a glass screen. 

Though in many cases, staff may still choose to wear a face mask, and they should not be prohibited from doing so. 

Benefits Of Offering Your Employees Face Masks

First and foremost, face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, so by wearing a face covering, we are all doing our bit in the fight against the pandemic. 

As an employer, providing face masks will encourage everyone to stay safe while they are at work. Face masks also help keep your customers or the general public safe who may encounter your staff while carrying out their duties.

By purchasing face masks, you can ensure your staff will be able to still work, especially if your business counts as one of the environments in which people must wear a face covering. Otherwise, your business could face disruption if there are no clean face masks on hand for them to use. 

There is also the option to customise the exact type and even branding of face masks your employees wear. This can help manage both the quality of the face masks your staff wear and also the appearance of them. 

Using reusable face masks will also ensure you do your bit for the environment since disposable face masks have a short lifespan and cannot be washed like reusable face masks can be. 

When Can We Stop Wearing Face Masks Or Face Coverings?

The short answer is sadly not yet. At present, the government is undertaking a mass vaccination programme for COVID-19 that is still making its way through all of the age groups. There are also various variants of the disease that continue to make case numbers fluctuate. 

June 21 is when the government is planning to phase out many of the current restrictions. However, it’s a constantly changing picture with no specific changes expected to the wearing of face masks. 

The BBCs ‘coronavirus cases near me’ data shows areas of the UK that still have worryingly high cases of COVID-19. Therefore, until cases come under control and further research is conducted in relation to the vaccine, you must continue to wear face coverings in required areas unless exempt. 

Face Mask Types

If you are looking to switch up your current face mask type or purchase a bulk order of face masks for your employees, it pays to get clued up on the different types available. 

Some of the most popular face mask types we stock at Mask4Life include:

Fixed Ear Loop Face Mask

Made from 100% cotton, our fixed earloop face mask keeps things simple with a band that can be slipped on and off the ear with ease. The masks are not medical masks but have been tested to ensure they offer protection against inhaling bacteria. This particular make comes in several different colours and can also be branded according to your company guidelines. 

Buy fixed earloop face mask

Mesh Face Mask

Our mesh face mask is a 3 ply design offering a triple layer of protection. The front layer has a distinctive mesh print. A notable feature of this mask type is the ability to adjust the loop, making it as big or small as it needs to be, so it gives the user a snug but comfortable fit. We also offer bespoke colour options for mesh face masks for orders above 15,000 units. 

Buy mesh face mask

Snood

An alternative option to the traditional face covering is to wear a snood, which consists of a single layer of fabric covering your nose, mouth and neck area. The benefits are that you lose the need for elastic, making snoods more comfortable to exercise in. The branding options for snoods include custom colours, printing or heat transfer. 

Buy snood

Respirator Mask

When you are looking to step things up a gear, look no further than a respirator style face mask. It is designed to be able to filter dust, bacteria and any other harmful substances. It is suitable for environments where the user will come into contact with solid particles or non-volatile liquid particles. As well as a moulded metal nose piece, the material is also skin-friendly to avoid the risk of irritation, as seen in other mask types. 

Buy Respirator Mask

Disposable Vs Reusable Face Masks

Where coronavirus is concerned, any face mask is better than none. But when it comes to our environment, reusable face masks are always preferred over disposable face masks. 

Research by Mask4Life found that for every reusable mask we sell, we prevent 30 disposable face masks from entering into a landfill and our oceans. Sadly, the pandemic meant a reduction on single-use plastic practically halted overnight. Therefore, unless we all make an effort to switch to reusable face masks, our global ecosystem will suffer, as billions of face masks have been needed since the start of the pandemic.

There’s also room for both comfort and customisation with reusable face masks. This means you can find a face mask that offers both the right level of protection and fit for your needs, which just isn’t possible with disposable face masks that have a one-size-fits-all design. 

Why Use A Bespoke Facemask Manufacturer Such As Mask4Life?

If you head into any regular store to purchase a face mask, you will often find a limited range of face masks. In many cases, there is no explanation about the quality or properties of the mask, making it difficult to know if you are really getting the best level of protection. 

Whatsmore, you will also face more expense because of the markups. We even found one fashion designer selling face masks for £79, even though the mask was incredibly basic in terms of protection! In contrast, our face masks start at just 50p per unit, blowing even high street prices that average between £5-£10 per mask out of the water. 

Mask4Life sells face masks and snoods in bulk that are available to purchase from as little as 5 up to 5,000 units. Our most affordable masks work out at just 1.6 per use, based on a maximum of 30 days of usage. Therefore, it couldn’t be easier or more economical to bulk buy face masks for your employees, keeping everyone safe in the process. 

Buy Face Masks UK

Mask4Life are bespoke face mask manufacturers based in the UK. We sell our products to a range of industries, including offices, retail, education providers, small businesses and many more. 

If you are looking to purchase face masks, snoods or disposable gowns, then you are in the right place. 

To browse our full range of face masks, please visit our shop. Alternatively, if you have any queries or are interested in custom branded face masks, please contact us, and our friendly team will be in touch. 

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Please note, all information in this blog was up to date as of Monday 7th June 2021. For the latest information go to https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

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What Face Masks Are Good For Acne?

It wasn’t until the COVID pandemic that wearing face masks became mainstream due to their effectiveness in reducing the spread of infection carrying droplets as we breathe. 

While facemasks reduce the transmission of COVID, many people have got “mascne” in return. The annoying bumps, redness and irritation can be bothersome, though as masks continue to be mandatory in many locations, the wearing of them is, for the most part, non-negotiable. 

Instead, what’s needed is to find a solution that keeps everyone, most importantly safe, but also free from skin issues as a result of wearing a mask. In today’s post, we will be covering everything you need to know about “mascne”, along with how to both prevent it and treat it. 

Do Face Masks Bring Out Spots?

Mask acne aka. “mascne”, also known as “maskne”, is most associated with pimples, but it can also refer to the redness or irritation brought about by wearing face masks, especially for long periods. 

While, your acne may be caused by factors unrelated to face masks such as hormones, diet or the wrong skin care products, among many possible causes. Given face masks are a material that makes close contact with the skin for long periods; it’s worth considering they too can be a culprit of acne. The good news is that you can reduce spots caused by wearing a face mask with some simple tips so that you get the best of both worlds. 

How To Treat Face Mask Acne?

As with any type of acne or skin irritation, it’s always worth checking in with a dermatologist. However, there are some tips you can start right away to eliminate or reduce the risk of getting acne from wearing a face mask. 

A great skincare routine is top of the agenda and should be carried out every evening before you go to bed and once again when you wake up. A thorough skincare routine ideally consists of a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser, eye cream and SPF. But for “mascne” specifically, we’re going to concentrate on the cleanser, toner, and moisturiser to help keep your skin calm and acne-free. 

