Will a cloth face covering protect me from coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 can be spread directly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking.  Wearing a face mask is therefore primarily intended to help protect the people around you, slowing the spread of the virus.  They play a role in reducing the chance of you giving the virus to others, even if you are showing no symptoms.

You should continue to stay home as much as possible, limit contact with other people, only use public transport if absolutely necessary and keep 2 metres distance away from others if you do go out.  Face coverings should be used in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible, and you come into contact with people you would not normally meet.  For example, if you do use public transport or in some shops.

The virus is commonly spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your face, so it is very important you regularly wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds). You must always remember to wash your hands when you return home do not touch your face covering with unwashed hands or gloves.