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Government release guidance on how to wear face coverings & how to make your own from an old T-shirt

UK Government have released advice and guidance on how to safely wear a face covering and even how to make your own with a T-shirt.

The guidance states: 'A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.

'Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.

'Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose. Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched.

'You should wash a face covering regularly. It can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergent. When wearing a face covering, take care to tuck away any loose ends.'

From today, anyone travelling on public transport will have to wear a face covering, or risk facing a fine.

For those who have been unable to get hold of a face covering, or would prefer to have their own home-made mask, the Government have also advised a way of piecing together a suitable alternative using a cut-up T-shirt.

Making your own face covering

Using a T-shirt

You will need:

  • an old T-shirt that you do not want anymore (ideally size small or extra small)

  • scissors

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.

Taxi and private hire drivers and passengers are advised to wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 but are not part of the stricter guidelines put in place for those using other modes of public transport.

A Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson told TaxiPoint: “While the regulations for public transport do not cover taxis and private hire vehicles (PHV) the trade is already able to implement measures to protect drivers and passengers. Taxi drivers are already able to refuse carriage to passengers where it is reasonable to do so, this might include those that are able but refuse to wear a face covering."

The DfT added: “We would encourage all licensing authorities to consider ways in which they can work with their licensees to support all reasonable measures to protect taxi and PHV drivers and passengers.”

In the guidance issued by TfL to people wishing to use the services of black cabs and minicabs, passengers are being “advised” that they should wear face coverings when travelling for the duration of the journey.

The capital’s regulator goes on to add that if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, then taxi and private hire drivers can refuse to carry them, taking into account any mitigating circumstances such as the age of the child (as passengers under 3-years-old are exempt from the advice).

Passengers making journeys that are booked through a private hire operator or hailed via a taxi app should now be informed, in advance, of the face covering requirement.

Cabbies being hailed on the street or at a rank, are also now "expected" to advise the public not wearing a covering of the new advice and where to buy a face covering before entering the vehicle.

Image credit: Pixabay/UK Government


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