Cleansers

The cleanser you choose will differ depending on your skin type and whether or not it needs to remove makeup or simply the grime of the day. Either way, avoid the temptation to choose anything foaming which will only strip the skin instead of helping to replenish it. 

Cerave SA Cleanser has been recommended by skincare guru Caroline Hirons as both a product to help acne and “mascne” in one. Do a double cleanse and remove with a clean, warm face flannel and gently pat your skin dry before moving onto toning.  

Alternatively, gel or balm cleansers (as opposed to foaming cleansers) are ideal for acne. Spend time massaging the product into the chin, lines around the mouth and hairline so that traces of makeup or sweat aren’t left behind. 

Toners

Anything containing salicylic or glycolic within a toner is great for acne. Pixi is a notable mention as their products help with acne and contain soothing ingredients such as aloe, which calm the skin at the same time. 

Pixi’s iconic products include Glow Tonic and Clarity Tonic, which was brought out at the height of the pandemic to help “mascne” sufferers. Pixi products are also alcohol-free, affordable and not tested on animals which are excellent pros. 

Moisturisers

When your skin is unhappy, the last thing you need to add is a greasy, clogging moisturiser. A staple favourite among the beauty world is Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre. It has a nourishing formula without any of the pore-blocking ingredients.

Avoid fragrance, essential oils or shea butter within moisturisers as these are known acne triggers. 

How To Prevent Face Mask Acne?

As well as following a diligent skincare routine, mask acne can be reduced by switching to a reusable face mask, ensuring you wash it every day. For that reason, you may want to have a couple of face masks on hand so that you always have a clean and dry one at the ready. 

Other tips are to avoid wearing makeup around your chin, especially if you can help it. That’s because, with a mask added on top, there is a lack of fresh air getting to the skin. Makeup, sweat, dirt, pollution and general grime can get trapped between your skin and the mask. 

Although it’s not possible to remove a mask in designated areas when it’s safe to do so (especially outside), allowing fresh air to reach your skin can help break the cycle. 

Also, avoid touching your face wherever possible. For example, many people touch their phone screen or keyboard then their face, transferring bacteria between the two. So keep your surfaces sanitised daily and avoid contact wherever possible. 

What Is The Best Face Mask For Acne?

Cotton has long been associated with its breathable properties, making it an ideal choice for acne sufferers when it comes to face masks. Silk is another option, though the downsides of silk are that it is far more costly to purchase and not as easy to wash versus cotton.

As cotton face masks are easier and cheaper to produce and can also be washed at higher temperatures, they are our material of choice. Compared with disposable masks, you will also notice an increased comfort level with cotton face masks. 

Whichever face mask material you opt for, it is recommended to switch out your mask for a clean one every 4 hours. Also, be sure to wash your hands before and after touching your mask. 

Washing Face Masks

The beauty of reusable face masks is that they can be washed and worn again. The exact amount of usage will differ depending on the material, though here at Mask4Life, we always state the usage amount on our product descriptions, which can be up to 60 days for some types. 

You must remember to wash your face mask at the end of each day, as it’s so easy to forget. We recommend setting a reminder on your phone for this very reason. Another top tip is to add some antibacterial detergent, which will also help kill germs, whether related to the virus or acne. 

Find out more in our previous blog

Cotton Face Masks Like M4L Masks

Many of our face masks are made from cotton either entirely or as a blend with other materials. Some of our  Standard Facemasks are 100% cotton and are available in 3 different colours. 

Crucially, this face mask can be washed at up to 60 degrees, helping to kill bacteria. As mentioned, disposable masks or those made from inferior materials cannot be washed at higher temperatures, making it easier for acne-causing bacteria (let alone COVID containing droplets) to remain on the surface. 

So if you or anyone you know is concerned about “mascne”, then it’s time to opt for a cotton face mask instead. 

Changing Often – M4L Offer Bulk Discount

The key to your health and hygiene, in addition to fighting acne, is regularly changing your face mask. Doing so will mean less sweat, and bacteria will collect on the surface of the mask, reducing the chance of it blocking your pores. 

Here at Mask4Life, we sell all of our face masks in bulk, ranging between 5 to 5,000 units. We sell to a variety of sectors, including office, retail, education, hospitality and many more. Having several face masks at your disposal will mean you will always be able to wear a clean one. 

Compared with buying individual masks, purchasing in bulk allows you to make incredible savings, with our masks working out as little as 50p per mask. On the high street, individual masks can cost anywhere between £5 and £40 on average.

Buy Face Masks Online UK

Mask4Life is a supplier of face masks in the UK. We sell various types of face masks, including “mascne” friendly cotton ones. 

We’d highly recommend purchasing face masks for your business, customers or clients so that you always have a face mask on hand. Compared with our above tips on how to avoid “mascne”, you will be able to enjoy an enhanced wearing experience with the softer material our cotton face masks provide. 

To browse our full range of UK face masks, please visit our shop. Alternatively, if you have any queries or are interested in custom branded face masks, please contact us, and our friendly team will be in touch. 

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What style of Mask4Life Face Covering is best for you and your employees?

Face coverings are something we all had to get used to pretty quickly thanks to COVID-19. As a result, it didn’t give people much time to consider the types of face masks that would best suit their needs.

Now that we are further along in the pandemic, you may have found the type of mask you are currently using doesn’t quite fit your requirements. This is especially the case if you are still using disposable face masks or trying to find bulk buy custom face masks for office employees.

As a leading supplier of facemasks in the UK, we’d like to run through the benefits of each face mask and snood type we stock. In particular, focusing on reusable face coverings, including fixed loop, adjustable elastic earloop and snoods. 

The Problem With Disposable Face Masks

Before we jump into the benefits of each particular face mask or snood type, it’s a good idea to think about why disposable masks aren’t always the best option. 

Did you know that for every 1 reusable face mask sold by Mask4Life, we save 30 single-use masks entering landfill, our environment, or the oceans?

Disposable face masks aren’t designed for heavy use, as they have a maximum wear time of 4 hours. Currently, 53 million non-recyclable single use face masks are being thrown away every day. 

With only 4 hours of wear time, your employees would require a minimum of 2 masks a day (10 a week!) just to get through the workday. Based on 1000 employees, the monthly saving from switching to reusable masks would be up to £8,000 & the reduction in waste would be 3500kg! 

While undoubtedly any face covering is better than none, the reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that it’s sadly not a short term event. Therefore, masks are a continual requirement even over a year down the line. What that means for everyone and especially businesses, is that you need a face mask solution that’s both practical and economical in the long term. 

Purchasing reusable face masks or snoods of any kind already offers many benefits. It will reduce your environmental impact versus using solely disposable masks. In addition, it can help manage costs as a business since reusable face masks can be washed instead of having to purchase fresh masks each time. 

