As the UK’s lockdown has eased to allow certain business areas to reopen, the questions around whether to wear a face mask or not in shops and supermarkets was finally given a definitive answer by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. From the 24th July 2020 all adults and children over the age of 11 (in England) or five (in Scotland) are to wear a face mask or suitable face covering to all shops and supermarkets.
Although face masks have been worn by many as a preventative measure since the beginning of the pandemic, this was at the discretion of individuals. However, with the reopening of shops and other businesses, the government has made it a compulsory requirement to wear a face mask when shopping to ensure the protection of others from the Coronavirus and slow the spread of the deadly disease.
Wearing a face mask however, does not mean that you no longer need to practice social distancing or handwashing – all other measures still remain and further official guidance on face masks and the possible fines that can be imposed for not wearing one (without good reason) and are set out on the UK Government website for when to wear one.
Do I need to wear a face mask to ALL our vape shops?
Yes. Face Masks will be a mandatory requirement at all shops, including our RED Box Vape stores where our staff already wear face masks daily.
The only exceptions are those who have certain disabilities, in which case some people may wear a badge identifying them as exempt from wearing a mask.
Please don’t be offended if you are asked by a staff member in one of our stores to wear a mask, they are following guidelines which have been set out by the government and more importantly they are protecting you and themselves from the spread of the virus.
Where do I buy a face mask from?
Most high street stores and online shops now sell face masks, including single-use and reusable masks. Many stores have used deadstock material to produce masks, saving the fabric from going to landfill, some brands have pledged 100% of the sales to charities and there are so many designs, perfect for the trend conscious.
We’ve had a look and picked a few of our favourites:
- First up there is Boots UK who have a number of options available for the whole family. We’ve picked this reusable antibacterial mask with adjustable ear loops a replaceable FFP2 (N95) filter which gives a high filtration and 95% protection from pollutants in the air. Each filter is effective for up to 40 hours use and the mask itself can last up to a year if washed once a week.
- If you’d prefer a disposable option, Boots also sell a variety of single-use multipacks, such as these elasticated 3-ply face masks that are great to keep in the car or in your bag in emergencies.
- If you’re looking for something that’s a little more understated and sportier, there is this pick from Adidas that we’ve seen lots of footballers wearing recently. Made with a minimum of 40% recycled material, reusable and a nice snug fit, these masks come as a three pack, so you always have a spare when one is in the washing.
- For the fashion forward ASOS (and Boots, again!) have a great multi-pack of three face masks designed by leading British designers, Julien McDonald, Rixo and Liam Hodges. 100% of the profits from the sale of these masks will be split between NHS Charities Together, BFC Foundation Fashion Fund and Wings of Hope Children’s charity.
- Finally, there is Amazon with a great value multipack of 10 reusable fabric face masks in black or white and are best used with a tissue folded and placed on the inside. Made from 100% cotton, these are a great, no-fuss option suitable for the whole family!
Of course, if you don’t want to buy a mask, there are lots of guides online on how to make one at home. This simple to follow guide on the BBC is a great if you have some fabric or a small scarf at home you can recreate a face mask from!
Do’s and Don’ts of wearing a face mask
So, you’ve got your mask and planning a trip to the shops, there are a few guidelines to wearing your mask so that it is effective at controlling the spread of bacteria and the virus.
- Ensure the mask covers both your nose and mouth. Do not pull it under your chin or just pulled up over your mouth.
- Don’t wear a mask if it is damp or not yet been washed since you last used it.
- Never share your mask with anyone, even a family member.
- Children under 11 in England and five in Scotland are exempt from wearing a mask, some people are exempt from wearing a face mask if they have a certain disability. Please consider this if you approach someone about not wearing a mask.