What’s the difference between a Face Mask and a Face Covering?

A Face Mask is used in high risk places, such as hospitals and care homes. They’re also for key workers who are likely to come in contact with lots of people.

You need special training to wear a Face Mask, because when used incorrectly, they can increase your chance of becoming unwell.

A Face Covering is to protect other people from you. It will catch your coughs and sneezes, just in case you are carrying Covid-19. So, while a healthcare worker may wear a Mask at work, they’ll wear a Covering outside of the work place when they need to. Face coverings are recommended in enclosed areas where social distancing is difficult eg supermarkets. Face coverings will be compulsory on public transport from 15 June in England to help stop the transmission of coronavirus.

Face Coverings are cheaper and in fact here’s a very simple guide to make one at home in just a couple of minutes:

What if you normally wear a Face Covering?

If you usually wear a face covering that covers your mouth and nose, please be aware unless this is tightly fitted and made from layers of a tightly woven fabric it will not be effective in acting as a barrier to respiratory droplets.

In circumstances where cloth face masks are recommended, we would recommend wearing a cloth face mask underneath your usual face covering.

What if you are deaf or hard of hearing?

We are acutely aware how difficult communication will become if Face Coverings become normal.

If you are regularly meeting up with people, and you are hard of hearing, or you lip read, there are Face Covering designs where you can see mouths.

Here are two examples of how to make them.

Instructions to print out.


There are also a number of “voice to text” apps that are available for many mobile phones. Search “voice to text” on your App Store.