Fixed Earloop Face Masks

  • Antibacterial coating
  • Soft feeling on the skin
  • Requires no user adjustment
  • Fully washable
  • Reusable up to 30 times
  • Several sizing options
  • Several colour options
  • Option to add company branding
  • Certification available on request
  • Dispatched within 24 hours

If you’re on the hunt for a universal, no-nonsense face-covering, then a fixed earloop face mask is a great choice. Available in 3 sizes, this particular style is double-layered, offering both additional protection and comfort for users. 

Compared with a disposal mask, you will notice the fit is a lot softer around the ears. The benefit will be especially appreciated by those who are required to keep a face mask on for long hours throughout the day. 

If the mask is a little loose, it can still be knotted or looped, though you’ll find its cotton, polyester and spandex composition does offer a good level of fit for most people. In addition, fixed earloop face masks do sit quite high up on the cheek. This means better protection from vapours for yourself and those around you. 

Our fixed earloop masks have been tested to significantly reduce staphylococcus aureus, klebsiella pneumonia – both of which are incredibly nasty strains of bacteria that can easily be spread via the skin, which face masks make direct contact with. 

With a 30 day lifespan, you’d require the equivalent of 60 disposable face masks if you’re required to wear a face for 8 hours a day. 

Buy fixed earloop face masks

Elastic Earloop Face Masks

  • One size fits all
  • Antibacterial internal layer
  • Vision masks available (suitable for those who rely on lip reading)
  • Will give a taut rather than loose feel
  • Can be machine washed at high temperatures
  • Several colour options
  • Dispatched within 24 hours

Elastic earloop face masks are considered a one size fits all option. This is because the band has a lot of stretch, making it ideal for different face shapes and sizes. 

There is more choice with regards to the material type and construction with elastic loop face masks. This includes the choice between flexible, premium or vision options. In particular, the vision face masks help combat the issue of impaired communication that face masks can cause, especially for those who rely on lip-reading or have general hearing impairments. 

Our premium face masks also contain antibacterial properties, including 100% anti-droplet technology. 

Buy elastic earloop face masks

Snoods

  • One size fits all
  • No straps increasing comfort levels
  • Ideal for outdoor wear, including exercising
  • Option to add company branding
  • Black or grey colour options
  • Bespoke colour options possible for higher unit purchase

Looking to ditch straps altogether? Your best option is to try a snood, covering the entire face from the nose to the bottom of the neck. 

What’s handy with a snood is that you don’t have to take it off. You can simply lower or raise it when needed (though we’d still recommend sanitising your hands every time you do so). As the snood stays on, it is less likely employees can forget, lose or misplace their masks. 

Snoods are also more comfortable when worn outdoors, including when exercising. Depending on the nature of your business, your employees may find a face mask restricting or impractical for their work. But with a snood, it softly sits against the skin, while simultaneously preventing vapours from being exchanged.

As with all reusable face coverings, snoods are washable. Their more sturdy construction means you may find snoods last a lot longer versus face masks. Snoods can be washed at 60 degrees, helping to kill bacteria that may remain if you wash face masks at lower temperatures.

Buy snood face covering

Face Mask FAQs

Below are some of the most common questions about face masks and the styles we supply here at M4L. 

How Do I Wear A Face Mask Correctly?

Before you touch your face mask, you should thoroughly wash or sanitise your hands. Place the face mask on, ensuring it covers the bridge of your nose and the underneath of your chin. 

If wearing a disposable face mask, you will need to press the plastic of the nose bridge in place so that it fits snugly with no gaps.  

Ensure your mask continues to fit correctly while wearing it so that your nose or mouth are not exposed at any time.

Avoid touching your face mask, and if you do so, you’ll need to immediately wash or sanitise your hands. Also, follow these steps when removing your mask.

Disposable masks should be placed in closed bins. Reusable face masks need to be washed at the end of the day. 

Do You Sell Custom Reusable Face Masks?

Yes! Please head over to our face mask shop and choose one of our reusable face mask styles. Each particular mask will have details about the branding options available. 

Do You Sell Washable Face Masks?

All of our reusable face masks are washable. We would advise washing the mask at the end of each day, in line with government advice. You may wish to have a couple of masks on hand so that you have a clean face mask while the other one dries. 

Please follow the instructions to wash the masks at the correct temperature, either 30 or 60 degrees, depending on the material.  

Can I Bulk Buy Office Face Masks?

Yes! As your employees continue or begin to start working within the office again, you must have an adequate supply of face masks. It’s not always possible to rely on employees to bring their own face masks. 

Plus, you may wish to have your face coverings branded to your company. We offer a range of branding solutions to keep everyone in unison. 

You can also check out our blog post on Planning To Return To The Workplace After COVID-19 for further information on this topic. 

Buy Face Masks In Bulk

Are you looking to make a bulk purchase of face masks for your business? We sell all of our face masks and snoods in bulk ranging between 5 and 5,000 units. 

By purchasing face masks in bulk, you can also make tremendous savings versus buying individual masks. Our face masks can be purchased for as little as 50p per unit, working out at 1.6p per use based on the maximum 30 day usage time. Just for contrast, single reusable face masks are being sold for anywhere between £5 and £40 on the high street! 

To browse our full range of UK face masks, please visit our shop. Alternatively, if you have any queries or are interested in custom branded face masks, please contact us, and our friendly team will be in touch. 

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7 top tips to stop your glasses from fogging up when wearing a mask

A little over a year ago, the only time most people in the UK wore face masks was when they were doing home repair projects or when visiting the hospital. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed all that with mandatory face-covering rules being applied in most indoor public spaces. 

There’s no denying the effectiveness that face masks have in stopping the spread of the virus, which is why wearing one has become a daily routine for most. However, if you wear glasses, you understand just how annoying masks can be. 

The biggest problem that glasses wearers suffer from is ‘glasses fog,’ when the lenses steam or fog up every time they put on a face covering. 

But misty glasses aren’t just a matter of inconvenience! If your glasses fog up while you’re walking, you could easily slip and fall. Likewise, if you’re wearing a mask and driving, foggy glasses could result in a crash.  

Wearing a face mask with glasses shouldn’t have to be so complicated. Luckily, there are a few simple tricks you can try to stop your glasses from fogging up unexpectedly when wearing a face covering. The best part? Most of these methods are easy to try and don’t cost much.

Why do glasses fog up when wearing a face mask?

Masks are designed to be like a protective barrier for our mouths and nose. However, that also means that foggy glasses often happen when wearing a cloth or medical face mask due to the limited airflow. 

This is because your breath is expelled upwards out the top of the mask, and unfortunately for glasses wearers, that breath of air heads straight for the lenses of the glasses. 

The warm air from your breath hits the surface of your cooler lenses, which in turn steams them up and blocks your vision. 

The steam also produces excess moisture that can reduce the grip of your glasses’ nose pads, making it all the easier for your frames to slide down your face.

