Ninety per cent of Irish adults say they wear face coverings in public places, according to research conducted for the Department of Health. It compares to just over 20% in May. 

However doctors are warning that plastic visors may not be as effective as other coverings in halting the spread of the coronavirus.

Face covering are the most powerful public health tool against the virus, according to the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Director of the CDC, Dr Robert Redfield, said this week that they are the best defence and suggested face coverings may be even more effective than a vaccine in limiting the spread of the coronavirus.

Around the same time that Dr Redfield was making those comments, at a lab in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, Professor of Surgery Ronan Cahill and Dr Kevin Nolan were putting different types of coverings were being put through the ringer, with their effectiveness being tested.

Recorded on a high-speed camera, they shows the load of droplets expelled from the nose and mouth when wearing and not wearing a covering.

The footage shows that when wearing a common surgical mask, the volume of droplets expelled into the air is reduced.

Cloth coverings yield a similar result. 

Professor Ronan Cahill say: 'Masks aren't balloons and do they let some gas pass through them. The important thing is that they're cleaning that breath of droplets.  So you need to make sure you mask fits around the sides and edges.'

Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of plastic visors, with Prof Cahill saying that "with the visor an awful lot of the breath is diverted downwards unfiltered and that's important for people to know. 

He said this was particularly important for "people who are standing above other people, such as those working in a restaurant, cabin crew, hairdressers and possibly teachers."

The Mater research also shows that  the aerosols and droplets from the nose and mouth can remain suspended in the air - in an inside room with no ventilation - for up to an hour before falling to the ground

The findings are something to bear in mind as we go about our daily lives.