Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by making sure you’re wearing your face covering in the right way

Remembering your face covering as you leave the house is now as important as grabbing your phone or bank card. We all need to wear one when we’re out and about in public to help control the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Whatever style and print you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re wearing yours correctly to keep yourself and others around you safe. 

What are face coverings?

A face covering is something which safely covers your nose and mouth. There are lots of different types available. These include reusable, single-use and face masks that contain filters. You can also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or handmade cloth as a face covering. Ideally these should include at least two to three layers of fabric. Whatever you decide to wear, it must fit securely around your face. 

Why are face coverings important?

COVID-19 spreads through air droplets from coughs, sneezes and when people talk. These droplets can land on and be picked up from surfaces if you then touch your face without washing your hands first. When used correctly, a face covering can help to reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets. They’re mainly used to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection. Although very important, face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. 

How should I wear my face covering?

You should wash your hands well for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water before touching your face covering. You can also use hand sanitiser. Only handle the face covering by the ties or ear loops and avoid touching the front part that touches the face. Your face covering needs to:

• Cover your nose and mouth, while still allowing you to breathe comfortably
• Fit securely and comfortably against the side of your face
• Be secured to your head with ties or ear loops

If you wear glasses, make sure that they don’t prevent the covering from having a good fit. Wash your hands again before and after removing your face covering. Take off the covering by touching the ear loops or ties, not the front of the mask. Single-use, disposable face masks should be put in the bin immediately after being taken off. Reusable face coverings should be stored in a plastic bag until you can wash them. 

How can I look after my face covering?

If you have a reusable face covering, it needs to be washed after every time you use it.  Follow the washing instructions for the fabric and use your normal detergent. Wash your face covering at the highest temperature appropriate according to the fabric label. You can wash and dry your face covering with other laundry. It can be useful to have more than one reusable face covering so you have one available while the other is being washed. If your face covering is damaged, you’ll need to throw it away and use a different one. 

Face coverings available at Boots

We stock a wide range of reusable and disposable face coverings and face masks. Our disposable masks have either a 95 percent or 98 percent bacterial filtration efficiency. Whether you're looking for a simple (or colourful), reusable covering or a pack of handy disposable masks for when you're out and about, our wide range has you covered.


Travel Vaccinations & Health Advice Service

We can provide expert advice, vaccinations & malaria prevention that's tailored for your travel plans

Recognising COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms

What symptoms should I look out for?

How to get a COVID-19 test

Help keep yourself, your loved ones & your community healthy

*Our COVID-19 tests are not suitable for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19.
Information correct at time of publication (12.01am 17/03/2022)