In the UK face masks are now the norm, and it's clear that we're all going to have to get used to wearing face masks as part of our everyday lives. Especially as we're about to enter a "very challenging winter period," according to Prof Chris Whitty. That's why we've put together the best UK face masks below – from bright patterns to medically-certified face coverings to face masks ideal for glasses wearers to people who need to lip read.
Wearing a face mask is no longer a question of choice, either. In England, Scotland and Wales, it's now mandatory for people to wear face masks on all public transport, in all shops, plus banks, supermarkets and corner shops, post offices and indoor shopping centres, cinemas, museums and libraries. This excludes people with a medical condition or children under 11 years old (see a full list of exemptions here). People repeatedly not wearing face masks in designated areas will face increasing fines of up to £3,200.
- Jump to when and where should you wear a face mask in the UK
- Jump to will a face mask stop me from getting coronavirus?
Of course, UK face masks is not an issue limited to adults. The UK government now says that schools and colleges can require students to wear face masks when social distancing isn't possible at their discretion. For more on that, see our post on where to buy the best kids face masks.
Below, you'll find a range of trusted online retailers who can provide you with the exact face mask you want, delivered to your door. If you're based in the US, head over to where to buy a face mask. And if you're feeling particularly creative, check out our how to make a face mask article, which details four simple ways to make a face mask at home.
Where to buy UK face masks: quick links
- Amazon - A huge array of face masks delivered to you quick
- HYPE – get three face masks for £24.99 with 100% of profits to the NHS
- Etsy – stylish face masks from just £3.99
- ASOS – fashionable designs at low prices
- Adidas – pack of 3 for just £14.95
- Vistaprint – quality, stylish face masks for kids and adults from £13
- Ebay.co.uk – washable face masks at a bargain price
- Medisave – quality medical-grade face masks available in bulk
- Samuel Johnston – Adult and kids' face masks for £6.99
- Wowcher – A mixture of kid and adult designs at super-low prices
- Prezzybox – Fun, patterned face masks
Where to buy UK face masks now
When and where should you wear a face mask in the UK?
Guidance on wearing a face mask in the UK has recently become more clear. On 15 June 2020, wearing a face mask in the UK on public transport became mandatory, with anyone not doing so liable to a fine or refusal to board. Aside from public transport, UK government guidelines for face masks have a long list of places where face masks are mandatory, including hair salons, shopping centres and shops. Not wearing face masks in designated areas risks increasing fines of up to £3,200.
Will a face mask stop me from getting coronavirus?
Wearing a face mask primarily will reduce the chance of you giving a virus to anyone else, not necessarily from you catching it. Wearing a face mask when you have the virus – whether you know you do or not – will reduce the chance of you spreading it.
But there is some conflicting opinion on the matter. As with the idea that wearing a cycle helmet will result in some people being more daring, even dangerous, in their cycling, some view the wearing of face masks as leading to people being less disciplined in social situations. Our advice? Wear a face mask and observe social distancing rules.