n95 face masks near me uk

Where to buy face masks in the UK and are they needed to fight the Coronavirus?


If you’ve recently been to the dentist or hospital, surgical face masks will look familiar to you. Those working in these fields regularly use these masks to reduce the risk of infection to their patients and offer some protection for themselves from droplets in the air. With the recent outbreaks of the Coronavirus, there’s been increased demand for these masks across the world and this demand is now beginning to impact on UK availability. This is prompting members of the general public to start researching where to buy surgical face masks and N95 masks in the UK.

Whether they are effective or not is a matter of contention. Most research suggests they are best used to prevent the spread from an infected person with symptoms of Coronavirus or Flu. However they can also be used to prevent the splashing of fluids into mouths and as a deterrent for people to touch their own faces . Basic surgical masks are not as protective as N95 masks, but it does depend on the manner in which they are used. You can read more about how to effectively wear an N95 mask further down this article.

Where can I buy face masks in the UK to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus?

At the time of writing this article there have only been a handful of cases of the Coronavirus in the UK. However, there have been significant developments in outbreaks in both Italy and Spain over the last week leading to an increased concern in Europe. The impact of this in demand is beginning to become apparent as retailers struggle to source stock both online and in stores across the UK for face masks.

The main reasons for stock issues seem to be the fact that China is the main source of production for masks and also the fact other countries are sourcing stock from UK warehouses.

Currently the best places to find a mask suitable for your needs online are:

Amazon have a variety of stocks on different masks. Be aware that if using marketplace sellers they may be inflating the prices. In most cases it’s worth searching for bulk packs of 10 or 20 as these represent best value and range £5-£10 for 10. Be wary of the delivery times, as they have a habit with some seller of being in stock but have long, non-Prime delivery times. If you find a seller offering Prime delivery you can get a free trial of Amazon Prime here.

Be aware that there are no such things as “Coronavirus Masks” this is most likely a company naming it such to inflate a price.

Which mask is best for the Coronavirus?

Whilst a mask might help prevent infection, defining which is best is difficult. It is difficult because the protection needs to be proportionate to the risk. There’s no real need unless the virus becomes widespread in the UK to wear masks, so having a small supply of simple temporary masks might be the way to go in case they’re needed. Investing in large, full-face breathing apparatus might be a bit extreme right now.

Studies have shown that N95 masks  are highly effective in preventing viral illnesses, but only where the people wearing them are doing so correctly in the first place. This is because N95 masks can be tricky to put on correctly; particularly for those that are not used to them. The N95 masks are not meant for long-term use and hence often become uncomfortable meaning people take them off, which in turn defeats the purpose.

The use of a mask is not a replacement for good hygiene and washing of hands and of course the avoidance of those infected. However, the best bet for most could be an N95 mask if used it correctly.

How to wear a surgical mask or N95 mask correctly.

An N95 mask is ideal for sealing the flow of air around areas like your nose but is not designed for regular use due to comfort. There is often a pliable element to the N95 masks around the bridge of the nose which prevents flow but it can be very uncomfortable. If you’re wearing an N95 mask and it feels comfortable, you’re likely wearing it wrong.

For the most part you’re likely to need to remember that you want minimal air flow around the edges as seen in this video made in Singapore back in 2014

Current places in the UK to try finding stock of masks for the Coronavirus or Flu.

If you’re asking “Where can I find masks near me?” often you’ll get lots of advert links on Google. These UK sites have stock and sensible prices at time of writing. Remember, there’s little evidence or masks making a difference unless used correctly and ideally they are meant for those already with symptoms to protect others. N95 and respirators offer higher levels of protection.



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