14 July 2020 14:36
It will soon become compulsory for adults and older children to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets. The government is making masks mandatory in such places from July 24. As is the case on public transport, children under 11 and those with certain disabilities will be exempt. But many parents are encouraging their younger children to wear them too - and the government has already said that children over two should wear them in enclosed spaces with people they don't usually mix with. Sign up to our Manchester Family newsletter Keep up to date with the biggest and best stories, including suggestions for family days out and ways to keep the kids entertained.
It's completely free to sign up; all you have to do is fill in your details at the top of any 'Family & Kids' story, including this one. Alternatively you can sign up here. So where can you get a reusable mask from and what's the best way to make your own? We've been taking a look at some of the ranges available for people of all ages. Perhaps the first to note is that some face coverings are more effective than others. A report by Oxford University found that, while the general public does not need to wear surgical masks or respirators, some materials are more beneficial. Professor Melinda Mills, director of the Leverhulme Centre and author of the study, said: "We find that masks made from high quality material such as high-grade cotton, multiple layers and particularly hybrid constructions are effective. "For instance, combining cotton and silk or flannel provide over 95 percent filtration, so wearing a mask can protect others." Laura Hardman, from Cheadle Hulme, has been making masks to sell on her Mabel and Tibbs handmade children's clothing site on Etsy. She said: "I've been making them for about six weeks now, but I got 50 orders overnight last night when it was announced that they're becoming compulsory." Made from 100% cotton and triple layered, they come in a range of patterns and cost £4.99 for adults or children. Delivery is £1. Jeni Hughes usually makes dog collars from her Wonky Tails Pet Accessories Facebook page, but has recently expanded to make face masks too - some dog lovers are even choosing to coordinate with their pooches by getting the matching face mask and collar set. The collars cost around £12.50, depending on size, and the masks are £4. Her standalone Mockingjay Masks site is proving just as popular, where designs include Disney, space, flowers, bees and more. "We actually normally make dog collars and such but we thought we've got the time the fabric and the machines, so why not," said Jeni, based in Gee Cross, Hyde. "Today we're up to about 70 orders and that doesn't include ones for collection or that posted this morning. Over the last few months we've made a good 300, maybe more." She added: "The fact that we can do custom sizing goes down well and that it's mostly posted on the same day or at least the next." Catherine Smith has been inundated with orders since launching her Mrs Smith's Handmade Face Masks page on Facebook - making 1,000 plus masks so far. She's got dozens of patterns to choose from, with some popular designs for children including Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman, unicorns, dinosaurs, foxes, leopard print and more. Plain fabrics are £5 a mask, patterned are £6 and signature fabric such as moustache, top hat and animal print are £10. All are 3-ply and machine washable. "I've been making masks all though lockdown, but I must say since 11pm last night it has got slightly mad," said Catherine. "I made a batch for a pub in Manchester through to get them ready to open as well." A number of retailers are also selling the masks, including Sainsbury's, which is selling adult packs in selected stores, with kids packs coming soon. The Disney Store has lots of packs available to pre-order. Designs include Disney Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Disney Princess, Classic Disney and Mickey and Minnie and cost £20 for a pack of four. (Image: Manchester Evening News) Gap is also selling children's masks, with packs of three for £12.95 available online. But if you want to save some money and make your own, there's a full guide on how to do that from Public Health England here. The guide shows you how a cloth face covering can easily be made from an old T-shirt and pieces of elastic.