Basically, condensation is to blame. The science behind glasses fog is very frustrating; luckily, it’s also pretty simple to prevent this from happening!

Mask4Life’s top tips to stop your glasses from fogging up

1. Make sure your mask fits properly

One of the most common causes of glasses fog is a poorly fitted mask. If your face covering doesn’t fit your face snugly, this allows your warm breath to escape upwards and hit your lenses. The result? Instant condensation. 

When choosing a mask, make sure you pick one that’s the correct size and that it has a more tailored fit. Face masks that only come in one standard size don’t always have the best fit, especially around the bridge of your nose. 

Masks that don’t fit your face well allow for warm, moist breath to escape. That breath hits your glasses and creates instant fog. Instead, opt for a custom fit mask or ones with adjustable ear loops that you can tighten yourself. It should sit snug against both your nose and cheeks, and there shouldn’t be any gaps for the air to escape.

If you’re desperate to stop your glasses from fogging up, check out Mask4Life’s 3Ply Mesh Face Masks with adjustable ear loops. Our 3Ply Mesh Face Masks not only have adjustable ear loops, but they are also reusable and made from cotton and polyester mesh for added comfort. Plus, because they are triple-layered, you can be confident they are protecting you from inhaling bacteria. 

2. Wash them with soap, shaving cream or shampoo

Research from 2015 showed that washing the lenses of glasses with certain substances could help to reduce the likelihood of fogging. The study said that household items, such as soap, baby shampoo and shaving cream, were effective. This is because they all leave behind a film that acts as a barrier against excess moisture.

If you want to try this method yourself, follow these instructions:

  • Wash your glasses with one type of soap and warm water.
  • Then let them air dry.
  • Once they’re dry, wipe them free of marks with a dry microfiber cloth.

However, if your glasses lenses have a particular film or glare protection, check with your optician first. Some cleaning methods can end up damaging your glasses if you’re not careful!

3. Or try dish soap

Like the above household items, dish soap can also work at preventing your glasses from fogging up with a mask. Dish soap also leaves behind a protective film that stops moisture from building up. It’s actually what most scuba divers and snorkelers use on their masks before they head underwater!

4. Use your glasses to seal the top of the mask

One of the most straightforward solutions is already sitting on your face. Try pulling up your face mask higher so that you can lower your glasses to create a seal that blocks any escaping air. This should prevent the lenses of your glasses from fogging up.

Using the adjustable ear loops of face masks, such as Mask4Life’s 3Ply Mesh Face Masks, means you will be able to pull the face mask tighter towards the top of your face. You can then use your glasses on top to seal the top of your mask. 

5. Sew a nose bridge into your mask

You’ll have already noticed that most surgical single-use masks already have built-in nose bridges. These are designed to help wearers shape the mask to their face and prevent excess airflow from escaping. 

However, most reusable fabric masks don’t have these features. So, why not try adding one yourself? If you have a sewing kit and a few skills, sew a bridge nose under the top fabric of your face covering. You can even glue or even tape one in place if you’re not confident in your sewing abilities. You can use any of these as a make-shift nose bridge:

  • Pipe cleaners
  • Aluminium foil
  • Twist ties

If this all seems far too much trouble, you could always look at purchasing our M4L 3Ply Mesh Face Mask. A triple-layer, reusable face masks made from cotton and polyester, our 3Ply Mesh Face Masks have a moulded metal nose piece.

6. Block gaps with tissue

If you’re out and about and need a quick solution to your glasses fogging, then find either a tissue, paper towel or piece of cloth. Then fold the material into a long slim piece and position it directly under the top edge of your face mask. Then secure your mask so that the material will stay in place. This should prevent the airflow from hitting your glasses lenses.

7. Use sprays or wipes

There are plenty of glasses wipes, and sprays available to buy that work in the same way that dish soap and shaving cream do. Not only are they specially designed to tackle glasses fog, but they’re also resistant to hot and moist breath. 

While our above solutions have a longer-lasting effect, these could be good to pop in your handbag for your glass fog emergencies!

Mask4Life’s adjustable ‘ear loop’ masks are perfect for glasses wearers. 

You can do many things to prevent your glasses from fogging while wearing a face mask. It will come as no surprise to you that our preferred method is wearing an adjustable earloop mask.

Not only will it stop your glasses from steaming up, but it is also longer-lasting and has added comfort to a face full of tissue. 

So, if you’re looking for a mask that won’t steam up your glasses, then we suggest our 3Ply Mesh Face Masks! It’s reusable and has adjustable earloops so you can tighten it snugly to fit your face.  As these masks are fully washable, it reduces the cost of purchasing disposable masks, and there is a 100% reduction in waste too! 

Need to buy in bulk? You can find out how much you could save by switching to M4L using our online calculator

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How often should you change or clean your face mask?

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, face masks have become a common sight across the UK both indoors and outdoors. They come in a variety of colours, styles and designs as wearers look to personalise the item of clothing that has now become a part of our daily work look. As a result, many have stated wearing reusable face coverings as a more economical and environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable single-use face masks.

Although wearing reusable face masks have many benefits to them, with their increased use there are concerns that people might not be using them correctly. To be effective in minimising the risk of the Covid-19 virus, they must be worn correctly and all the advised face mask guidelines must be followed. This is especially important when social distancing in the workplace is not possible.

Unlike their single-use counterpart, cloth face masks need regular cleaning. This is because the pierce of fabric covers your nose and mouth every time you put it on, and if you don’t wash it after every use, you could be doing more harm than good.

A public survey carried out by YouGov in August 2020 showed that reusable masks were the most popular type of face covering; 69% said they used this type of mask. However, the research also showed that only 13% of wearers who use reusable face masks, are actually cleaning them correctly. 

So why is it so important to clean your mask, and what are some of the best ways to do it? We’ll clarify all below!

Why is washing my face mask so important?

The main reason for washing your face mask after every single use? Because the reusable mask itself can become contaminated with the virus. Of course face masks are designed to hinder the spread of the virus, but despite what you might think, they aren’t 100% effective. 

When we use masks, we always touch them with our hands to take them on and off. If you don’t properly clean and maintain it after use, it can serve as a vector for transmission itself. A used mask will touch your nose and mouth, allowing any existing viral particles on it to get into your respiratory system and infect you. 

But it’s not just yourself that you can endanger with an unwashed face mask. The environment around us is constantly contaminating our clothes with bacteria, viruses and fungi, and this can include Covid-19.  If you take off your used mask and leave it laying around your home, it can contaminate these surfaces too, putting everyone in your household at risk.

How often should we be cleaning our face masks?

Once you’ve understood the importance of cleaning your face mask, how many times should you actually be washing it? A good rule to follow is by cleaning your reusable face covering after every use. If you’ve used it all day in the office, then after work, take it home and wash it straight away. This way, your mask is clean and ready to use the next morning when you leave the house.

