Mandatory face coverings in shops (from 24 July in England) and on public transport look likely to extend well into next year. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in an interview this morning (15 July) that masks were likely to be required for the “foreseeable future” and, when pressed, that the rules would likely be in effect well into 2021.

These comments came on the back of more mixed messages and another government U-turn, when it was announced that face coverings would be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July (already being required in Scotland). Non-compliance will carry a fine of up to £100. The government quoted “growing evidence” that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus”. Jeremy Farrar, SAGE committee member, has welcomed that decision although said he would have preferred to see it implemented sooner.

It is even reported today that the government is consulting with groups representing major employers regarding making face masks compulsory in all indoor public places (with obvious exceptions such as when eating or drinking), as France has just done.

Whichever further measures may be introduced it now seems certain that face coverings are here to stay for a long while, so the best advice would be to find a mask that suits your lifestyle, requirements, and budget.

In selecting a mask, ask yourself: whether you want to protect yourself as well as others (in which case medical-grade masks are a must); whether you want to use it briefly (e.g. for a tube ride) before discarding or for longer periods; whether style is more important to you than function… and so on. For comfortable masks at a good price point that offer protection to you as well as others, look no further than our Air Queen masks.