How to properly wear a face mask when travelling?

As it looks, face masks are here to stay for a while.

According to World Health Organization, masks are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with social distancing and other preventive actions. Since it’s still a new thing for most of us, often people feel lost as to what advice should you follow regarding face masks. When in doubts, we recommend you to listen to WHO.

How to properly wear and remove a face mask?

How to care for and select a face mask?

Read on to find out what health specialists have said on this topic.

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Young woman wearing a face mask

Why you must wear a mask?

To put it simply - a mask helps limit the spread of germs.

A mask can significantly reduce the number of respiratory droplets released into the air. If everyone wears a mask, risk of spreading the disease is much lower. Wear a face mask if you have respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing. Wear it if you’re feeling unwell.

The face mask will help protect the people around you from catching your illness (COVID-19 or not).

How to properly wear a face mask?

First of all, wash your hands before putting on your mask.

If it’s not possible, disinfect your hands with hand sanitiser. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. The same goes for hand sanitiser — rub it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure full coverage.

Determine which side of the mask is the front and which is the top.

The front of the mask usually is coloured. The front should face away from you.

If it’s a medical mask, it’s very easy to determine which is the top. It usually has a bendable edge which you can adjust so it fits over your nose comfortably.

Hand sanitizer and face mask

Hold the mask by the loops or ties when putting on a mask.

Put a mask over your face and place a loop around each ear.

Or, place the ties of the mask over the crown of your head and tie them.

Make sure that the mask covers your nose, mouth and chin completely.

Make sure you can breathe comfortably through the mask.

If you need to adjust your mask while you are wearing it, wash or disinfect your hands before and after doing it.

Don’t touch your mask while it is being worn.

How to remove a face mask?

Disposable masks should be used once and disposed of.

If you have a reusable mask, you can wear it more than once. But you have to wash it before using it again. If you carry multiple reusable face masks, keep them in separate zip-lock bags. Pack a clean zip-lock bag for clean masks and another ziplock bag — for used face masks.

Wash or disinfect your hands before taking your (reusable) mask off.

Hold the mask by the bands or ties when taking it off.

Do not touch the mask itself.

Wash or disinfect your hands immediately after removing your mask.

Boy wearing a face mask in front of a computer

How to choose a face mask?

Best of all, go to a pharmacy and ask a pharmacist.

WHO recommends you to choose a face mask that has two or more layers of breathable fabric. Apart from that a mask must completely cover your nose, mouth and chin, and fit snugly. A mask should not have gaps.

Do not buy a mask which is made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe.

How to care for a face mask?

Wash reusable masks after each use.

You can wash it in the washing machine.

You can also hand wash your mask, using hot water and soap.

Allow your mask to dry completely.

Store each clean reusable mask in a clean zip-lock bag.

Disposable surgical masks (the blue ones) cannot be laundered, cleaned or disinfected. They must be thrown away after each use. Such surgical masks can be worn for 2-6 hours, depending on setting.

Washing hands with liquid soap

Hygiene tips

Here are some hygiene tips to help you stay safe.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Use hand sanitiser or disinfecting wet wipes if hand-washing facilities are not available.
  • Do not cough and sneeze into your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
  • When possible, stay at least 2 m (~6 feet) away from other people.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces at home.
  • Wash unpackaged produce.
  • Disinfect and clean the packaging such as cans, jars, bottles, etc. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards.

It is very important to find reliable sources of news and avoid misleading information.

For more information on COVID-19 and travel right now check out:

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Safe travels!