It’s also worth pointing out that if your mask is visibly wet, or you’ve coughed or sneezed into it, then you should probably change or wash it as soon as possible. If you work full-time or plan on being out of the house for a while, it’s working taking a spare mask or two, so you always have a clean on at hand.

What’s the correct way to look after a reusable face mask?

Need to know exactly how you can look after your face mask to ensure it remains effective? Take a look at these simple but effective steps below.

Wash after every wear

As mentioned above, washing your face covering after every use is the best way to protect yourself against stray viral particles that might have ended up on the mask’s fabric. Wet and soiled masks are less effective in minimising the spread too, as water and dirt restrict the airflow of the mask, affecting its ability to filter these particles. 

Machine wash or hand wash?

Most reusable fabric face masks can be either hand washed or thrown in with normal laundry on a machine wash. If you want to put your mask in the washing machine, you can simply use a normal regular detergent to clean it thoroughly on a 60 degrees wash.

However, if you don’t want to use your washing machine every day to clean your face mask, you can also clean it by hand. Using soap and hot water to lather your mask, make sure you scrub both sides of the cloth for at least twenty seconds before you rinse and ring out the water. 

Air out or tumble dry the mask

After washing your mask, you must make sure that it’s completely dry before reusing it. This is because wet or damp masks hinder its ability to work properly. To air dry the face covering, lay it flat on a clean surface or hang it by the straps in direct sunlight. Some reusable masks can also be tumble dried on a high heat setting, but double check the label first to see if it is suitable.

Store them away safely

Once you’re happy that your face mask is clean and dry, make sure you store it safely in a resealable bag if you’re not planning on using it straight away. This is so it won’t get recontaminated in the bottom of your bag or pocket.

When you’re ready to use it again, make sure your hands are clean and disinfected before you pick up your mask by the straps and attach it to your face. 

Is it not easier to buy disposable masks? 

It might seem more convenient to use disposable masks because you don’t have the hassle of washing them regularly. However, although it might seem easier to just wear a single-use mask and then throw it away after use, they’re not very cost effective. There are also all sorts of complications when it comes to the environmental impact of surgical masks. 

If you’re thinking of buying face masks for your office staff to use, here’s why you should opt for reusable ones, instead of single-use plastic masks. 

Cost

Disposable masks can only be worn once, so that means you’ll effectively only be buying your employees masks that just have a single use. In the long run, this isn’t very cost-effective for your business. On the other hand, investing in reusable fabric masks for your staff means that they can be washed and reused as many times as necessary. You only have the initial purchase to pay for. 

Impact on the environment

Conservationists have warned that the use of disposable plastic masks could spark a surge in ocean pollution. Many have already found the sea awash with disposable masks that are floating like jellyfish. 

But it’s not just the oceans that are threatened, plastic face masks can also end up in landfill sites, where they can take up to 450 years to decompose! You can minimise your company’s impact on the environment by providing your staff with reusable cloth face masks, rather than plastic ones.

Protect your employees with Mask4Life reusable face masks

You might be wondering how many face masks your staff will need? It completely depends on what your company does as a business, and whether your workplace is required by law to wear face coverings. If your workplace is classed as a public space, then the government states that it is mandatory that both staff and customers wear a face covering indoors. 

If your business is not required by law to enforce mask wearing, then you should check your Covid-19 risk assessment to see whether you want to enforce a rule in your workplace. Based on the outcome of this, you should always provide suitable face coverings for all your staff. 
Mask4Life has a variety of reusable face masks that offer suitable protection and meet the recommended mask guidelines. Find out how much you could save using our online calculator, by switching to our wholesale face masks, available to buy online today. We also provide masks with PVC windows for those that need visual communication to speak with others!

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How face masks affect our communications

Since the coronavirus outbreak started in March 2020, we’ve relied heavily on social distancing, regular sanitising and wearing face masks to stop the spread of the virus. Face masks are now mandatory in many public places, including restaurants, retail shops and other hospitality venues. Although face coverings are designed to protect, they are also having an effect on how we communicate.

Speaking to others through face coverings means that what you’re seeing and hearing isn’t in alignment, and in turn can make it difficult to follow the conversation that you usually would. Communication with a face mask is also hard for people with certain disabilities: for example, those who are hard of hearing and rely on facial expressions and lip reading. 

In this blog, we’ll look at how face masks impact communication, and ways to solve the problem whilst remaining safe and still adhering to social distancing guidelines.

How Face Masks Impact Communication

When wearing a face covering correctly, the material will fit over a person’s nose and mouth, to act as a barrier against the coronavirus. But, by doing this, it can sometimes make communication more difficult for people who suffer from hearing loss or speech impediments. Face masks make it harder to communicate as they can:

  • Muffle sound, making it harder to understand what someone is saying.
  • Take away a person’s ability to read lips and see facial expression, making it harder to understand what they’re hearing.
  • Make it difficult for people with communication problems, like aphasia or voice problems, to speak.
  • Be uncomfortable to wear for people with hearing aids or cochlear implants

But it’s not just people with hearing loss and those who rely on lip reading that can be affected. Communication with a face mask can also lead to what’s known as ‘the McGurk effect’ happening in everyday conversation. This is when someone perceives that someone’s lip movements don’t match up with what they’re actually saying.

When you wear a face mask, you’re relying on the pure sound of someone’s voice to communicate. However, because our brains are so used to seeing lip movements when someone speaks, when you wear a face covering, you might misinterpret what is being shared. Your brain might try to convince you that you’re hearing something that hasn’t been said.

How to enhance communication with face masks

Unfortunately, it seems that the coronavirus will be sticking around for a while, even with the vaccine rollout underway. As a result, masks, hand washing and other social distancing measures look set to become the new normal. So what are some of the ways in which we can improve communication with a face mask on? Here are a few methods you can try:

Be more expressive with your upper face

When communicating with face masks on, try being more expressive with your eyebrows, eyes, and upper cheeks during conversation. This can help to emphasise your point across more, and help to show emotions to those who rely on facial expressions for communications.

Talking slower and louder in quieter settings

It sounds obvious, but if you articulate your speech more and talk slightly louder, it can help to overcome the muffling sound that can occur from wearing a face covering.

Use a transparent face mask

There are different types of masks that can help people communicate more easily, whilst still offering the same level of protection against Covid-19. Cloth and surgical face masks on the other hand, can hinder their ability to understand and take part in meaningful conversations. For example, masks with clear panels have not only been designed to improve conversations in general, but they also support those who need visual communication to speak with others.

Rely on technology for interactions

People who are hard of hearing might prefer virtual meetings more beneficial than in-person ones. Video software platforms, such as Zoom, allow people with hearing loss to use a closed captioning option to automatically display the words being spoken on a screen. Zoom also lets whoever’s speaking to be isolated on the screen, which means in addition to the captions, people can read their lips as well.

