How to safely use a face mask

With face masks becoming compulsory on public transport on Monday 31st August, it is important to know how to wear a face mask safely. The advice below is based on information provided by the Ministry of Health.


Face masks should never be shared with other people. This applies to both bought and handmade face coverings.


Face masks should not be worn by young children, people who are unable to remove them without assistance or people who have trouble breathing.

How to put on a face masks

- Make sure your face mask is clean, dry and free from any damage

- Before you put on your face mask, clean and dry your hands using either soap and water or hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol

- Place the face covering over your nose and mouth, then secure it with ties or ear loops. The face covering should fully cover your nose, mouth and chin. It should fit comfortably and securely against the side of your face, allowing you to breathe easily

- Clean and dry your hands again using either soap and water or hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol


While wearing a face mask

- Do not touch the front of the face mask. If you do, clean and dry your hands thoroughly

- Avoid touching your face (infection can be introduced by touching your eyes or by wearing a face mask incorrectly)

- Do not move your face mask during use. This includes being pulled up or pulled down below your chin. If you need to remove your mask (for example, to eat) - remove it safely, wash/dispose of it appropriately then clean and dry your hands

- Replace the face mask if it becomes damp, damaged or soiled.


How to remove a face mask

- Clean and dry your hands using either soap and water or hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol

- Remove your face mask from behind and pull it away from your face. Use the loops or untie it. Do not touch the front of the face covering, and be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth


Clean or dispose of your face mask

- Clean cloth face masks by washing them in a washing machine with detergent at 60 degrees Celsius. Dry the face covering completely before you use it again. Do not use a damp face covering.

- Dispose of single-use face masks in a rubbish bin with a closed lid, or put it in a sealed bag and throw it out. Do not re-use or try to disinfect single-use face coverings.

- Clean and dry your hands using either soap and water or hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol


For videos and further advice on how to safely use a face mask, please see the World Health Organization (WHO) information:

- When and how to use masks -mAdvice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19.

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