Both the HSE and, have recommended that people wear a face-covering in situations where it is difficult to practice social distancing for example, in shops or on public transport. 

Wearing a cloth face-covering in public may reduce the spread of COVID-19  in the community as it may help to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading it.

According to guidelines, you can buy them or make them at home using items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. 

  • Cut two rectangles of tightly-woven cotton about 25cm x 15cm.
  • Fold and stitch the top and bottom edges.
  • Fold and stitch the side edges, leaving a gap big enough to thread elastic through.
  • Thread two 15cm lengths of elastic through the side edges and tie tight. Hair ties or string, cut longer and tied behind the head, will work.
  • Tuck elastic knots inside the edges of the mask and stitch in place for a neater finish.

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If you need further guidance, you can check out these tutorials for guidance and inspiration…

Skill level: No crafting ability
Indian actor Ronit Bose Roy has shared a video of himself on Twitter turning a standard round-neck t-shirt into a mask, and it’s pretty effective.

No pins, needles, scissors or spare material required, it’s basically a case of fabric origami. Clearly, it’s not medical-grade quality, but does provide coverage for your nose and mouth, and keeps your head snug too.

Skill level: A little crafting ability
If you don’t mind getting the scissors out and have odd socks to spare (finally, they might actually come in handy), you can transform them into a face mask very simply.

Inserting a paper towel, tissue or sheet of kitchen roll as a makeshift filter won’t make them medical-grade – just a little more robust.

Skill level: I can operate a sewing machine, no problem
Able to follow fabric patterns and make your own alterations? Pinterest and YouTube are awash with video tutorials and free downloadable patterns for those who are nifty with a sewing machine.

The Fu face mask design, courtesy of FreeSewing, has been hugely successful, while Thredhed has designed a pattern that meets the Centre for Disease Control and Provention (CDC) guidelines and is suitable for those with basic machine (or hand sewing) skills.

To find out how to wear a face covering, how to wash it, and who should not be wearing them, read the HSE's guidelines here