Do you have hearing aids or implants? Try this!

If you struggle to wear a mask comfortably over your hearing aid or cochlear implant, try these methods:

  • Safely secure your hearing device with tape or another non-damaging material, like a cloth headband.
  • Use a button extender for the mask to attach it behind your head inside of looping it over your ears.
  • Choose a mask that has four string ties instead of ear loops.

Mask4Life face masks can help with communicating

At Mask4Life, we believe that it’s important to provide face masks for everyone, not just the well and able majority. We understand that the average face mask can have a big impact on communication, especially if you have staff that suffer from speech or hearing loss. 

That’s why, we offer a selection of reusable masks that support those who need visual communication to speak with others. The use of transparent masks helps individuals read lips and still have proper conversations. For example, our M4L Vision Face Mask has a clear PVC window fitted within the cloth, but it still maintains the same high level of protection as our other mask options.

Bulk buy our vision face masks to support your staff

If you’re interested in purchasing vision face masks to support your employees, then don’t hesitate to contact us.All of our face masks are double layered, reusable, and fully washable. Plus, there’s no extra cost of purchasing disposable masks and there’s a 100% reduction in waste. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps to stop single-use masks ending up in the ocean or landfill sites!

Find out how much you could save by switching to our vision face masks, using our online calculator. Have any questions? Why not call or get in touch today for a quotation!

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Do you have to wear face masks in the workplace in the UK?

Off to work? Don’t forget your face mask!

Both face coverings and hand sanitiser have joined the list of items that you now can’t leave the house without due to Covid-19. Face coverings have especially become a common sight in high streets and supermarkets over the past year, and they have well and truly cemented themselves into our daily routines. In September 2020 the government guidance on face coverings changed, and mandatory mask wearing was required by law in certain indoor environments; including UK workplaces. 

If you run a business or company, you might be wondering whether your employees have to wear face masks in the workplace. As lockdown restrictions ease, and staff members begin to return to work, the rules surrounding face masks can be very confusing. What do you need to know about enforcing face masks and the guidelines that come with them?

In the blog below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about keeping your office environment safe, as well as looking at whether office workers have to wear face masks or not. 

What is a face covering?

Most people have a good understanding of why they need to wear a face mask to stop the spread of Covid-19, but do we actually know what a good face covering is? 

On paper, it’s something which is used to safely cover both the nose and mouth. Face masks are mostly used to protect others from the virus, not the actual wearer. Because the wearer’s nose and mouth are covered, the main sources of transmission are cut off by the mask’s protective layers.

There are many different types of face masks available, so it can be difficult to know which one to pick. The government states that: 

‘cloth face coverings and disposable face coverings work best if they are made with multiple layers and form a good fit around the face.’ 

Other types, such as bandanas, scarves or religious garments are less effective if they don’t securely fit around your face.

If you’re required to hand out personal protective equipment to your staff, it’s work remembering that face coverings are not technically classed as PPE. This is because PPE is used in medical or industrial settings to protect workers from the virus with surgical masks or respirators.  

What are the rules on face coverings in the UK?

The rules on face masks have changed many times since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, and also differ depending where in the UK your office is based. The current rules contain both government guidance, as well as some legal requirements, and currently include the following:

  • Retail, supermarkets and shopping centres: Face masks are mandatory for both shoppers and employees in all parts of the UK.
  • Public transport: Face coverings are mandatory for travellers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, transport workers are not required by law to wear masks whilst they’re working. But it’s recommended that they do in instances where social distancing is difficult to enforce.
  • Airplanes: In England, Scotland and Wales, face masks are mandatory for all passengers boarding the aircraft. In Northern Ireland, they are just recommended. Most cabin crew are also required to wear face coverings at work.
  • Indoor public spaces: Face coverings are mandatory for most indoor public settings across the UK. In England, Scotland and Wales, you’re required to wear a face mask in multiple different places, such as restaurants, cafes, museums, libraries and even takeaways. In Scotland and Wales, you’re also required to wear one in the gym. In Northern Ireland, the rules aren’t as strict, as you don’t have to wear a mask in a business that can maintain social distancing; such as a hairdressers or cinema.

Face masks in the workplace

As an employer, if you’re planning a safe return to the office there are many health and safety issues you need to consider. You have an existing legal obligation to provide a safe working environment, and in order to comply, you should follow all the coronavirus workplace settings guidance provided by the government.

Coronavirus is classed as a hazard in the workplace and should be managed in the same way as other workplace hazards. You need to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment to identify all the control measures needed to manage that risk.

When to wear a face covering in the office

You should encourage social distancing, high standards of hand hygiene, increased surface cleaning and fixed teams as the best ways to manage Covid-19 in the workplace. Face masks are not necessarily required, but if you’re looking to keep your office environment safe, they should definitely be considered. If social distancing is hard to maintain, then it’s strongly advised that you provide face masks and/or PPE for your office workers.

If your staff work in retail, leisure or another hospitality setting, then they are required by law to wear a face mask. That includes not just shops, restaurants and bars, but also other customer-facing businesses like banks and estate agents

Are there any exemptions?

There are some people that are exempt from wearing a face mask in the workplace, including:

  1. People who suffer from a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability, who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering.
  1. People speaking to or assisting someone who relies on lip-reading or facial expressions to communicate.
  1. Where the putting on, wearing or removing of a face covering will cause a person severe distress.

The UK government states that no employee should be forced to obtain and provide a medical note as evidence for this exemption. As an employer, you must approach this based on trust and not force an exempt employee to wear a face covering.

Covering the cost of face masks and PPE

If you require your office staff to wear face masks at work, then you should provide them with these for free. It isn’t a legal requirement, but it is the best practice. If you’re looking for face masks and PPE for your employees, you need to make sure you find some that offer suitable protection and meet the recommended mask guidelines. 

At Mask4Life, we offer a wide range of standard and premium reusable face coverings for businesses. Our face masks are double layered and reusable, as well as being fully washable. There’s no extra cost of purchasing disposable masks and, as a result there’s a 100% reduction in waste. Not only does this save your business money, but it also helps to stop used masks ending up in the ocean or landfill sites!

Find out how much you could save by switching to our reusable face masks, using our online calculator. If you’re interested in purchasing face masks for your offices or workplace, get in touch today!

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Planning To Return To The Workplace After COVID-19

It’s safe to say that when you first started your job, figuring out ‘COVID secure’ protocols following a worldwide pandemic probably wasn’t on your radar. Yet, thanks to the events of last year or so here we are. After months of working from home, the mass vaccination program means it’s now time to consider how we return to work.

As a leading supplier of face masks and coronavirus rapid testing kits in the UK, we’ve put together the following advice on returning to the workplace after COVID-19 to guide you. 

