The Government has announced that face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets across England from Friday, July 24. 

After mixed messages on the effectiveness of face masks, the Government has now stated that wearing a covering may protect others if people are infected but not yet showing symptoms.

However, some senior Government advisors have warned that face coverings may offer people a false sense of security and thorough hand hygiene should remain paramount. 

Once the law comes into force you must have your mouth and nose covered or you risk a £100 fine which is reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. 

Face coverings can include scarves, bandanas and other fabric items but so far most people have chosen to wear face masks as a way of ensuring public safety. 

The public have been asked not to use medical-grade surgical marks and visors and instead to opt for fabric coverings that tie behind the head and offer a “snug fit”. 

So far only England and Scotland have announced the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops

Having an effective face covering is becoming increasingly important to the protection of public health, as a result people across Southampton have taken up the task of hand-making  face masks. 

A few of the exceptional independent shops selling face masks from the city are: 

Crafted by Laura 

Daily Echo:

Normally crafting vintage-inspired wedding accessories, Laura has over 3,000 reviews and her online shop is rated with five stars.    

All of Laura’s masks are available on her Etsy site which she started in 2012. 

Price for a face mask: £6.65. Available here

Zip Squid

Daily Echo:

Online creative shop, Zip Quid usually make a range of items for the home from shelving units to dog treat holders. 

However, since lockdown the shop has been making face masks and accessories to keep people safe and organised including disposable glove holders. 

Owner, Lisa Cowley said: “I started making masks when my mother-in-law came to stay and I wanted to take extra care to protect her."

Price for a face mask: £10. Available here

Floras Patch

Daily Echo:

Floras Patch is an artistic online shop selling accessories and items inspired by Mother Nature. 

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and worried about the increase of disposable single-use face masks, owner Sandrine Maugy decided to start sewing. 

Ms Maugy said: “As we now have to wear masks in lots of places, we might as well make them more environmentally friendly and pretty at the same time.” 

With 10 per cent of every sale being donated to Friends of the Earth, Floras Patch botanical face masks are helping the public and the planet. 

Price for a face mask: £10.00. Available here

Mums Creation Shop

Daily Echo:

The face masks by Mums Creation Shop are an affordable alternative to a DIY face covering. 

Usually selling eco-friendly and bamboo-based products, Mums Creation Shop has taken to sewing face masks during lockdown.

The masks are handmade, fully washable and made from 100 per cent cotton featuring a filter pocket for breathability. 

Price for a face mask: £3.50. Available here