As the country enters the next stage of its strategy to ease the lockdown restrictions whilst preventing the spread of coronavirus, the Government has issued new advice to the public on how to stay safe whilst in public spaces (such as shops and public transport). The Government has asked people to wear face masks to cover their nose and mouth where social distancing is not possible. This advice has been detailed in the Government Covid-19 recovery strategy, detailing its plans for lifting the UK out of lockdown; which can be viewed here.
To prevent any additional pressure to the NHS in obtaining crucial PPE supplies, the Government has issued instructions on how to make your own face mask at home, by simply using elastic bands and some cotton fabric or even just an old T-shirt. Your face mask should be worn so that you can breathe comfortably whilst covering your nose and mouth. You should sanitise or wash your hands before putting it on and taking it off, and you should wash your face mask regularly.
We share how to make your own face mask at home below*:
Making a face mask using an old T Shirt
You will need:
• One old T-shirt that you no longer want
Step 1: Cut a straight line across the width of the T-shirt (front and back) approximately 20cm from the bottom of the T-shirt.
Step 2: From a point 2cm below the top right-hand corner of the fabric, make a 15cm horizontal cut through both sides of the fabric that is parallel to the top of the rectangle.
Step 3: Cut down towards the bottom of the fabric until you reach approximately 2cm above the bottom edge. From here, make another 15cm cut that runs parallel to the bottom of the fabric to make a rectangle that can be discarded.
Step 4: To make the ties, cut open the edge of the 2 long strips of fabric. Unfold the main piece of fabric and place over the mouth and the nose. The 4 strips act as ties to hold the cloth face covering in place and should be tied behind the head and around the neck.
Making a face mask using a piece of cotton fabric
You will need:
• two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric
• two 20cm pieces of elastic (or string or cloth strips)
• needle and thread
Step 1: Cut out two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric. Stack the 2 squares on top of each other.
Step 2: Fold over one side by 0.75cm and hem, then repeat on the opposite side. Make 2 channels by folding the double layer of fabric over 1.5cm along each side and stitching this down.
Step 3: Run a 20cm length of elastic (or string or cloth strip) through the wider hem on each side of the face covering. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle to thread it through. Tie the ends tightly.
If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the covering behind your head.
Step 4: Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the covering on the elastic and adjust so the covering fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping. These elastic loops fit over the ears.*Our step by step guides have been taken from the Gov.uk website here.