 Coronavirus In The Workplace

Working from home came about due to the government deeming the workplace – where people generally work in close proximity to each other – a risk for spreading the virus. Naturally, getting ready to return to a workplace environment is a daunting prospect for everyone. That said, it’s something that is going to happen at some point which is why it’s vital to get prepared. 

It’s important to remember that coronavirus is spread by someone touching their eyes, nose or mouth with infected droplets. These droplets are spread when somebody who is infected with coronavirus coughs or sneezes. Therefore, as an employer, you need to reduce the risk of infection with every means you have available to you. 

The more effort you put into making your workplace COVID secure including closely monitoring any suspected cases, the least impact on your business it will have. 

 Government Workplace Guidance 

Working safely during coronavirus is a challenge that every business is facing at the moment. Safety is of course the number one priority, as is reassuring your employees that every measure has been taken to protect them. 

At the time of writing, here is some of the official government coronavirus guidance which all employers in the UK need to follow: 

Work From Home If You Can

Despite this being a guide about returning to work, if any of your employees are still able to work from home this is the current government advice. The main advantage of having fewer people in the workplace is that it reduces the risk of transmission. 

It may also be an idea to stagger the return of your employees. Doing so will help ensure social distancing, and it will allow you to individually explain all of the practical changes to employees. 

Carry Out A COVID Risk Assessment

Workplaces should work with trade unions and employees to establish what guidelines can be put in place to protect all those who use the building. 

For example, this could include introducing a one-way system on staircases. Or limiting the number of people who can be in the building at any one time. Open counters should also have acrylic sheeting installed to protect users on both sides. Every aspect of the building will need to be considered which is a very thorough operation to undertake. 

Employers have a responsibility to make the details of the report public, with the government stating this is a requirement for businesses with more than 50 employees. 

Social Distancing

Social distancing, in theory, should be easier to implement since it’s a requirement of the general public as well as in workplaces. Though, it can be difficult to judge just how far 2 meters away really is, especially in narrow corridors. 

There are steps you take to remind people of the 2-meter rule, including placing plenty of signs around your building. It’s also possible to invest in tech such as a social distancing device that will alert users if they are too close to others. 

In workplaces where social distancing cannot be maintained due to the nature of the job, employers need to take additional measures. This can include installing barriers, ensuring employees aren’t directly facing each other or creating workplace bubbles. 

Cleaning Procedures

Did you know that pre-COVID, dirty workplaces cost employers £1.56 billion a year due to the employee sickness such environments created? Therefore, keeping a clean workplace is for the benefit of the entire company. However, now COVID has been added into the mix, it couldn’t be more essential to make sure your premises aren’t a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.

Workplaces should hire cleaning teams, and undertake deep cleaning including using approved COVID disinfectants regularly. In particular, cleaning needs to pay attention to high touchpoint areas including door handles, light switches, kettles, microwaves, taps, computer equipment etc. Where possible, remove touchpoints by installing sensor activated technology.

Also, make it clear to your employees that they too are responsible for helping to keep their workspaces clean. Providing antibacterial wipes on every desk will allow them to wipe down their desks, telephones, office machinery etc at regular intervals. In addition, place signage to remind staff of the 20 second hand washing rule within washrooms. 

 PPE For Office Workers 

Office environments pose various difficulties for employers who are looking to keep their workplaces COVID secure. As well as social distancing, adequate ventilation and diligent cleaning, PPE will add an additional layer of protection for workers.

PPE suitable for an office may include: 

  • Aprons
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Disposable items
  • Eye shields
  • Face masks or full visors
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Signage

To ensure best practice, all PPE for staff must be correctly fitted taking into account any impairment the user may have. The PPE must also be located close to the point of use, ideally at your building’s entrance. A bin must also be provided specifically for the disposal of any PPE. 

Everything needs to be stored in a clean and dry area that is free from contamination, to be sure that no particles of coronavirus are found on the PPE. 

 Face Masks UK

Face masks and face coverings have been at the forefront of preventing the spread of coronavirus in the UK and globally. They will continue to be required when indoors and it’s advisable to wear them outdoors in crowded areas, or if the user has complex health needs. 

While adjusting to face masks in the workplace may take some getting used to, it is something that simply cannot be skipped. This also includes if your employees work in customer’s homes as well as the office. 

Face Mask Guidelines

  • Face masks should be worn correctly at all times making sure your mouth and nose are covered.
  • Check the fit of the face mask to ensure there are no gaps around the nose or mouth. Loose face masks can be made tighter by adding a loop to the band. Alternatively, you can purchase an adjustable face mask for your employees to cater for varying face shapes and sizes. 
  • Disposal face masks should be replaced every 4 hours. Reusable face masks should be washed daily. 
  • Always wash or sanitise your hands immediately after touching your face mask.
  • Never share your face mask with anyone else.
  • To protect the environment, always dispose of face masks in a closed bin to avoid them flying out into the open. 

Are Businesses Required To Provide Face Masks?

As we know, face masks must be worn inside buildings. The question is, who is responsible for providing them? 

The Health and Safety Executive has updated its COVID-19 guidance to state that workplaces within a healthcare setting must provide full PPE including face masks to their employees. In a non-clinical setting, this is not a formal requirement. 

However, what you also need to consider is maintaining consistency across the board. If staff wear their own masks, there is no guarantee of the quality or even how many times the same mask has been used before. Some may also forget to bring in their mask, which would put your business at risk of breaching COVID guidelines, in addition to potentially exposing others to the virus. 

The best way to remove such hassles from eating into what is also a disrupted work schedule is to provide face masks for all of your employees. This gives you complete control over the quality of the mask, and who is wearing one to begin with (bar those with special requirements).

For your convenience, our store allows you to buy face masks online. Our masks can be bought for a heavy discount versus buying them individually from the high street. Our disposable face masks can also be branded to match your business, which is especially ideal for customer facing workplaces. 

 COVID Rapid Testing

At the start of the pandemic, getting a coronavirus test either meant battling a dismal appointment system (that was giving people appointment slots 250 miles away!) or waiting 3 days for a postal testing kit to give you the results.

However, since September 2020, rapid coronavirus testing has helped millions stay informed about their symptoms, reducing employee absence as a result. 

Known as rapid antigen testing, it provides a coronavirus test result within just 15 minutes. The test is straightforward to not only take but understand, with a clear line indicating whether the test is positive or not.

The frequency of testing is depending on the business type, though in schools rapid testing is currently being carried out twice a week. Staff are required to report a negative test in order to return to work. 

Rapid antigen testing kits for coronavirus is also something we stock in our online store. Kits can be purchased in quantities of between 20 and 1,000, and are suited for a wide range of business and industry types. 

 What To Do If An Employee Tests Positive For Coronavirus

It can be extremely worrying for all involved if a member of staff receives a positive test result for coronavirus. As well as the person immediately having to self isolate, there are some other procedures you’ll need to follow to minimise the impact on others.

