The Office for Products Safety & Standards (OPSS) issued guidance for manufacturers and makers of face-coverings. All face covering must comply with the General Product Safety Regulations 2005, Version 2. This law has been in place since 2005 and it is to ensure products are safe to use by the general public.
Mandatory to wear a face covering
The UK Government advises that people should wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not practical or possible. From 15 June 2020, it is mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport in England. Also, from 15 June 2020, all hospitals visitors and outpatients must wear a face covering at all times.
Washable face covering vs surgical mask
Using a washable and reusable face covering is more cost effective in the long run and also environmental friendlier comparing to using surgical mask. On average you can buy a surgical mask for £1 each if you buy it in small quantity. And, you can only use it once. Say, you use one surgical mask a day, 30 days you have sent £30. and 30 pieces of these masks added to the waste pile somewhere on earth.
However, If you use a washable and reusable face covering (3 layers fabric), and it can be washed 60 times. Whether you can make the face-covering yourself, which is free if you use your old T-shirt. Or you make it with a new fabric which cost is less than £10 if you sew it by hand. If you don’t know how to sew it, also not a problem because many people making it for sale and donation. On average you can buy a face covering as low as £5. In short, wear a washable and reusable face covering is more cost-effective for you.
Different between face covering and PPE
It is important to know the difference between a face-covering, a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and a medical device. A face covering is NOT a PPE or a medical device.
Manufacture of PPE is covered under the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations. More stringent rules apply.
It is the makers’ responsibility to check and ensure every face covering is to comply with the General Product Safety Regulations Office. The Office for Products Safety & Standards (OPSS) recommend visual checks and product information label on the face covering.