Evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has confirmed face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission if you are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
The government requires face coverings to be worn in more places:
Wearing face coverings is now a requirement of using public transport. Bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft passengers must wear a face covering on their journey to help reduce the risk of transmission when social distancing is not always possible - with the government also working with operators to ensure staff are provided with face coverings where appropriate.
Everyone working in all areas of the hospital is now expected to wear a face mask, and members of the public are strongly urged to attend hospital wearing a face covering, but a face mask will be provided in emergencies.
If I wear a face mask do I not need to stay socially distant?
Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste - anosmia), you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.
What is the difference between a face covering and mask?
A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.