Firstly, start by informing all those who have come into contact with the affected person. You may wish to repeat any coronavirus testing and monitor them for symptoms. 

Also, make sure any areas the person may have been in are deep cleaned by a professional team. Such areas should be immediately zoned off until the cleaning teams deem the area has been thoroughly disinfected and ventilated. 

 Establish Clear Self Isolating Guidelines 

Another grey area is what self isolation involves, giving the ever changing guidelines. It’s important that all management and HR have clear communication so that your company response remains consistent. 

The NHS states the self isolation period is 10 days starting the day after your symptoms started. Though, if the person still has symptoms including a high temperature or a runny nose after the 10 days, then they must continue to isolate. 

With businesses already feeling the pressure with the economic uncertainty the pandemic has brought about, employees may feel reluctant to state they have any symptoms. That’s why it’s important to offer clear messaging and reassurance because ultimately self isolation is one of the best ways to control the spread of the virus within your workplace if somebody tests positive. 

 Talking To Staff About Workplace Changes

While the practical COVID secure procedures you need to put in place will take precedence, it’s good to remember the human element too. This involves having a regular and open discussion with your employees, some of whom may be very anxious to return to work. 

On a basic level, you want to make sure staff understand what’s needed of them. Remember, the majority of people have been working home, so suddenly coming back into the workplace may require a change in routine or behaviour to keep everyone safe. 

It’s also a good idea to appoint a trusted person within HR or management, so staff can talk to about any worries or concerns they may have. 

 Find Out More

There’s a lot to get your head around when it comes to planning to return to the workplace following the coronavirus pandemic. Although the world’s knowledge of the virus has improved, sadly the pandemic is very much still ongoing. That’s why digesting the above information and applying it to your workplace will ensure your business is doing its bit to protect its employees and the wider public. 

Are you looking to stock up on workplace supplies to ensure your business is COVID secure? 

Mask4Life sells a wide range of face masks, snoods and rapid testing kits to help keep your employees safe. 

Alternatively, if you have any questions about anything we’ve mentioned above, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. 

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How to wear your face mask

A year on from when the coronavirus pandemic began, and we’re all pretty used now to washing our hands and wearing a face mask when we’re in public. Although lockdown restrictions in the UK are easing, many people will still be feeling a little nervous about the situation going forward. 

Just because lockdown is coming to an (albeit slow) end, it doesn’t mean that you and your staff should stop following social distancing guidelines and government advice, especially when it comes to face masks. The vaccine is helping to slow down the rate of infection, but the virus has not disappeared completely. As offices, shops, restaurants and gyms begin to reopen, we all need to remember that we still need to wear a face mask.

We’ve put together a handy guide below on how to wear your face mask properly, the guidelines surrounding face masks and why they’re so important to wear. 

Face mask guidelines in the UK

Let’s start by taking a look at the face mask guidelines. The UK government requires you by law to wear face coverings in some places, unless you are exempt or have a reasonable excuse. There are also a number of locations where face masks and PPE is encouraged. 

For example, in England you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings:

  • Public transport, taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Hospitality locations, except when seated at a table to eat or drink 
  • Churches and places of worship
  • Theatres

There are many other places where face coverings are mandatory, the full list can be viewed on the UK government website, here.

But what about in work environments and offices? Do we need PPE for office workers?

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has provided detailed guidance for specific workplace settings. They state that the best way to stop the spread of the virus is through social distancing, high standards of hand hygiene, increased surface cleaning, and other measures such as using screens or barriers to separate people from each other. 

These measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace, but wearing a face mask is a good precautionary measure to take to protect others around you. In some work environments, such as hospitals and care homes, it is vital that you have plenty of PPE for your staff.

How to wear a face mask

Unsure what the correct way to wear a face mask is? Putting on a mask should be a relatively straight forward process, but there’s a few things you need to make sure you do, such as:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before you even pick up your mask.
  • Put the mask over your mouth and nose, and secure it under your chin.
  • Make sure your face covering fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe okay in the mask

If you have to constantly adjust your face covering when wearing it, then unfortunately, this type of mask doesn’t fit you properly. Instead, you’ll have to look for another mask type or brand. 

What to look out for when choosing your face mask

Take a look at our ‘do’s and don’ts’ of mask wearing, so you know exactly how to protect yourself and those around you.

Do

  • Wear your face covering over your nose and mouth.
  • Always wear a mask in public, especially when you’re around people who don’t live in your household.
  • Wear a mask made from a breathable fabric.
  • Wear a mask with multiple layers.
  • Try to wear a reusable mask – it saves you money and helps the environment!
  • Keep a spare mask in your bag – to replace the one you’ve been wearing over a long period of time.
  • Store used masks in a plastic bag or container until they can be washed.

Don’t

  • Put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
  • Wear a mask with thin fabric – these don’t offer enough protection!
  • Leave your nose out of your mask – it won’t stop you from breathing in/spreading the virus.
  • Touch your mask where possible -if you have to, wash your hands straight after, or use sanitiser.

How to take off masks safely

Most of us know how to put on a mask safely, but enough importance isn’t stressed about the best way to take it off once used! Your used mask could potentially have Covid-19 particles on it, so you need to make sure you take great care when taking it off your face.

Where possible, wait until you get home or have access to a bathroom/washroom, until you take your mask off. Either untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops to pull it away from your face.

Remember to try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face covering, and make sure you thoroughly wash your hands straight after.

 If your mask is reusable, place it in the washing machine as soon as possible and wash it depending on the type of fabric it’s made from. If you don’t have a reusable mask, it could be worth investing in one, as disposable masks can only be used once.

Why it’s important to wear your face mask

Covid-19 is an airborne virus that spreads between people through respiratory droplets. They travel into the air when someone coughs, sneezes, breathes or talks. These droplets can then land in other people’s mouths, noses or even their eyes.

Face masks are one of the best barriers of protection in preventing these respiratory droplets from reaching others. There have been numerous studies that have shown that face masks and other forms of PPE can reduce the spray of these droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

Not only are you protecting yourself from catching Covid-19, you’re also helping to protect people around you and stop the spread of the virus around your community.

Mask4Life can provide PPE and face masks for your employees

If you’re looking for face masks and PPE for your employees, you need to make sure you find some that offer suitable protection and meet the recommended mask guidelines. At Mask4Life, we offer a wide range of standard and premium reusable face coverings for businesses.

All of our face masks are double layered, reusable, and fully washable. As they are fully washable, there’s no extra cost of purchasing disposable masks and, as a result there’s a 100% reduction in waste. Not only does this save your business money, but it also helps to stop used masks ending up in the ocean or landfill sites!

Find out how much you could save by switching to our wholesale face masks, using our online calculator. If you’re interested in purchasing PPE for your staff, get in touch today!