Should I wear a mask?

From 15th June 2020 it is the law that you must wear a face-covering when travelling in England on a:

bus or coach
train or tram
ferry, hovercraft or other vessel
cable car

If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth.

How to wear and make a face covering.

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. Some transport staff may not wear a face covering if it is not required for their job.

You should also wear a face covering in other enclosed spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. For example, at stations, interchanges, ports and airports and in taxis and private hire vehicles. A taxi driver or private hire vehicle operator may be entitled to refuse to accept you if you do not wear a face covering.

The rule applies in situations where individuals from different households or support bubbles could be travelling together on a service such as a charter boat, but not if you are giving a lift to someone from another household or support bubble in your private car.

Surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment (PPE) should continue to be reserved for people who need to wear them at work.

An evidence review and analysis published in the Lancet on 16.04.2020 suggests that wearing a mask could be beneficial in reducing transmission of the virus by limiting respiratory droplets. (1)

This may be particularly helpful information for people who may be infected but asymptomatic (not showing signs of any symptoms) whilst caring for at risk or vulnerable family members and/or for those households where a vulnerable person is being shielded but one or more family members or carers are not able to self-isolate with the rest of the household.

Please note, if you are caring for someone with Rett Syndrome and you are in any way symptomatic, you should avoid providing care to them if at all possible.

If this is not possible, you should wear a mask to protect them from coughs and sneezes.

Here is an article from the Guardian which shows how to make two different kinds of no sew face masks.

Updated 04.05.2020

1: Cheng KK, Lam TH, Leung CC. Wearing face masks in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic: altruism and solidarity. Lancet. 2020 Apr 16. pii:
S0140-6736(20)30918-1. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30918-1. [Epub ahead of print] 
PubMed PMID: 32305074.