Face masks will be mandatory in shops across England from 24 July. They are already required in shops in Scotland – a rule that has been in place since 10 July. However, not all masks are the same – and there is only one type advised for use inside by medical experts at the World Health Organisation.
After initially not backing masks, WHO have updated their advice.
They now say governments should encourage the public to wear a mask when it is not possible to social distance, such as on public transport and inside shops.
The mask the WHO endorses is the three layer mask for most poeople.
However for over 60s and those with underlying health conditions, the health experts say a medical mask should be considered in areas with a higher risk of transmission.
For those not planning on making a mask at home, a new quality mark will be able to tell shoppers how effective the mask they are buying is.
While coverings are not classed as personal protective equipment by the government, they are thought to protect those in contact with the wearer.
With more Britons needing a mask, supermarkets and fashion retailers alike have brought out their own versions.
These range from single use coverings to reusable cloth masks.
This will include a “breathability” test and masks will be held to a specification requiring they have 70 percent particle filtration.
The first masks with the Kitemark are expected to be available in late July. Chief executive of BSI Howard Kerr said: “There is an overwhelming choice of face coverings available in the market.
“The challenge is knowing which claims they make are valid and whether they provide a basic level of protection to others.
“Face coverings that are independently assessed to schemes such as the Kitemark will allow consumers to make an informed and trusted decision.”