With face coverings now compulsory in shops and on public transport in the UK, you might be concerned about which you can use - but a one minute candle test is all you need to see if yours is effective.
According to GOV.UK: "A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth.
"You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face."
Simon Kolstoe, a senior lecturer in Evidence Based Healthcare at the University of Portsmouth, says that although not as effective as medical grade face masks, face coverings reduce the spread of the virus in the same way that covering your mouth when you cough does.
He says that all you need is a candle. Light it in front of the person who is wanting to test their face covering, (obviously, be careful with the flame and don't do anything thick). Then the person with the face covering needs to try and blow it out.
Writing in The Conversation, Simon said: "To get an idea of how much this might happen, a simple test involving trying to blow out a candle directly in front of the wearer could be tried. Initially, the distance coupled with the strength of exhalation could be investigated, but then face coverings made from different materials and critically with different numbers of layers could be tried.
"The design of face covering that made it hardest to divert the candle flame will probably provide the best barrier for projecting the virus forward and through the face covering."
Scientist Bill Nye also shared a TikTok video recently that points out the same experiment.
In it, he perfectly explains just how important face masks are, proving the effectiveness of such coverings with a simple experiment.
The 64-year-old presenter, who's popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, made a series of two TIkTok videos to demonstrate why we should be using face masks, urging people to wear one when they're out in public.
Testing out several different types of face covering, ranging from a chunky knit scarf through to a double-layer homemade mask, Nye explained to social media users about the effectiveness of each in preventing the spread of particles in the air.
He concludes by saying: "So when you're out in public, PLEASE wear a mask."
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